At its core MedBridge is dedicated to social and environmental responsibility and thus has taken measures to transform an office space and company culture into one that reflects these values. MedBridge operates under the philosophy that we do not just inhabit our environment but we are responsible stewards. Aside from the myriad of ways MedBridge works to keep the office and operations as green as possible, MedBridge is also active in educating staff on how to make environmentally responsible decisions and decreasing our carbon footprint through monthly newsletters and periodic meetings. As a whole MedBridge strives to be responsible on and off the clock through action, accountability and education.
When MedBridge purchased a new building and moved its headquarters into the Funk Zone, the executive team knew they wanted the location to demonstrate the company’s “holistic approach to building and core values as a business,” said MedBridge Chief of Staff Ruth Loomer, co-chair of the Community Environmental Council’s (CEC) Partnership Council. But this presented a challenge for MedBridge, which also holds partnerships with about 20 medical facilities and practices in California. The company has already demonstrated its dedication to sustainability by certifying its old headquarters through the Santa Barbara Green Business Program. It now needed to go through the process again for its new building.
The Green Business Program is “about preserving the world and setting an example for the community, for other businesses, and for employers,” said MedBridge Green Business Coordinator Michael Haynes. “We pride ourselves on the integrity to do the right thing as it relates to education and the environment.”
To achieve certification a second time for the new building, the company needed to implement a list of utility improvements. Some of the improvements included:
Since MedBridge is on the business side of medicine, they unavoidably deal with a lot of paper. The company transitioned from 30% recycled paper stock to 100% and purchased scanners to dramatically increase their electronic records. In the near future, MedBridge plans to participate in a composting program to reduce their daily food waste.
Reuse and Recycle
“We didn’t want to create a demand for new, new, new”, said Loomer. So, MedBridge utilized a minimalist approach to remodeling. Completely refurbished cubicles and recycled furniture meant they did not diminish or use unnecessary resources. Re-purposed acoustical wood muffled the noise of tall ceilings, and brick walls were left bare to eliminate the use of paint and insulating materials. Second-hand resources, such as fence boards, took the form of art pieces, planter boxes, and coffee tables.
Energy and Water Efficiency
Strict standards for energy use were set, which meant discarding the old water heater in favor of a newer, more efficient model and installing low-flow showers, sinks and toilets. They were also mindful of electricity by using fluorescent and low-wattage bulbs.
Bring the Outside In
MedBridge wanted to bring nature indoors as much as possible. Every department receives natural lighting from large windows that wrap around the building. “I’m not going to lie, its pretty great,” said Haynes, who benefits from the office’s hillside view.
Alternative Transportation Program
MedBridge provides incentives to employees that choose “green” methods of transportation, including carpooling, walking and biking. Over fifty percent of the staff participates in the program each month.
Water Bottle Refill Stations
MedBridge, in conjunction with the CEC, has installed water bottle refill stations at a local college and junior high school. These refill stations encourage the use of reusable water bottles to reduce plastic waste. They also encourage a healthier lifestyle choice compared to consuming soda and other high-sugar drinks.
To learn more about the CEC’s “Rethink the Drink” program, click here.
In addition to MedBridge’s financial support, Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff Ruth Loomer (pictured at left) serves as a committed member of the Partnership Council for the Community Environmental Council (CEC).
The CEC’s mission is to identify, advocate, raise awareness, and develop effective programs to solve the most pressing environmental issues that affect the Santa Barbara region. The CEC currently focuses all of its energy on building a community-based movement that weans the region off of fossil fuels in one generation – Fossil Free by ’33. Learn more about the CEC here
At MedBridge, we believe it is important to get involved in the community in which we live and work. Here are just some of the ways our staff gives back through community service:
MedBridge has over 20 employees that volunteer to tutor and mentor at-risk Junior High students on paid company time. Our staff spends 90 minutes with these students on a weekly basis to encourage learning and demonstrate the importance of education through building relationships and positive role-modeling.
Compelled by the dreams of Marc Fidel and other teachers of the CORE program to integrate technology into the classroom to engage these at-risk students, MedBridge presented the class with an iPad 2 and a check for $2,000. Our volunteers have already seen positive results in teacher effectiveness and students responsiveness.
MedBridge also purchased a Kindle Fire for each student that graduated and walked through the 2013 graduation ceremony.
While this is a long-term commitment, we hope to continue to develop these relationships through exploring community service opportunities.
MedBridge, in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and in partnership with Partners in Education, coordinated and executed the beautification of a local junior high’s outdoor eating area. Through partnering with local contractors and landscape designers, we landscaped and tiled an outdoor eating area, and donated new picnic benches.
In addition to its environmental and community service endeavors, MedBridge also financially supports the following organizations:
Allies with local schools to provide volunteers, career education, internship opportunities, teacher training and computers to low-income families. Dave Odell, President & CEO, serves on the Board of Directors.
Brings physical, emotional, educational and spiritual resources to people in need, particularly those struggling with addictions.
Provides reconstructive and plastic surgeries for needy children.
Provides a high quality undergraduate liberal arts program in a residential campus community in Santa Barbara, CA. Dave Odell, President & CEO, serves as the Athletic Director.
Educates and develops young athletes to their highest potential through soccer. Dave Odell, President & CEO, serves as the Board Chair.
This unique event in beautiful downtown Santa Barbara features a fast, gradual downhill race and all proceeds go to the Crime Victim Emergency Fund.
Blood: Water Mission is a grassroots organization that empowers communities to work together against the HIV/AIDS and water crises in Africa.