News Headlines Article

The toxic footprint of our hospitals

When Gary Cohen runs down the list of harmful toxins that hospitals spew into the environment, he knows it can deliver a shock — especially to the people who run the hospitals. “I think the cognitive dissonance between their mission and their operations creates a very uncomfortable situation for them,” he says. Cohen (TEDxMadrid Talk: Healing hospitals) has spent the past two decades ratcheting up the discomfort through his advocacy group Health Care Without Harm. The industry, he says, has responded with sweeping improvements. So sweeping, in fact, that the MacArthur Foundation recently awarded Cohen a “genius” grant to keep pushing. Here’s how he’s trying to detoxify a $3 trillion industry.