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Children’s Community Pediatrics - GIL First in the Region To Open Environmentally Friendly Medical Office

East End doctors hope to inspire a statewide health care “greening” movement

Children’s Community Pediatrics–GIL (CCP–GIL) today announced the opening of the region’s first “green” sustainable medical office — a visionary step toward making the community environment cleaner, safer and healthier for children and parents.

The new 5,180-square-foot pediatric outpatient office was built using “green” technology and design. It opened for business earlier this month at 6343 Penn Ave., East Liberty’s redevelopment zone. This pioneering project was motivated by CCP–GIL’s long-standing commitment to environmental health, urban renewal and, most importantly, child well-being.

“Part of our mission always has been to promote family health and wellness through a focus on prevention and environmental health,” said pediatrician Keith Somers, MD, whose expert article about the value of “green” medical offices will be published in the January issue of AAP News, the magazine of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “This initiative is a natural extension of these professional values, and we hope our new office becomes a demonstration site that will act as a catalyst for the ‘greening’ of health care facilities across Pennsylvania and beyond.”

With the alarming rise in the childhood incidence of asthma, cancer and other environmentally related illnesses, it is becoming more and more imperative to join together pediatric health and sustainable building practices, according to Dr. Somers. But despite the overwhelming evidence of the health-related benefits of “green” building to patients and employees, only a few physicians’ offices nationwide — and none in western Pennsylvania — are located in such facilities, Dr. Somers said, adding that fewer still support healthy office space as a guiding principle for their practices.

The CCP–GIL “green” pediatric office was designed by LEED-certified architects at Pittsburgh-based Designstream Architectural Studios and built by KJ Johnston Ltd. LEED, an initiative of the U.S. Green Building Council, stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — a design and construction standard that results in sustainable use of natural resources. These benchmarks are gaining popularity because they lower a building’s long-term operational costs and reduce its ecological footprint.

Some of the “green” features of the new CCP–GIL office include:

  • Low-emitting laminate adhesives, woods, paints, sealers and carpets, as well as a CO2 monitoring system, help maintain indoor air quality.
  • A mechanical ventilation system controls airflow through the office, minimizing exposure to indoor particulates and chemical toxins.
  • High-performance insulated windows let in sunlight and conserve energy.
  • A significant portion of building materials used during construction came from regional sources including recycled content and certified wood.
  • Plants and aquarium ecosystems in the child-friendly waiting room are educational and have a relaxing effect on both patients and parents.

The Green Building Alliance has recognized the CCP–GIL office as the first green pediatric office in western Pennsylvania and possibly all of Pennsylvania. 

The CCP–GIL green office project was carried out with the support of the East Liberty Development Inc. (ELDI) and its Green Vision campaign, the first complete environmental planning effort for an urban neighborhood in the state.

In addition, CCP–GIL is collaborating with “green” experts at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC — soon to be one of the first LEED-certified children’s hospitals in the nation.

“By promoting conservation and sustainability in the clinical setting, our young patients will take these ideals with them as they grow, hopefully improving the health and vitality of our community for generations to come,” said Dr. Somers. “As pediatricians, we are visible leaders in our community who must be strong advocates for preventive health measures. Our model project should serve as a staging ground for new conversations that reexamine the ways we build and care for our most precious resource — our children.”

In 1996, the practice became one of the five founding groups of Children’s Community Pediatrics, one of the largest pediatric specialty networks in the nation with more than 100 physicians and 27 office sites. Today, CCP–GIL provides services in its new “green” office above Trader Joe’s at 6343 Penn Ave. in East Liberty and in the Ferri Professional Building in Murrysville.

Its physicians include Harold M. Glick, MD; Leroy S. Indorato, MD; Sheldon R. Levine, MD; Keith S. Somers, MD; Sunita N. Chaudhari, MD; Jamie M. McNanie, MD; Kim A. Ogle, MD; and James A. Shaver, MD.  All doctors are Fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics and are on staff at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.

Learn more about CCP-GIL.

Contacts:

Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919 or 412-692-5016, Marc.Lukasiak@chp.edu
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5502 or 412-692-5016, Melanie.Finnigan@chp.edu

Last Update
February 12, 2008
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Last Update
February 12, 2008
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