UCSF Sustainability Stories

Spotlight on UCSF LivingGreen Champions:  Gerti Partsch-Miller

This series is part of our effort to recognize the hard work of UCSF staff and students in our journey to sustainability.  Thank you for your efforts!  This piece focuses on Gerti Partsch-Miller, a nurse at the Mt. Zion.

Partsch-Miller walks the talk when it comes to extending patient care to care of the planet.  She has embraced the challenge to lead her department in its efforts to recycle and reuse.  In her role as a healthcare provider to peri-operative patients at the Mt. Zion Operating Room, she uses her professional voice to draw attention to the impact peri-operative services has on the health of the environment.  She believes everyone in the peri-operative setting has an opportunity to become aware of and participate in programs that reduce the operating room’s burden on the environment. 

UCSF Medical Center participates in reuse programs such as MedShare.  Upon learning of the program, Partsch-Miller lead the campaign to get the Mt. Zion Operating Room involved in the program.  She researched the details of an appropriate collection site, a method to transport the collection box to the Parnassus Campus on a weekly basis, along with setting up a safe and suitable receiving site.  She recruited a core team of staff to facilitate the ongoing success of the department’s involvement in the reuse program.  She has educated the peri-op staff about the reuse program by using one-on-one conversations, presenting the program at staff meetings and including an article in the department newsletter.  In addition, she occasionally volunteers at MedShare sorting medical supplies and enthusiastically invites staff members to join her.

She is currently investigating the infrastructure of implementing a ‘blue wrap’ recycling program in the Mt. Zion Operating Room.