Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) is the first healthcare organization to participate in the Air Aware Employer program, a project between the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). As an Air Aware Employer, HCMC will send out Air Quality Index alerts through our company communications system to let employees know when the air quality in the region has dropped to harmful levels. During an Air Alert, HCMC will encourage team members to take simple steps to protect personal health and wellness and reduce the number and duration of bad air days.
Poor air quality negatively impacts all residents and businesses in the region. According to a new report published by the MDH and the MPCA, in 2008 air pollution contributed to 2000 deaths, 400 hospitalizations and 600 emergency room visits in the Twin Cities. Unhealthy air also negatively impacts area employers with higher absenteeism, reduced work productivity and more extensive and expensive regulations.
Simple choices, such as taking transit, carpooling or bicycling to work not only offer cost savings and health benefits – they can also make a difference in our region’s air quality. That’s why HCMC offers commuter benefits to its employees like Metropass transit pass subsidy, payroll deduction for transit passes, bicycle storage, showers and lockers, and ZAP Twin Cities. To learn more about regional commuter programs and services, visit moveminneapolis.org.