Ekaterina A. Solovieva, MHA, began her journey at Children’s National in January of 2011 as an Administrative Resident during her Masters of Health System Administration studies at Georgetown University. The assignment was meant to last five months, but it didn’t take long before she fell in love with the organization and realized that this was where she wanted to build her career. Ekaterina aspires to become COO one day, and, as a result, she is always seeking opportunities that will allow her to become well-versed in hospital operations.
What has been your role at Children’s National?
My role at Children’s National has been evolving, and I can’t say that my current projects reflect much of my original job description. Room to grow professionally, is what I love about my job. I’m a very creative and visionary person, and my mentors have allowed me to share my ideas and run with them.
My most notable project this past year has been setting up a foundation for hospital-wide sustainability initiatives, by gaining support and excitement from leadership and staff, and designing and leading a sustainability program. Although it required support at first, sustainability quickly took off as the hospital’s top goal when our new CEO, Kurt Newman, MD, came on board. I also helped build a new environmental services department, and I am now working with leadership on building a new internal hospital-wide access/customer service program for our employees
Why do you think it is important to improve environmental sustainability at Children’s National?
Sustainability at Children’s National is about providing a holistic healthcare environment for our patients, providing a healthy work environment for our employees, and being environmentally responsible in a society with limited resources. Sustainability initiatives have the ability to improve healthcare quality, outcomes, and patient satisfaction scores. For example, there is research which shows that you can improve patient satisfaction, quality of care, and clinical outcomes, by providing access to gardens and nature in the healthcare facility. My team has identified roof spaces that are visible to our patients and are wonderful candidates for healing garden transformations.
What projects are underway to improve environmental sustainability?
Children’s National now has a single-stream recycling program for paper products, bottles, and cans; a battery and electronic waste recycling program; and a pharmaceutical waste program to keep such waste out of our waterways and landfills. My team also reviewed the cleaning products utilized in the environmental services department, and made strides to implement environmentally friendly products wherever it was possible.
Our organization is taking steps to reduce the purchase of Styrofoam and utilize only sustainable cups, plates, and cutlery in the cafeteria and catering services. Children’s National also is looking to implement green roofs and healing gardens in spaces available on the first and third floors, for which we are currently seeking donors. We are reviewing contracts for solar energy, are researching LED lights, and are planning to engage in energy brokerage. We are also planning to engage in appropriate waste disposal education, continue to procure environmentally friendly products, and implementing a farmer’s market.