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Mercury Elimination Leadership Program (HELP)

What is HELP?

The Mercury Elimination Leadership Program (HELP) recognizes California Hospitals eliminating mercury with a ceremony and presentation of a Banner and Certificate of Appreciation. The HELP program also recognizes hospitals that have the vision to build their facility mercury-free.

Virtual mercury elimination is defined in the memorandum of understanding between the American Hospital Association and the U.S. EPA Council as “the elimination of the disposal or improper discharge of mercury from a facility and the replacement of existing products which contain mercury with those that are mercury-free or as mercury-free as possible.” HELP supports the national goal to virtually eliminate health care mercury wastes.

When mercury-containing fever thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, and other health care products become waste, the mercury re-enters the environment through landfill gas releases and ground water leaching. Mercury elimination helps hospitals meet strict mercury wastewater treatment discharge limits.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control, the Department of Health Services, the California Healthcare Association, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, California Water Environment Association, Local Governments, and Publicly Owned Treatment Works promote the HELP Program. Our project goal continues to be the virtual elimination of mercury in California hospitals.

How to Get Your Award

To receive your California Mercury Elimination Leadership Program Certificate of Appreciation and Banner, submit the HELP MERCURY TOTALS one page Excel spreadsheet and the Hospital Certification Form to your local county government HELP representative. Hospitals that are built mercury-free only submit the “Built Mercury-Free” Hospital Certification Form.

Upon your request, the Department of Toxic Substances Control also nominates your hospital to receive the Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E) “Making Medicine Mercury-Free Award.”

HELP Training

Attend a Free Workshop on Pollution Prevention for Medical Facilities

Contact your local county government HELP representative for information on scheduled workshops on mercury elimination and disposal.

Hospital Award Recipients

Virtually mercury-free hospitals receive a Certificate of Appreciation and Banner. See the Hospital Award Photos at the ceremonies acknowledging this accomplishment.

2005

  • Alhambra Hospital Medical Center, Alhambra
  • Downey Regional Medical Center, Downey
  • Eden Medical Center -San Leandro Hospital Campus, San Leandro
  • John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek
  • Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center, Bellflower
  • Kaiser Permanente Hayward Medical Center, Hayward
  • Kaiser Permanente Medical Center Baldwin Park, Baldwin Park
  • Kaiser Permanente Medical Center Fremont, Fremont
  • Kaiser Permanente Medical Center San Diego, San Diego
  • Kaiser Permanente Medical Center Santa Clara, Santa Clara
  • Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, Oakland
  • Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center, Panorama City
  • Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Medical Center, Redwood City
  • Kaiser Permanente Richmond Medical Center, Richmond
  • Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center, Riverside
  • Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Medical Center, Sacramento
  • Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco
  • Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center, San Rafael
  • Kaiser Permanente Santa Teresa Medical Center, San Jose
  • Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center, Harbor City
  • Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center, Sacramento
  • Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco Medical Center, South San Francisco
  • Kaiser Permanente Sunset Medical Center, Los Angeles
  • Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center, Vallejo
  • Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek Medical Center, Walnut Creek
  • Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles
  • Mammoth Hospital, Mammoth Lakes
  • Marian Medical Center, Santa Maria
  • Mercy Medical Center, Redding
  • Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center, Mission Viejo
  • Petaluma Valley Hospital, Petaluma
  • Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, Whittier
  • Queen Of The Valley Hospital, Napa
  • Redwood Memorial Hospital, Fortuna
  • Saint Louise Regional Hospital, Morgan Hill
  • Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, San Jose
  • Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Santa Rosa
  • St. Agnes Medical Center, Fresno
  • St. Elizabeth Community Hospital, Red Bluff
  • St. Joseph Hospital, Eureka
  • St. Joseph Hospital, Orange
  • St. Jude Medical Center, Fullerton
  • St. Mary Medical Center, Apple Valley
  • Sutter Medical Center Of Santa Rosa, Santa Rosa
  • Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, Tracy
  • Sutter Warrack, Santa Rosa
  • Tulare District Healthcare System, Tulare
  • Ucsf/Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, San Francisco
  • University Of California San Diego Medical Center, San Diego
  • Veterans Affairs Central California Healthcare Systems, Fresno
  • Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare Systems, San Diego

2004

  • Anaheim Memorial Medical Center, Anaheim
  • Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, Salinas
  • Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego

2003

  • Alta Bates Summit Medical Center -Ashby Campus, Berkeley
  • Alta Bates Summit Medical Center -Herrick Campus, Berkeley
  • Alta Bates Summit Medical Center -Summit Campus, Oakland
  • City Of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte
  • Eden Medical Center, Castro Valley
  • Marin General Hospital, Greenbrae
  • Memorial Hospital Los Banos, Los Banos
  • Memorial Medical Center Modesto, Modesto
  • Mills Peninsula Health Services, Burlingame
  • Novato Community Hospital, Novato
  • Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, Auburn
  • Sutter Coast Hospital, Crescent City
  • Sutter Davis Hospital, Davis
  • Sutter Delta Medical Center, Antioch
  • Sutter General Hospital, Sacramento, Sacramento
  • Sutter Lakeside Hospital, Lakeport
  • Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center, Santa Cruz
  • Sutter Memorial Hospital, Sacramento, Sacramento
  • Sutter Roseville Medical Center, Roseville
  • Sutter Solano Medical Center, Vallejo

2002

  • Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center, Fontana
  • Kaiser Permanente Fresno Medical Center, Fresno
  • Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center, Roseville
  • Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center, Santa Rosa
  • Stanford Hospital And Clinics, Stanford

Built Mercury-Free Awards

Hospitals that have the vision to build their hospitals mercury-free also receive a Certificate of Appreciation and Banner acknowledging this accomplishment.

  • Kaiser Permanente Medical Center Fremont, Fremont

HELP Award Photos

HELP awards to hospitals voluntarily achieving the goal of virtual mercury elimination. Virtual mercury elimination is defined in the memorandum of understanding between the American Hospital Association and the U.S. EPA Council as “the elimination of the disposal or improper discharge of mercury from a facility and the replacement of existing products which contain mercury with those that are mercury-free or as mercury-free as possible.”

MaryLove Rueda of Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, David Hartley and Mary Kathleen Pride of DTSC

MaryLove Rueda of Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, David Hartley and Mary Kathleen Pride of DTSC


Jack McGurk of DHS and Tracy Robles of Sutter Health

Jack McGurk of DHS and Tracy Robles of Sutter Health showing the mercury elimination progress of Sutter Health System hospitals


City of Hope/Beckman Research Institute, November 20, 2003

November 20, 2003, City of Hope/Beckman Research Institute Mike Samoylenko and Nasr Gergis of City of Hope, Steve Kubo of DHS


Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Mercury Award

March 21, 2006, Linda Mowry of Santa Clara County Medical Center and Stephen Lowes of San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant

Downey Regional Medical Center Mercury Award

February 9, 2006, Downey Regional Medical Center (DRMC) Safety Officer Stephen Cuthbertson and Los Angeles County Sanitation District Preeti Ghuman and Heather Lamberson display the banner recognizing DRMC for voluntarily eliminating the use of mercury.

Certificates of Appreciation are presented to hospital systems voluntarily achieving a removal rate of 75% or greater. “Cooperative efforts such as this go a long way toward reaching the goals of Governor Arnold Schwarzeneger’s environmental action plan to reduce toxic waste in the state,” points out Leonard Robinson, Chief Deputy Director for the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).

HELP Partners

Local Governments and Hospitals are working together to eliminate mercury from the healthcare environment. Many of California’s hospitals, having achieved the goal of becoming a mercury-free facility, received their award. Local governments are working with their hospitals in mercury elimination. Apply for your award by following the easy steps.

Publicly Owned Treatment Works

  • Castro Valley Sanitary District – Castro Valley
  • Central Contra Costa Sanitary District – Martinez
  • City And County Of San Francisco, Oceanside Water Pollution Control Pl – San Francisco
  • City And County Of San Francisco, Southeast Water Pollution Control Pl – San Francisco
  • City Of Arcata – Arcata
  • City Of Bakersfield – Bakersfield
  • City Of Burbank (united Water) – Burbank
  • City Of Corona – Corona
  • City Of Delano Wastewater Treatment Plant – Delano
  • City Of Escondido – San Marcos
  • City Of Eureka – Eureka
  • City Of Hayward Water Pollution Source Control – Hayward
  • City Of Lompoc Water Treatment Plant – Lompoc
  • City Of Los Angeles Bureau Of Sanitation – Whittier
  • City Of Merced – Merced
  • City Of Oceanside Waste Reclamation Facility, La Salina – OCEANSIDE
  • City Of Oceanside Waste Reclamation Facility, San Luis Rey – Oceanside
  • City Of Palo Alto Rwqc Plant – Palo Alto
  • City Of Richmond Sewer Treatment Plant – Richmond
  • City Of San Diego – San Diego
  • City Of San Luis Obispo – San Luis Obispo
  • City Of Santa Monica – Santa Monica
  • City Of Santa Rosa – Santa Rosa
  • City Of Vacaville – Elmira
  • County Of Santa Cruz, Dept. Of Public Works – Santa Cruz
  • Delta Diablo San District – Antioch
  • East Bay Municipal Utilities District – Oakland
  • Eastern Municipal Water District – Perris
  • Inland Empire Utilties Agency – Chino
  • Livermore Water Reclamation Plant – Livermore
  • Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency – Marina
  • Oro Loma Sanitary District – San Lorenzo
  • Redding – Redding
  • Riverside Regional Water Quality Control Plant – Riverside
  • Roseville Wastewater Treatment – Roseville
  • Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant – Elk Grove
  • San Elijo Joint Powers Authority – Cardiff
  • San Francisco Puc -Berm – San Francisco
  • San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant – San Jose
  • Sanitation Districts Of Los Angeles County – Whittier
  • Templeton Community Service District – Templeton

Hospital Systems

HELP Additional Resources

These documents are tools to assist you in identifying the mercury, documenting its removal from your health care facility, and calculating the amount removed.

The following are other useful pollution prevention links: