Clinica De Familia: How solar panels are producing community health.
Ron Bourgault, PE, LEED AP BD+C
Principal, Electrical Engineer
There’s a significant need for health energy throughout the world–to make the world a better place. As a Benefit Corporation, Mazzetti donates resources, time and funding, because we firmly believe every person on the planet should have access to quality healthcare. Through this work, operating costs for facilities are reduced and the savings can be used for crucial medical needs.
About 10 months later, the system has produced 26.557 kWh, resulting in:
Saving 20 tons of CO2
What can an extra $500 a month buy?
Just to put financial savings in context, $500/mo. buys:
A doctor´s monthly salary
A child’s participation in the clinic´s annual summer camp for children with HIV
A sex education program administered at three different high schools
Lab tests for 10 patients with HIV
The monthly cost of a nutritional program for 50 malnourished clients with HIV
The impact is real. The nutrition program, specifically for malnourished kids with HIV, has been extremely successful. The program provides them with home visits and education for the family, in addition to pediatric visits at the clinic and monthly food packets. Mina Halpern Lozada, Executive Director at the clinic, recalled one particular seven-year-old girl who has directly benefited from the program (her identity to remain anonymous for privacy purposes).
“In just less than a year, we’ve seen her weight improve substantially. She has a lot more energy, goes to school every day & is able to participate actively… And because she has a full stomach, it is easier for her to take her HIV medication, and has become much healthier overall.”
And not only is the clinic positively impacting the local community, it’s setting a standard for other clinics in the Dominican Republic to follow, to reap similar savings to inject back into the healthcare delivery.
Mina was also excited to share how this is really just the start in terms of sustainable practices. “We’ve created a ‘Green Team’ among staff (the solar panels being our crowning achievement to-date). Because community health is directly connected to the environment’s health, it’s a priority.”
So while they are brainstorming for their next big project, we’ll continue to track energy (MWh) production and respective savings.
For more information or interest for similar project, connect with me.