MCI Davis Earth Day HERO-2


Caring for Patients and the Environment at Miami Cancer Institute

Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute

Miami Cancer Institute is one of just a handful of cancer centers around the country to receive the prestigious LEED-certified facility designation, says an executive at the cancer center, part of Baptist Health South Florida. Issued by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification recognizes buildings with proven sustainability achievements, focusing on responsibly using resources such as water and building materials.


“As a Center of Excellence for cancer care, Miami Cancer Institute has always been mindful of our relationship with the environment,” says Mark Davis, M.D., M.S., the cancer center’s chief operating officer. “We understand that our operations affect not just our patients’ health but also the world around us.”


Mark Davis MD

Mark Davis, M.D., M.S., chief operating officer at Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute



Miami Cancer Institute, which opened its doors six years ago on the Baptist Hospital campus and today offers some of the most advanced cancer care available anywhere, checks off all of the boxes for LEED-certified buildings, according to Dr. Davis.


LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification recognizes that a building was designed to be a responsible steward of the environment by:


·      Costing less through responsible resource usage

·      Operating more efficiently

·      Minimizing carbon emissions

·      Creating healthy spaces for people to gather


“At Miami Cancer Institute, we have created a healthy and sustainable environment for our patients, our staff and our community,” Dr. Davis adds. “It is a beautiful, patient-centric facility that allows us to provide the very best cancer care, and to do so in a sustainable manner.”

Conserving water at the Institute

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hospitals account for nearly seven percent of all water used by larger commercial institutions. And a large portion of that water is used for cooling systems and medical processes.


Miami Cancer Institute has taken steps to reduce water consumption without compromising care. For example, its “smart cooling” system repurposes the condensation from our heating and air conditioning systems. “Rather than letting that water evaporate into the air, we collect it in cooling towers and use that cool water to remove heat from our building. By reusing the water, we use less energy and resources to cool the facility,” Dr. Davis points out.

Using energy efficiently

It takes a lot of energy to power a hospital, from the energy needed to keep the lights on to the power needed to operate state-of-the-art medical equipment. “That’s why we strive to use our electricity resourcefully,” says Dr. Davis, adding that heating and cooling systems at Miami Cancer Institute use “variable frequency drives” to help avoid using large amounts of energy at once.


Dr. Davis adds that Miami Cancer Institute also features automated systems to adjust the interior climate for different times of the day. “At night, for example, when there are fewer people in the building, our systems can turn off lights or adjust the temperature, allowing us to use less energy,” he says.

Green spaces promote healing

Dr. Davis says that Miami Cancer Institute’s focus on the patient and the environment doesn’t end the moment one steps outside, where a landscaped garden overlooking a tranquil pond offers a place for patients, visitors and staff to sit and enjoy the quiet solitude that nature offers.


MCI Lakeside Garden


And just across the street, the cancer center maintains a 4,000-square-foot Grow2Heal garden that helps support its sustainability efforts and its ability to provide quality patient care.


“Through our Grow2Heal program, which Thi Squire manages here at Miami Cancer Institute and several other Baptist Health hospitals, we grow herbs and fresh vegetables that our dining services and nutrition team use to create nutritious meals for patients,” says Dr. Davis. “We also use water from our nearby pond to keep these spaces green without using extra water.”


MCI Earth Day Garden


Patients and visitors are welcome to wander the Grow2Heal garden, Dr. Davis adds, noting that spending time outdoors amid nature can improve mental well-being and promote healing. “Spending time outdoors can be so therapeutic, especially for a patient who’s battling cancer and has to spend hours and hours in treatment,” he says.



Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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