Aspirus Health presents Jaclyn Zastrow with Climate Champion award

Jaclyn Zastrow earned Aspirus Health’s Climate Champion award for a converting a paper provider contracts process to digital.

Aspirus Health recently presented Jaclyn Zastrow, a senior executive assistant in corporate administration, with a Climate Champion award. In honor of Zastrow’s remarkable sustainability efforts, five trees are being planted in the Superior National Forest in her name.

Presented by the committee that oversees system-wide sustainability efforts at Aspirus Health, the award recognizes employees who identify and implement sustainable practices, and demonstrate leadership and innovation within their department through:

  • Reducing waste (material, energy, water, carbon equivalents and more).
  • Improving the patient experience and employee safety.
  • Supporting operational performance.

Awards are presented in two categories: Clinical and Non-Clinical. Aspirus Health presented its first Clinical Climate Champion award to Billie Schilling, RN, Aspirus Medford Hospital, in November 2021.

Zastrow earned the Climate Champion (non-clinical) award for recognizing a process could be performed in a more efficient and earth-friendly way, and making this change happen.

When Zastrow started processing provider contract documents in March 2021, the task required her to send duplicate paper copies of each contract, addendum, or memo to the provider along with a cover letter and self-addressed envelope. Document delivery was by interoffice mail, certified US Mail or FedEx.

“It felt time consuming and wasteful,” Zastrow says. “Two paper copies of each document, two envelopes and a cover letter, not to mention my time and the carbon emissions created by continued transporting of these items across the country by mail.”

Rather than stick with the status quo, Zastrow:

  • Explored electronic processing options.
  • Got stakeholders on board.
  • Developed a procedure for using a digital signature technology that makes it easy to send and sign documents online.

In the first two months of using the new digital process, Zastrow processed over 100 contract documents with only one needing to be mailed as a paper copy.

Among the environmental benefits of the digital process are reductions in wood and water usage, waste and carbon output.

“Everyone I’ve worked with in the process has been excited and appreciative,” she says. “I hope my story will inspire others to take similar efforts.”

Aspirus Health is committed to aggressive sustainability goals for the health of the communities it serves. Goals for the Aspirus system hospitals include reducing carbon emissions by 80% and reducing energy costs by 50%, both by 2030.