Honoring its ongoing commitment to caring for the environment and to its values of stewardship and community, SSM Health has pledged to plant more than 3,000 trees this year in the neighborhoods it serves across the system’s four-state footprint.

The environmentally friendly initiative launched the week of Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 26) in collaboration with the Arbor Day Foundation.

"As a Mission-based Catholic organization, improving the health and well-being of our communities – including natural and man-made environments – is a key responsibility,” said Laura Kaiser, President/CEO of SSM Health. "By committing to make our campuses and our communities greener, we are contributing to the well-being of our patients, employees, and all those we serve, and remaining consistent with the vision of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary, our founding congregation.”

SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital- Shawnee recently supplied 15 fruit trees to the local Community Garden at Kickapoo Park. The garden was started last year by the Blue Zones Project for Pottawatomie County. Blue Zones’ ultimate goal was to add fruit trees to create an additional resource and learning experience for fresh fruits to add to their fresh vegetable garden. The garden is now managed by Community Renewal of Shawnee.

For this project, St. Anthony Hospital - Shawnee had the pleasure of working with community partners, including Shawnee Feed, AT&T Lineman, and Community Renewal of Shawnee.