Emory University | Woodruff Health Sciences Center
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Spin Cycle

Behind the Scenes

By Janet Christenbury

Story Photo

9:30 pm Driver Eric Norman and other staff transport laundry to and from Emory Healthcare facilities at night to avoid Atlanta’s worst traffic congestion.


$5.5 million lbs of laundry a year

600,000 lbs of laundry every month

29 staff members

24/7 operation

 

Hospitals produce a lot of dirty laundry—sheets, towels, gowns, and other linens that must be cleaned and replaced daily.

Veronica Cruz Cornejo sorting laundry

12:00 am Veronica Cruz Cornejo at Crothall Healthcare in Rome, where laundry is cleaned, dried, and folded.


 

Laundry cart waits to be distributed

9:00 am Sanitized and folded laundry waits to be distributed on special carts at Emory University Hospital Tower.


 

Emory Healthcare’s Laundry and Linen Services works around the clock to handle more than 600,000 pounds of laundry every month. Its team serves a dozen locations throughout the Emory Healthcare system.

Each day, soiled linens are collected and taken to Emory’s distribution center in Clarkston, where they are loaded onto large trucks and driven to Crothall Healthcare in Rome, Georgia, for washing, sanitizing, drying, and folding. The laundry is then returned to Clarkston for sorting and loading for delivery back to Emory. To minimize traffic delays and elevator use, most drivers arrive at around midnight, bringing fresh linens to stock the hospitals and clinics in preparation for a new day.

The service, which costs more than $5.5 million a year, is a crucial one.

“This is basically a 24/7 operation,” says director Jerry Lewis. “If you have delays on the distribution of carts, then patient care could be affected, so staying on a tight and consistent schedule is really important.”

Sindy Charles, assistant director, says turnover among their 29-member team is low. “Our staff members take a lot of pride in their jobs, with many of them staying with us until they reach retirement,” she says.

 

 

 

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