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September 21, 2018

Blankets, scrubs, pillow cases, and more

It's an ongoing "spin cycle" for Emory Healthcare's Laundry and Linen Services, a round-the-clock operation handling more than 600,000 pounds of laundry every month for 12 locations throughout the 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 linens are then returned to Clarkston for sorting and loading for delivery back to Emory. To minimize traffic delays and elevator usage, most drivers come in at midnight each night to bring clean linens back to the hospitals and clinics.

Totaling more than $5.5 million a year, the service is a crucial one for both providers and patients. "This is basically a 24/7 operation," says Jerry Lewis, director of the service. "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 the 29-member team on the service is very low. "Our staff members take a lot of pride in their job, with many of them staying with us until they reach retirement," she says.

Watch a short video showing how these team members do their job.—Janet Christenbury

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