Where do all those clean linens, gowns, sheets, blankets come from when you go to the hospital?
For Intermountain Healthcare patients, they come from the Intemountain Healthcare Central Laundry, the largest commercial laundry facilities in the state and one of the most advanced laundry services in the nation.
The Intermountain Central Laundry processes more than 20 million pounds of laundry each year. One day alone, the facility processes 36 tons of laundry – the equivalent of an average family’s laundry done over the course of a lifetime.
Located in Woods Cross, the laundry is reaching its goal of minimizing its impact on the environment by not only making its operation more energy and water efficient, but also by using equipment that is environmentally-friendly.
The Intermountain Healthcare Central Laundry facility beganoperating in 1979, originally serving just five Intermountain hospitals at the time. Now the 70,000 square foot facility, Utah has grown to become the largest healthcare laundry service in Utah and surrounding states.
The original hospitals served by the laundry included Cottonwood, LDS Hospital, McKay-Dee, Primary Children’s Hospital, and Utah Valley Hospital. The building now serves all the laundry needs for most all Intermountain facilities (24 hospital and 160 clinics), as well as many other medical clinic groups and hospitals in Utah.
Laura Thurston, is operations manager at Intermountain Healthcare Central Laundry.
The laundry has been a diversity leader which includes a sponsored work program with The Columbus Community Center in Salt Lake City to help people with disabilities gain vital work skills.
‘we have about 12 countries currently represented here and we partner with Columbus Community Center and they bring 15 individuals with special needs. They are integrated in our workforce and we depend on them to help get our work done everyday. They’re dedicated to make sure the laundry they provide have that warm hug and sense of comfort.’
The laundry facility also employs immigrants from across the globe – over two dozen different languages are spoken with many inspiring stories from the employees. The Central Laundry services has also been a place where employees like to stay, with an average tenure of approximately 15 years.
This is not your typical laundromat.
The system is highly automated, ensuring correct processes per fabric type while reducing its chemical footprint. The Intermountain Central Laundry also has worked to keep costs in check even with the new automation. Comparing between 1990 and today, their costs are only half a cent more per pound of laundry cleaned.
The Central Laundry has also been dedicated to helping communities throughout Utah. This includes no-cost laundry services for the Ronald McDonald House and the Annual Rotary Club Coat Drive.