BOISE, Idaho — St. Luke’s Health System unveiled a major expansion project last week that will greatly increase its capacity for laundry services, the healthcare system reports.
The $11.5 million expansion project created a new central laundry that will open in March. It and a new $6.3 million reference laboratory are located in adjacent buildings just off Federal Way in Boise.
The former Micron Technology production facilities have been transformed into Idaho’s largest and most environmentally friendly laundry facility and one of the region’s premier laboratories, St. Luke’s says.
The new laundry replaces an outdated facility on the Boise campus that was built in the 1940s. The location allows for a much better working environment for employees while providing much-needed additional capacity, St. Luke’s says.
The facility is equipped with the latest in advanced automation technology and has redundant systems that will provide laundry services to all major healthcare providers in the region, including St. Alphonsus Health System and all St. Luke’s Health System facilities.
The laundry features the latest in high-tech equipment from Pellerin Milnor Corp., Gurtler Industries, FLM Fairfield Laundry Machinery, Chicago Dryer Co. and others, which will allow for the process to be almost fully automated. Employees will sort the laundry, but it will move automatically through the washing and drying process.
Processing capacity has more than doubled, and the advanced design will offer significant savings on utility and water costs, St. Luke’s says.
As an example, the existing laundry processes approximately 7.3 million pounds annually, using 2.5 gallons of water per pound. In the new facility, a pound of laundry will require only .35 gallons of water — a reduction of nearly 90%.
The laundry and lab are the first of many expected expansions for St. Luke’s Health System. The new $250 million St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center is set to open in May, and over the next decade the healthcare system expects to invest $1.27 billion in new facilities and services.