$48M Hospital Laundry Facility in Detroit Helps Battle Pandemic


A shared laundry in Detroit now serves the Henry Ford Health System, Michigan Medicine, and the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. // Photo courtesy Michigan Medicine

Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System, Ann Arbor’s Michigan Medicine, and Canton Township’s Saint Joseph Mercy Health System today unveiled their joint Detroit laundry facility valued at $ 48 million to help fight COVID-19 – Help pandemic.

The eco-friendly, 115,000 square foot facility has a capacity of 78 million pounds of healthcare items, including personal protective equipment such as face masks, gloves, and robes. This is a life saving must for healthcare providers. It also cleans sheets, sheets, blankets, pillowcases, scrubs and towels for inpatient and outpatient use. It’s also one of the largest shared medical laundries in the country, and more than twice the size of the previous laundry. Both its size and capabilities are expected to save the facility significant amounts of money and better meet the needs of the three health systems.

“Our collaboration is a real model of how healthcare institutions can work together to achieve efficiency and drive economic renewal in our region,” said Bob Riney, President of Health and COO of Henry Ford. “Laundry is for our patients and team members is critical to our day-to-day operations and this investment will have a significant impact in the years to come.

Since opening June 1, the facility has had two shifts in a six-day work week and is on track to service approximately 34 million pounds of laundry by the end of the year. This includes a new item of clothing, a washable medical gown, which expands the range for frontline workers and can be washed 100 times before being thrown away.

“Laundry may not seem exciting, but this project is so good for our city in so many countries
Ways, ”says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “We ensure that our frontline healthcare workers and the patients they serve have clothes and bedding cleaned to the highest standards in the fight against COVID-19. It has also taken another piece of empty land and put it back into productive use, which benefits the community and employs more Detroiters. “

The facility combines automated technology and sustainable initiatives to minimize operating costs and environmental footprint. Laundry bags are transported on a monorail, and a wastewater heat recovery system collects the heat from the wastewater and uses it to preheat fresh water, thereby reducing natural gas consumption. The system recycles water while using less than a gallon of water per pound of laundry washed. Traditional household washing machines use an average of 3 gallons of water per pound of laundry.

The facility is owned and operated by Metropolitan Detroit Area Hospital Services, a Michigan not for profit, and employs approximately 150 people. Since MDAHS issued $ 48 million in bonds to fund the facility, no government funds were used to fund construction.

Henry Ford acquired the vacant 10 acre industrial estate in 2017 after talks about a new shared laundry began in 2016 with a commitment to keep the Detroit facility. Construction work began in 2019 and was completed on schedule in spring 2020.


Dusty Kennedy