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Cumberland laundry joining Island Health

CUMBERLAND, B.C- A Comox Valley laundry is going under the Island Health umbrella.

In a press release issued on Wednesday, Island Health announced that the Cumberland Regional Hospital Laundry Society has a “new relationship” with the health authourity, moving from a society to an internal operation of Island Health.

“This partnership is great news and demonstrates how Island Health and Cumberland Regional Hospital Laundry are working together, creating a climate of respect. I’m proud of the team coming together to benefit the health system,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix, in the release.

Murray Hutchinson, the General Support Services corporate director for Island Health, was quoted in the release, stating that the transition of the laundry facility was “seamless” and without impacts to patients or clients of the laundry.

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The release also indicated that the 49 employees of the laundry did not suffer any job losses in the transition.

“The Society was formed in 1995 by St. Joseph’s General Hospital (SJGH), Campbell River Hospital (CRH) and Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH) to purchase the laundry plant originally started in 1990 by Alberta-based K-Bro Linen Systems,” read the release.

“When Island Health formed in 2001, Island Health became the member of the Society in place of NRGH and CRH, while SJGH retained its membership. SJGH relinquished its membership in the Society when its acute care services were transferred to the new North Island Hospital Comox Valley campus in October of 2017.”

The statement from Island Health indicated that the laundry’s move will reduce administrative overhead, and the service will now be able to use the purchasing power of the health authourity. The two management positions and 47 unionized staff were also all offered transfers to Island Health.

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“I’ve always had a good rapport with Island Health as far as getting members’ issues and concerns addressed,” said Todd McAdam, Hospital Employee’s Union (HEU) Director of Membership Services in the release.

“They gave us lots of notice. We did it quite quickly. We got it out to the members and it was well received. Everything went pretty smooth.”

The plant runs seven days a week in Cumberland, and processes close to seven million pounds of laundry every year. Clients include the hospital campuses in the Valley and Campbell River, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni, residential care facilities in the mid-Island, medical clinics, health centres, and fire departments.

The changeover was celebrated with a barbeque on March 23.

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