Lockers for Little Company of Mary Hospital

November 13, 2015

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The Little Company of Mary Hospital received an upgrade of their staff areas, including new soft-close lockers that keep noise to a minimum. Photos courtesy Scranton Products

By David Casal
Since entering the United States from Rome in 1893, the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary have upheld an extremely endearing tradition of tending to the sick throughout the entire Chicagoland area. This dedication has extended well beyond the building of the original Little Company of Mary Hospital in 1930, and into a $180-million campus transformation project that culminated in late summer 2014.

Key to this massive renovation in Evergreen Park, Illinois was the construction of the new 26942-m² (290,000-sf) West Pavilion patient tower. It was designed to combine the finest, state-of-the-art medical care with an aesthetic, spiritual environment committed to healing and peace of mind.  The new space includes the first Comprehensive Women’s Center for Life and Health, a waterwall, promoting patient and professional staff serenity, spacious private rooms filled with natural lighting, the original artwork of local artists, and the Family Birth Center (FBC), which provides roomy, tranquil housing for mother, baby, and families.

Another fundamental element to this monumental renovation project was the design of the clinical area and nurse’s lounge located adjacent to the West Pavilion’s maternity ward. Painstaking care was involved with the specification of materials and supplies that would not only increase staff efficiencies, but also ensure personal comfort. This included the selection of 500 beige high-density polyethylene (HDPE) lockers to replace the previous metal lockers, which were subject to dents, rust, and other maintenance problems. The Z-shaped design enabled them to be stacked top and bottom, greatly maximizing space by enabling two lockers to fit into the space of one. The new lockers each have a shelf, hangars, hooks, and shoe space.

Over a two-week period, 256 of the locker frames were installed. A base, slope top, and trim were included to complete the installation.

The lockers are available in many different colors, so the hospital went with the neutral choice of beige. These lockers can be designed in a multitude of ways—meaning they could fit any configuration in the hospital.

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High-density polyethylene (HDPE) lockers are scratch-, stain-, and graffiti-resistant.

“The first thing we noticed was the lockers were so quiet,” explains Grimm, an RN, nurse manager for Maternal Child Services. “The banging from the metal lockers could be heard outside of the lounge and into the halls, often creating a disruptive environment for mothers and their new arrivals. Noise is no longer a problem in the wing.”

A recent ASTM test confirms this, showing that metal lockers are 6.4 decibels when closed, which is three times louder than the hospital HDPE lockers.

“In addition, the new lockers are much more hygienic than metal because bacteria cannot live on the surface for very long,” said Grimm. “Crevices and rust found on metal lockers can harbor bacteria and viruses, but the HDPE lockers help prevent the spread of illnesses by being so easy to clean and wipe down. They even have a separate shelf for shoes, which helps to reduce the spread of bacteria and germs to scrubs, lab coats and other sanitary hospital attire.”

According to Grimm, the engineering staff finds HDPE lockers provide a decrease in maintenance time and costs and the material does not chip or scratch.  The new lockers are Greenguard Gold Certified to meet the strictest standards for indoor air quality (IAQ).

“It is very important, especially in pediatrics, that the indoor air quality be safe.” Grimm said.

She also acknowledged the new hospital’s recognition of the environment by using materials that meet the highest green standards.

Engineered for strength and durability, HDPE material withstands the harshest daily use, while remaining virtually maintenance-free. The lockers are impact-, dent-, and graffiti-resistant, as well as impervious to moisture and naturally resistant to bacteria, mold, and mildew.

David Casal is the director of sales and marketing for Scranton Products. He leads an international team of sales and marketing professionals that work closely with the architectural and end user communities in selecting high-density polyethylene (HDPE) materials. Casal can be contacted by e-mail at[3].

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