Case Study

Volunteers at Kedlec Regional Medical Center saved almost $100,000 by having volunteer sewers re-purpose and recycle linens

Kadlec Regional Medical Center logo

Hospital Sewing

Location: Richland, Wash.

Quadruple Aim: Reducing the per-capita cost of health care

Total number of volunteers: 493

Number of beds: 270

Goal: To make and mend items for the hospital.

Summary of program: To create & supply linens as needed or requested by physicians and other hospital caregivers.

Roles of the volunteers: 20 Auxilians met once a week and gave 5,000 hours of service in 2017. This saved the hospital almost $100,000 because of re-purposing and recycling linens. They also make hard to find and expensive items using their own designs for a fraction of the cost.

Roles of staff: Recruit, onboard & schedule suitable volunteers for the position. Provide the equipment (sewing machines, sergers etc.) and pay for any material that is not donated. Provide a dedicated workspace for 16 sewing machines.

Primary collaborators: ICU, Birth Center, Surgical Unit, Post Anesthetic Unit, Clinical Decision Unit, Nutrition Services, Diagnostic Imaging, Planetree, Emergency Department, Pediatrics, Outpatient Oncology, NICU, Acute Care, Inpatient Oncology, within the facility.

Community Partners: Union Gospel Mission, Back Pack project for homeless teenagers, Knights of Columbus

Outcomes and benefits:

  • Volunteers created or mended 16,289 items in 2017
  • We replace 4 machines a year at about $200 for each machine. Much of our fabric and other materials are donated from local businesses.
  • Provide 200+ comfort pillows weekly to units Provide 20 'heart' pillows weekly to cardiac patients Make 150 baby hats weekly
  • Pot holders for nutrition services using old towels and recycled material
  • Baby blankets for all those born during the holiday season
  • 52 quilts to the Back Pack program
  • Rice packs for all new employees at their Planetree Retreat
  • Neckrolls for outpatient oncology patients
  • Pediatric surgical caps
  • Repurpose material (sheets, towels, gowns, curtains)
  • In 2017, volunteers mended lead x-ray aprons, room curtains, room linens and cart covers, among other things. Mended three pallets of fitted sheets (stitching undone on the corners) that would have been thrown away otherwise. Redesigned 380 pediatric gowns removing seams and replacing with plastic snaps. This saved $25 per gown.

Future plans: We will continue to tailor our program to meet the needs of the hospital.


Meg Fallows

Volunteer Coordinator

(509) 942-2248