MISSION, Kan. — The American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA) will present its 2014 Education Conference Wednesday through Friday, Feb. 26-28, at the Orlando (Fla.) World Center Marriott Resort. This year’s focus is The Challenges and Opportunities of Marketing and Processing Reusable Textiles.
The day-and-a-half agenda includes sessions on accreditation versus certification, a new life-cycle assessment on incontinence products, as well as strategies and tactics to leverage the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s new ruling on red-bag waste for significant reduction in linen losses.
“There are many education programs for laundry operators, but if you are serious about providing healthcare linen services on any scale, this is a must-attend event,” says ARTA President Ed McCauley of United Hospital Services, Indianapolis. “Since 1982, ARTA has offered education and support for healthcare laundry executives, especially regarding surgical textiles.”
“We’re the experts and are happy to share our knowledge, whether you process 1 million or 30 million pounds a year, operate a for-profit or not-for-profit laundry, or just want to begin offering healthcare textile services.”
ARTA’s conference is open to members and nonmembers, as well as all sister associations. A Welcome Reception kicks off the conference Wednesday night (an optional plant tour of Disney’s laundry facility is offered Wednesday afternoon). The education program starts Thursday, with sessions running all day, and includes a group lunch. Attendees can mingle and network that evening during the Sponsors Reception. The program ends at noon Friday, and ARTA will host a golf outing that afternoon.
Notable on this year’s agenda are:
- A panel discussion between leaders of the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) and the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA) about the differences between, and benefits of, accreditation vs. certification. Representing HLAC is Rocco Romeo, CEO of HLS Linen Services, Ottawa, Canada. TRSA CEO Joe Ricci will represent his organization’s Hygienically Clean Certification for healthcare laundries. Each organization will provide an overview of their programs and take questions from the audience. McCauley will moderate the session.
- Presentation of a new life-cycle assessment (LCA) on reusable incontinence pads. Anyone offering reusable incontinence products knows they are a prime target for competitors offering disposable options, ARTA says. The goal of this LCA was to quantify the environmental impact and economic performance of reusable incontinence pads in comparison to single-use disposable products. BASF, an expert in Eco-Efficiency Analysis (EEA), conducted the LCA study in conjunction with Vintex, a manufacturer of reusable incontinence pads, ARTA says.
- An update on the ARTA/Association for Linen Management (ALM) red-bag waste initiative, along with examples of how laundries have successfully reduced the amount of linen disposed of as red-bag waste.
- Examples of topics to be included in the two-day education program include the future of infection control, an update on cotton/textile supply, the business environment for reusable textiles, and how to manage and control linen use and loss.
For more information, a complete agenda or to register online, visit www.arta1.com.