Teamwork in the Face of a Tornado; NOVO's Nashville-area Linen Processing Plant Secures HLAC Accreditation Following a Natural Disaster.

The NOVO Health Services plant in Madison, Tenn., just outside Nashville, announced it has earned HLAC accreditation again this year. The nonprofit Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC), inspects and accredits facilities that process reusable textiles for hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare establishments. Its accreditation is based on "the highest, professionally recognized standards for patient safety and infection prevention." Plants that process healthcare linens and receive HLAC accreditation like many of NOVO's facilities demonstrate a "commitment to excellence, and certification adds that extra stamp of validation that guarantees the highest hygiene and safety standards."

This year's accreditation from HLAC is especially sweet as the Nashville-area plant faced a natural disaster and its aftermath less than a month before its inspection. On December 9th of last year, the plant and surrounding area were struck by a tornado. A tractor trailer at the plant was tipped over, a few carts in the soil area were flipped on their sides, and several trees had fallen including three that fell onto the adjacent street. Luckily, the NOVO facility experienced only minor damage, and no one on-site was injured, but the plant was left without power.

"We were extremely fortunate to not have damage like several of the buildings around us did," remembers See Lor, Operations Manager for the Madison plant. "Several of the businesses on our street suffered major damage or total destruction."

When the area was under a tornado warning, all team members on-site were accounted for and were moved to the facility's breakroom that also serves as the plant's tornado shelter. All stayed in the area until they were given the all clear and the storm had passed. The facility then secured a generator and some lights, and other nearby NOVO plants sent backup supplies and linens so they could continue to fulfill that day's orders. By the second night after the storm, they were able to hook up three generators and get the plant up and running at 50%.

The joint efforts by Lor, her second shift supervisor Apple Young, Denisha Woodard (Lead), and Floyd Fondren (Scale Tech) were instrumental in not only keeping all employees safe, but in filling all remaining orders for that weekend to ensure their customers had no interruption in service.

The Madison plant received its HLAC accreditation on January 5th, less than one month after the storm. NOVO Health Services is especially proud of the team in Madison for its leadership and dedication in the face of a natural disaster, and the commitment of all its facilities to infection prevention and patient comfort. For more information on NOVO Health Services and its commitment to excellence in healthcare linen management, please visit