• 68°

Summertime is cleanup time

By Michelle Fortune

Healthcare Umbrella

I have always looked forward to spring cleaning. As winter weather subsides, and I put away the thick blankets and heavy coats in exchange for shorts and swimsuits, I feel a sense of renewal and accomplishment. Recently, when I pulled a pair of shoes from the top of my closet and the dust bunnies followed, I realized I may have neglected some portions of my spring-cleaning when my allergies started reacting to all the dust.

Summer can be a great time to do a bit of decluttering and cleaning inside with the comfort of an air conditioner! Creating clutter-free, clean areas in your home is good for both your mental and physical health. Dirt and dust may stimulate allergies, and now more than ever, ensuring that we are all working to prevent illness and infection is a great step in the right direction.

Here are a few tips to consider as you embark on summer cleanup projects: Focus first on areas that you may miss in your routine cleaning such as the top of the refrigerator, upper shelves in closets, mini-blinds, lamp shades or underneath beds. Deep cleaning in these areas may benefit you greatly as you try to reduce areas that trigger allergy symptoms. Since dust and cleaning products can irritate your sinuses, you may want to wear a face mask as you clean. Divide the tasks into small projects so you’re not so overwhelmed. Choose one area per day or week to deep clean then move on to the next area.

Another thing to consider as part of your summer cleaning goals is to commit to removing your shoes when you enter the house. This prevents both pollens and allergens from being tracked inside and is overall a great infection prevention technique. Decluttering for knick-knack collectors like me is difficult, but it really does allow you to have a cleaner environment. Donate all of those tiny collectibles to one of the local thrift stores for someone else to discover and enjoy. A thorough cleaning of showers, bathrooms and kitchen counters may also be in order to finalize your summer cleaning plan.

We also have summer projects starting here at St Luke’s Hospital. Soon, fresh mulch will be arriving to give a much-needed face lift to the St. Luke’s Hospital Medical Office Park, located next to the hospital. Our Medical Office Park houses a host of services including the Pain Center, Cancer & Infusion Center, Senior Life Solutions (outpatient intensive psychiatric program) and our new Urology Associates office. We want the Medical Office Park to be an inviting destination for you to come for specialty healthcare services, and we are working to improve its curbside and inside appeal for you.

With a fresh coat of paint and newly installed flooring at St. Luke’s Urology Associates, we are ready to welcome patients to our newest practice. Reframed artwork, donated by local artists over the years, will be displayed in various locations. Updated directional signage has been ordered, and we plan to initiate fall outdoor plantings at the Medical Office Park and hospital. If you are a local master gardener or have plantings you would be willing to share with us, we would love to hear from you!

When visiting our facilities, you may also notice our Environmental Services team sporting new cleaning backpacks. Thanks to a state grant, we were able to purchase cutting-edge cleaning units that allow spray down of surfaces and difficult-to-reach areas as an additional cleaning and sanitizing measure. These devices are making a difference by adding a more advanced level of cleaning to our regular, detailed cleaning protocols. We are so very excited to have these new resources.

As we continue our summer projects here at St. Luke’s, we will keep you posted on our progress, so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, or visit our website at SaintLukesHospital.com. We are eager to hear from you, connect with you and serve you.

Michelle Fortune can be contacted at Michelle.Fortune@slhnc.org.