Alamance Regional Medical Center is asking for clothing donations to help with the growing number of patients leaving in hospital scrubs.
Star Chang is part of Leadership Alamance, a class run by the Alamance County Chamber of Commerce to educate people about issues in the community. According to Chang and her classmates, 500 patients have left Alamance Regional in medical scrubs in the last six months.
“When we heard about hundreds of people leaving within a six-month period being discharged from the hospital in paper scrubs, we wanted to learn how we could fix the problem,” Chang said.
Jordan Wood is a Foundation Associate for the Alamance Regional Charitable Foundation. After her department found out some doctors were paying for their patients to be able to leave in clothes, they knew it was time to make a change.
“Our goal here at the ARMC and the Charitable Foundation is to support our patients and be right there with them,” Wood said. “And we just felt like we weren’t doing that and we needed to step up.”
The Charitable Foundation applied for a grant with Leadership Alamance to start the clothing closet, a project that would accumulate new clothes — or funds to buy new clothes — for patients. Wood says most of the patients affected are involved in trauma or come in without clothes.
“There are car accidents where you have soiled or bloody clothing and they have to cut it off,” she said. “Any time you have patients that have been in a fire, a lot of times you see that. A lot of times it’s with behavioral health patients — they come in and they’re homeless and they’re dirty and we’ve even had patients come in that have been naked.”
Ashley Lane is one of Chang's classmates in Leadership Alamance. She said the class spent three weeks reviewing project submissions. But this issue stood out to them the most.
“I think we’ve all been there in those situations where you have a health issue and the emotional stress you’re feeling already,” Lane said. “And to imagine not having just the basic necessities and having to be discharged in scrubs is kind of heartbreaking.”
Because of health regulations, the clothing closet can only accept new clothing. Wood says monetary donations are also accepted and go towards buying new clothes to stock the closet.
Above all, Wood says the most important goal is restoring patients’ dignity.
“You don’t want to send anybody out you know feeling unsupported,” she said. “Our goal is to make sure when they leave for their next step or next journey that they felt cared for here.”
If you're interested in donating, you can contact Ashley Lane at 336-214-8864.