As director of business operations, laundry, asset and fleet management at Ascension Wisconsin, George Alex watched laundry operations grow from a manual process servicing two hospitals – St. Joseph and St. Michael – to operating a modern facility serving all of Ascension Wisconsin.
Alex joined the laundry team in 1972 during his senior year in high school. He worked part time, primarily weekends and summer months, on the laundry line and continued to work in a variety of roles while attending college at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He completed his degree in sociology and joined the laundry services division after graduation.
Sanitized laundry is a component of infection prevention in hospitals. Alex oversees the cleaning of 11 million pounds of laundry a year. His entire staff of 85 has been hired through Goodwill’s TalentBridge program.
“George is an innovative leader,” said Vanessa Freitag, vice president of pharmacy at Ascension Wisconsin. “Early in the pandemic when there was a global shortage of disposable isolation gowns, he brought out some retired washable gowns and, after making some alterations, was able to put them to use.”