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Allegheny

Linen service in UPMC mold report grew dramatically from small start

| Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, 4:18 p.m.
Air vents at Paris Healthcare Linen Services in DuBois, which provides linen services to hundreds of facilities, including UPMC
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Air vents at Paris Healthcare Linen Services in DuBois, which provides linen services to hundreds of facilities, including UPMC

Paris Healthcare Linen Services, the company at the center of a UPMC mold report, has grown exponentially during the past three decades.

The business that began as a family-owned dry cleaner in tiny DuBois has become a multimillion dollar entity with more than 800 employees providing services to customers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and West Virginia. The hospital linen service it provides to 180 hospitals, including 22 UPMC facilities, is its largest business. It also supplies uniform rentals to 4,000 customers.

No one from the company could be reached immediately for comment.

Paris CEO and President David Stern, 65, who joined his father's dry cleaning business in 1973, began diversifying almost from Day 1. In a profile of Stern featured in the December edition of Smart Business, the CEO said accountability and trust have been the keys to 38 consecutive years of growth.

Stern first launched a uniform rental service. In 1990, he began providing linen service to hospitals and nursing homes. Last year, the company laundered 44 million pounds of laundry for hospitals and health care systems, including UPMC, Conemaugh Health System in Johnstown and Pinnacle Health in Harrisburg.

Today, the company boasts facilities in DuBois, Williamsport and Ravenna, Ohio.

Records suggest Paris remains a closely held private enterprise with David Stern at the helm and Elizabeth A. Stern as treasurer. Clearfield County lists the company as its sixth-largest employer.

It's unclear when Paris began delivering linens to UPMC hospitals from its facility in DuBois, 100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Robert Cutone, a former UPMC sourcing analyst, left the health care system in 2011 to work for Paris. He became plant manager at the DuBois facility in May 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development records show Paris received a $3.25 million state loan for machinery and equipment and a $350,000 Pennsylvania Opportunity grant with the stated goal of expanding to create another 40 jobs across the state.

A January 2013 UPMC “Pathways to Excellence” newsletter in which Paris is referenced underscores the importance and cost of such services. The article reminded nurses that Paris, “which supplies linens for the majority of UPMC hospitals,” charged UPMC for unreturned linens.

Debra Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com

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