Last month, ASHES' 2010 planning committee met to create the agenda and program content for the September annual conference in Nashville, Tenn. It was an extremely productive weekend, and the members made significant contributions. The committee comprises members with a variety of backgrounds that encompass the majority of organizations represented within our membership. I want to extend my appreciation to our 2010 committee for their commitment of personal time and effort in developing a very robust program for our annual conference. Be sure to mark your calendar for Sept. 26-30.

The conference's workshops will be presented to accommodate a variety of learning styles. The sessions will offer lecture presentations from experts as well as panel and roundtable discussions about "hot buttons" we face in the daily operations within our organizations. Moreover, the committee is investigating the addition of at least one 3- to 4-hour certificate course similar to the Department of Transportation program that was offered in the past.

In response to last year's program evaluations, the committee raised the bar on the level and caliber of presentations for this year's conference. When we reviewed attendee feedback from last year's conference, there was a clear message requesting additional sessions, more challenging programming, interactive learning and case study sessions. Thanks for sharing your opinions and ideas as this gave me and the committee a foundation on which we were able to build.

Lastly, I would like to remind you to visit the ASHES Web site ( and utilize the newly updated bulletin board. The bulletin board provides a forum to ask questions that pertain to our profession and other members will provide their expertise to help solve your challenges.

All members with an e-mail address on file who had not previously registered for our Web site's members-only access have been assigned a user name and password to access the bulletin board, blogs, listserv and other ASHES-related social media. The staff has worked diligently to improve the ease of access to the site for our membership. I am impressed and hope you will be, too. It is a wonderful resource for industry-specific information.

Call me at 678-843-7081 or e-mail me at anytime!

Fiona Nemetz, CHESP
Director of Environmental Services, Transport, Safety and Parking
Saint Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta

Sidebar - ASHES insight

Valuable resources

ASHES offers valuable educational and career resources to environmental services professionals. They include the following:

  • Online infection control course. This course is designed for nonclinical staff in health care facilities. The program's content covers a wide spectrum of infection control topics‚—from a brief introduction to the microbiology of major organisms like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile to transmission and prevention. For more information, visit the ASHES' Web site at
  • Engage in social networking. In an effort to make the ASHES Web site login process more user friendly, ASHES and its bulletin board vendor have implemented a single sign-on process. Moving forward, users will only need to log in to to access the members-only bulletin board. Among the discussion areas: Administration and Finance, Design and Construction, Environmental Sanitation, General, Infection Control, Patient Transport and Throughput, Regulatory Compliance and Accreditation, Sustainability, Textiles and Linen Services, and Waste. Look for videos, blogs and other tools coming soon!