With the beginning of spring, our world seems to experience rebirth and renewal. Trees begin to bud, the grass turns green and we hear the familiar sounds of birds as they return to their summer homes. We also feel a sense of renewal as we stop, pause and set forth a list of tasks that we need to accomplish in our personal lives.

For many of us, it is as simple as a "spring cleaning," while others of us examine our surroundings and make a list of things we want to get done as we prepare for the summer months that lie ahead.

I think this is one of the best times of the year because it is a time that holds the promise of new beginnings. I often have thought about the impact that spring has on my mindset relative to my personal life, and I have come to realize that this feeling needs to encompass my professional life as well.

The nature of our jobs often forces us to develop more of a reactive than proactive mindset. We are called upon for "repairs" or when staff and patients need something from us. We know that there are times when we can plan for the future, but how many of us really take time for ourselves and look for ways to experience professional renewal by taking advantage of educational programs that expose us to new ideas, best practices and updates on the issues that impact the entire health care profession? We need to do this; because if we don't address our education and training, no one will do it for us.

Recently, I was thinking about these issues when I received information on the 47th ASHE Annual Conference & Technical Exhibition, which will be held July 11-14 in Tampa, Fla. Eventually, I came to the realization that this conference is the one time of year that all of us can come together as professionals and experience this sense of professional renewal. By meeting with our colleagues, we are able to open dialogues and discover that we are not alone—we have fellow professionals who can help us overcome the many challenges that we face.

So, give your career a sense of renewal by taking the time now to log on to our Web site at www.ashe.org and look over this year's convention program. Then, sign up to take advantage of this great learning and networking opportunity. Spring comes only once a year, so make this one count for you, your profession and your organization.

Terry L. Martin, CHFM, SASHE

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Resources available

ASHE offers a number of valuable resources at special prices to professionals in the industry. They include the following:

  • Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities. The Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) has partnered with ASHE to publish the FGI's Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities. As the largest personal membership group of the American Hospital Association, ASHE represents a diverse network of professionals dedicated to their work in the health care industry, including health facility managers, engineers, architects and contractors. For information on purchasing the Guidelines in book or CD form, click here.
  • Construction DVD. ASHE has released "Today You are Health Care," the second DVD in the Healthcare Construction Television (HCTV) series. It is a tool for orienting construction workers and vendors on the complexities of working within a health care facility. Buyers also have access to supplementary materials. To preview the DVD and order a copy, click here.