While the annual conference seems like ages ago, I would like to thank the attendees and exhibitors for their outstanding turnout and support. The planning committee and AHE staff did a fantastic job of assembling a robust education program. If you were not able to join us, please visit the AHE website at www.ahe.org to reap the benefits by downloading select audio presentations and handouts from the program.

I would also like to extend special recognition to the exhibitors and the conference sponsors who make the show possible. Without their loyalty, support and confidence in the quality of the attendees, the show would not be the magnificent production it has become. This year's exhibition was the largest ever with 212 booths. The hotel also provided a wonderful venue and idyllic setting for the attendees to network and learn.

Rich Umbdenstock, president of the American Hospital Association (AHA), presented a keynote session with a simple but telling message: Change is coming and everyone needs to prepare for it regardless of the election outcome. What does that mean for us? You can be sure our organizations will be coming to us looking for value, relief and support. Be sure you are utilizing all the benefits your AHE membership offers by staying in tune with the AHA Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence (HPOE) platform. HPOE brings providers together to improve performance in several areas, including care coordination/readmissions, health care-associated infections, patient safety and new payment and care delivery models that promote quality and efficiency. Please go to www.hpoe.org for more information.

I would also like to encourage all conference attendees to complete the conference evaluations so we can tailor the 2011 conference education to meet your changing needs!

By the time this letter is published, the outcome of the AHE board of director elections will be complete. Thank you to all of the candidates for taking that next step toward assuming a volunteer leadership role in AHE. The foundation and success of our personal membership group has been the active participation of our members and I encourage each of you to take an active role in continuing to shape our direction. It is amazing how much can be learned when you are in regular communication with peers facing the same challenges and experiencing the same victories as you.

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

Sidebar - AHE insight

Awards presented at annual conference

The 2010 Member Recognition Awards were presented at the AHE Annual Conference & Healthcare Marketplace in September. AHE is delighted to honor the following award recipients:

  • The J. Owen Flynn Memorial Award winner was David Janik, CHESP, director, Paris Regional Medical Center in Paris, Texas.
  • The James Wolfbrandt Mentor Award was presented to John Fazio, CHESP, chief, environmental management, Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta, Ga.
  • The Environmental Stewardship Award was presented to John Rota, CHESP, director of environmental services, Concord Hospital in New Hampshire.
  • The Excellence in Safety and Quality Improvement in Environmental Services
    award was presented to the environmental services department at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt.

AHE's highest honor, The Phoenix Award, was bestowed upon Jim Roussos, CHESP, program manager for the Southeast Regional Medical Command in Ft. Gordon, Ga.

The Phoenix Award is presented annually to a member who has selflessly served in multiple AHE leadership roles to help advance the organization and profession.