Choosing educational programs and conferences that provide information for personal growth and resources that will keep facilities in step with changes in the health care field is a difficult task.

Several times a week I receive flyers and brochures that promote educational events. At first glance, many of these programs look inviting and seem to offer the information I need. However, from personal experience, I have discovered that the highest quality programming that best meets my needs is offered through my professional organizations. These programs are developed by my peers and offer real-world solutions to meet the challenges that I face, while educational programs offered by some for-profit, private groups that hire speakers often don't address the real issues.

With limited resources and time, my choice for an educational program is one that gives me a return on my time, monetary investment and helps the health care profession.

My choice would be an ASHE-sponsored program because ASHE's educational planning process is completed by ASHE members and developed using information collected from questionnaires generated by ASHE's 10,000-plus members. Additionally, ASHE reinvests the educational revenue into the health facilities profession by providing support for membership, Certified Healthcare Facility Manager exam waivers and future educational program development.

I strongly recommend the following ASHE programs to provide you with the best educational value and return for your dollar:

  • The 2011 International Summit & Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design & Construction™ (PDC) in Tampa, Fla., on March 13-16, 2011;
  • The 48th ASHE Annual Conference & Technical Exhibition in Seattle, Wash., on July 17-20, 2011;
  • ASHE regional educational meetings, developed by the ASHE-affiliated chapters and supported by ASHE staff and educational facilitators.

As you look to spend your educational dollar, invest it wisely. Get the best education you can and see how the money you spend is re-invested in research for future educational programs. Supporting ASHE is truly an investment in yourself and in your profession.

For detailed information on these programs, I encourage you to go to the ASHE website at and click on the "Learn" drop-down menu.

Terry L. Martin, CHFM, SASHE

Sidebar - ASHE insight

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 2010 guidelines cover minimum program, space and design needs for all clinical and support areas of hospitals, nursing facilities, freestanding psychiatric facilities, outpatient and rehabilitation facilities, and long-term care facilities. It includes new material on acoustics, patient handling and movement, patient safety, bariatric patient care, cancer treatment and emergency services.

• Health Facility Commissioning Guidelines. Written by health care professionals, this resource helps optimize construction or renovation delivery. It enables project teams to deliver cost-effective and efficient health care facilities that yield the desired return on investment. The guidelines can help ensure a successful transition from construction completion to sustainable, high-performance operation.

For information on purchasing either of these valuable references, go to