Looking back several years and reflecting on a conversation I had with my hospital CEO about the everyday problems we faced in our roles as health care professionals, I remember one outstanding piece of advice that he offered me that proved to be helpful in my 18 years as a plant operations director.

His advice was simple and straightforward: "Health care is a complicated field in which to work and, if you plan to survive and be successful, you must be willing to learn new technology, adapt to continuous change and, most important, surround yourself with good people."

Your first thoughts about these "good people" will probably be your colleagues within your workplace and, yes, they are critical resources for your survival and success. But keep in mind that limiting your resources and networking capabilities to a few good people within your workplace can put you in the same condition as a prisoner on a ball and chain.

My advice for surrounding yourself with good people is simple and inexpensive:

First, join and be an active member in your state chapter that pertains to your area of responsibility. Second, join ASHE and become an active member.

From personal experience, I promise that if you take this advice you will be surrounding yourself with good people.

For more than 50 years, ASHE has been the advocate and resource for continuous improvement in health care engineering and facilities management. With 10,000 members, ASHE is the largest association devoted to optimizing the health care physical environment. As a trusted industry resource, ASHE is committed to its members, the facilities they build and maintain, and the patients they serve.

In closing, I would like to mention the emphasis I placed on being an active member of ASHE. We can all be members of various organizations, but we must remember that if we wish to reap the benefits and rewards that are offered, we must get involved and be active members.

For additional information on becoming an active member of ASHE as well as ASHE's affiliated chapters, please contact Avis Gordon at agordon@aha.org.

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 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.