With all of the challenges and pressures you face in leading your environmental services (ES) team, it sometimes can be difficult to find time to fully recognize and celebrate the group’s progress and achievements. To aid in this important effort, Health Facilities Management and the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) have created the ES Department of the Year awards program.

For nearly a decade now, this program has recognized top-performing ES teams large and small for outstanding performance in the areas of cleaning, disinfecting, infection prevention, environmental sustainability and stewardship, use of technology, patient satisfaction, training and education, and more.

With the June 26 deadline approaching to submit an application for this year’s competition, we highly encourage you to share your team’s story and data. (For contest rules, a link to the entry form, and examples of winning entries, click here.)

The entry process requires some time but, as we’ve heard from past entrants and winners, documenting and explaining how your team has improved performance can be rewarding in its own right.

There are three eligible categories for winning entries based on hospital bed size. The judges will decide whether there is an appropriate winner in each of three categories:

• Fewer than 150 beds
• 150 to 450 beds
• More than 450 beds

Award winners receive a trophy, recognition at the AHE EXCHANGE conference in September in Grapevine, Texas, and are profiled in Health Facilities Management magazine. (Check out the AHE’s conference.)

To learn more about last year’s winner, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, click here.

Few things mean as much to employees as being recognized for outstanding work. We hope you’ll help us to continue to recognize the best work being done to improve safety and the patient experience by entering the 2015 ES Department of the Year awards program.