An estimated 3,200 health care facility professionals attended the 52nd ASHE Annual Conference & Technical Exhibition held at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston, which concluded Wednesday. 

From left: Chad Beebe, AIA, SASHE, deputy executive director for advocacy, ASHE; Tim Adams, FASHE, CHFM, CHC, director of leadership development, ASHE.

More than 300 exhibitors featuring many of the top products and latest technology and services for the health care facility industry kept the exhibit hall busy.

Three days of top educational sessions given by industry experts frequently drew standing-room-only audiences at the conference; however, plenty of time for networking was provided at daily social events, including an outing to the famed Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.   

At a session Tuesday, it was announced that the Joint Commission has collaborated with ASHE to provide a free online resource to help facility staff comply with the top eight physical environment standards that are frequently cited during Joint Commission surveys of hospitals and other health care facilities.

The Joint Commission has created a physical environment portal to house resources related to these top issues. ASHE will provide resources on a new Focus on Compliance website, including tools, best practices and technical documents.

Every two months, ASHE and the Joint Commission will focus on a new standard, with the previous information archived to create a library of compliance resources. The first resource on utility systems will be available in August at

"Consistent compliance with the environment of care and life safety standards is an excellent indicator of high reliability in building systems," says Dale Woodin, CHFM, FASHE, senior executive director, ASHE. "ASHE is proud to collaborate with the Joint Commission to provide focused tools and resources to assist organizations in achieving compliance and high reliability."

The new resource was announced at a session called "Joint Commission Update: Addressing the Top 10 Findings," which was presented by Woodin and George Mills, MBA, FASHE, CEM, CHFM, CHSP, director, department of engineering, the Joint Commission. Mills discussed new Joint Commission standards and the survey process, and reviewed the top 10 common findings of noncompliance found during health care facility surveys. 

Presentation of prestigious awards was another conference highlight. The Crystal Eagle Award was given to Michael Kuechenmeister, FASHE, CHFM, CHC, director of plant operations, West Chester (Ohio) Hospital.

Often referred to as ASHE's "lifetime achievement award,"it recognizes those who have been instrumental in the creation and optimization of healing environments. Kuechenmeister became a nationally recognized leader in helping several southern hospitals stay open during Hurricane Katrina.

The President's Award was given to Walt Vernon, PE, FASHE, CEO of Mazzetti, a national consulting and engineering firm in San Francisco. The award is chosen by the sitting president to an individual who has made significant contributions to the health care facility management profession and made extraordinary contributions in support of ASHE.

For a complete list of award winners go to the ASHE website.

In his presentation titled "Unleash Your Best Work Every Day," keynote speaker Todd Henry, founder of Accidental Creative, described a process to identify personal and organizational passion areas and a framework for applying them to work. Henry's company helps organizations generate useful ideas, collaborate more efficiently and increase productivity.