ASHE volunteers play an important role in helping the organization to move forward on various initiatives that support the mission of optimizing the health care physical environment. Getting involved in volunteer work can provide personal and professional rewards.

A new video, available on the ASHE volunteer Web page, features volunteers talking about the return on investment they receive by working with the organization. ASHE offers a variety of ways for members to get involved, but the first step is to complete an online volunteer application. Then, volunteers may be offered such opportunities as serving on task forces or working on projects or initiatives. ASHE’s governance structure includes multiple committees as well as task forces that work to get projects completed.

Volunteers often say the work they do with ASHE helps them to become more informed about the field while also giving them an opportunity to expand their networks and improve leadership skills.

“I’ve been in the industry now for 27 years, and I’ve told people since the beginning that I never would have survived had it not been for my involvement in ASHE,” says George “Skip” Smith, CHFM, SASHE, vice president of physical asset services for Catholic Health Initiatives. “Getting involved in governance really helped me to refine and define what my leadership style would be.”

Serving on ASHE task forces or working on other projects can take time and effort. Ralph Graham, SASHE, CHFM, director of utilities management at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says that he explains to his hospital leadership the value of the knowledge and networking gained through his involvement with ASHE. He adds that his investment in ASHE has been returned tenfold.

“It allows me to stay abreast of things going on,” Graham says. “I bring this information back to my organization — that’s justification.”

Mark Doll, director of facilities at Grinnell (Iowa) Regional Medical Center, says that his return on investment from ASHE work has been extremely positive.

“The relationships that I’ve built and the knowledge I’ve gained from ASHE have given back to me much more than I’ve had to give,” he says.

If you are interested in volunteering with ASHE to reap the personal and professional benefits volunteering can offer, please fill out an application at

Deanna Martin is the membership and communications director at the American Society for Healthcare Engineering.


Important monographs available from ASHE

Following are two recently released monographs that can be accessed by ASHE members as free PDFs at

HCAHPS Scores, the Patient Experience, and the Affordable Care Act from the Facility Perspective. This new ASHE monograph explores how the health care physical environment and facility professionals can improve patient satisfaction scores.

Risk Assessment of Medical Equipment. A key part of the Joint Commission’s environment of care management plans, risk assessments of medical equipment are covered in this new ASHE monograph. It presents a framework for facilities professionals to follow.

Design guidelines available to industry through ASHE

The 2014 editions of the Facility Guidelines Institute’s Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities and the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facilities can be purchased at