Because preventing infections and improving the patient experience are top priorities for hospitals across the country, environmental services professionals are becoming ever more integral to the health care organization’s mission.

That’s why we are proud to cover the winners of the Environmental Services Department of the Year Award in our September issue. Presented by the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) and sponsored by SCA, the award recognizes and celebrates best practices in cleaning and caring for the health care environment.

It is designed to highlight a leading-edge environmental services team that demonstrates performance excellence in cleaning, disinfecting, infection prevention, environmental sustainability and stewardship, use of technology, patient satisfaction, education and training in critical areas.

Through our coverage, the award provides recognition for the significant contributions made by an environmental services department to the overall patient experience and achieving an organization’s mission.

But there are other AHE awards that also recognize different aspects of the environmental services profession. They include:

Phoenix Award. Open to members only, the Phoenix Award is the highest honor bestowed upon an AHE member and recognizes a professional who has made an unselfish, lasting impact as well as outstanding contributions to the growth and professionalism of AHE, the membership and the profession.

Heart of Healthcare Award. Developed by AHE and Kimberly-Clark Professional, this award recognizes outstanding front-line technicians who contribute to safety initiatives and preventing infections.

Innovation Award. The AHE Innovation Award recognizes products, processes and technology advancements that empower individuals to improve measured outcomes in caring for the health care environment.

James Wolfbrandt Award. Applicants for this honor must be actively involved in mentoring as well as educating and guiding colleagues, peers or staff members in the environmental services profession.

The deadline to enter these competitions is June 17, so go to and see how you can help the environmental services profession receive the recognition it deserves.