What's more, the ES department's essential role in room turnover and patient transport underscores its importance to the overall flow of patients throughout the modern health care facility. This, of course, is not to mention important areas like sustainability and waste management, where ES professionals also hold sway.

These often-overlooked, yet essential, duties of the ES department are why Health Facilities Management dedicates space in its September issue each year to celebrate the ES Department of the Year winners, one of several awards offered by the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) to recognize and promote excellence in the ES field. These awards include:

  • Environmental Services Department of the Year Award. Sponsored by SCA, this award provides national recognition for the significant contributions made by an ES department to the overall patient experience and achieving a health care organization's mission.
  • Phoenix Award. Open to members only and sponsored by Network Services Co., this 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 the AHE and Kimberly-Clark Professional, this award recognizes and honors outstanding front-line ES technicians who make a contribution to support safety initiatives and the reduction and prevention of health care-associated infections.
  • AHE Innovation Award. This award has been developed and designed to recognize and increase awareness of products, processes and technology advancements that empower individuals to improve measured outcomes in caring for the health care environment.

For more on the awards and to learn how to enter yourself, your team or a colleague, Visit AHE's awards page. The deadlines are approaching, so hurry!