Greetings, Heath Facilities Management readers. As we enter this month, my thoughts are turning to the American Society for Health Care Engineering’s (ASHE’s) 57th Annual Conference & Technical Exhibition, which we originally planned for this month in Chicago. 

With the pandemic and associated restrictions, as you know, that plan has changed. The event is now scheduled for October as a resourceful new virtual conference. I’m extremely proud of the ASHE team for their efforts in planning — and then efficiently redesigning — the event we have in store for you this year. 

I’ve been attending ASHE’s conferences for a long time, and I think of them as family reunions. We all know they offer opportunities to network and learn, as most conferences do. But at ASHE, those two words mean a lot. They mean the chance to catch up with friends we’ve known for decades, to brainstorm ideas with our peers, and to share our successes and lessons learned. 

The heart of an ASHE event is a celebration of relationships, courage and innovation — a celebration of our members and business partners. And even though the shape of the conference this year will be different, the heart of it will not change. 

We are all learning how to embrace the “new normal,” especially in the virtual sphere, from our professional work to family celebrations. Embracing the new doesn’t mean forgetting our foundations, and it also doesn’t mean ignoring the opportunities a new environment offers. 

ASHE is well aware of this and is actively creating virtual offerings that provide the education and community you trust, while also taking full advantage of new elements that can only be provided virtually. 

The ASHE staff, Board and members are an exceptionally resilient bunch. We are problem-solvers, forward-thinkers and each one of us is a people person. I can tell you from my own experiences that in our virtual ASHE Board meetings, no amount of laughter, sincere conversation or productivity has been lost. With our strong membership and staff, the Annual Conference this year, and in future years, will continue to increase in value for attendees. 

I look forward to virtually seeing you all. Stay safe, and be well.