It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing our country and world to rapidly reimagine our day-to-day lives so we can continue living them, and live them safely. You, as a Health Facilities Management (HFM) reader, are one of the individuals doing the work to turn these redesigns into reality. This is no small feat, and every individual who contributes to these efforts deserves gratitude. But there is a group doing this work in particular that I want to recognize in today’s column: environmental services (EVS).

In this month’s issue of HFM, we announce and celebrate the Association for the Health Care Environment’s (AHE’s) Environmental Services Department of the Year Award winners.

EVS professionals are essential leaders in maintaining the safety of health care facilities staff, patients and visitors. Their role nowadays shoulders an enormous responsibility, and I believe they are handling their charge with incredible fortitude and grace. I thank our EVS partners for their direction in combating the spread of this virus and offer my heartfelt congratulations and appreciation to this year’s Environmental Services Department of the Year Award winners.

I encourage our chapters and readers to promote the engagement of EVS in their local hospitals as best practices and lessons learned from the pandemic are determined. National Healthcare Environmental Services Week 2020, which took place Sept. 13–19 this year, celebrated the EVS community. For more information about EVS, visit AHE's website as well as the EVS section of HFM’s website.

Speaking of evolving environments, I also want to express my excitement for the American Society for Health Care Engineering’s (ASHE’s) first all-virtual Annual Conference next month. The ASHE team is eager to bring you this intuitive, engaging educational experience, and I am thrilled that they have tackled this challenge with so much energy and innovative thinking. We appreciate the time many of you have taken to share your input as we designed this conference. Be sure to check out the conference preview in this month’s HFM, and we look forward to seeing you all online!

Be well, stay safe and thank you all.