With a new year upon us, I’m sure I’m not alone in reflecting on 2020 and its effects on our hospitals and American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) members. The COVID-19 pandemic ravaged our nation and the world, and we faced challenges the likes of which we had never seen. 

I have great pride in our profession’s response to those challenges, and I am profoundly thankful for the leadership of ASHE Immediate Past President Jeff Henne, the ASHE Board and ASHE staff for ensuring that our needs were met despite the trying circumstances last year brought. 

With the end of 2020, some concerns have been resolved and others are ongoing. But I am optimistic that, after the surges of the pandemic, our field has sharpened its emergency preparedness responses; learned crucial, hard lessons; and is better equipped to face any challenges 2021 brings us. I assure you that, regardless of what comes our way, ASHE will be here to serve you. 

In addition to flexibly addressing any unforeseen obstacles our field will need to overcome in the new year, the 2021 ASHE Board and I will continue to strengthen ASHE’s commitment to our strategic imperatives, including developing the professional reputations and enhancing the career development of our members, and pursuing operational excellence within our health care facilities. 

This year, the ASHE Board will focus on enhanced collaboration with our affiliated chapters, as well as engagement and guidance for the next generation of health care facility leaders (most of whom are today’s mid-level managers). 

I am also looking forward to leading the ASHE Board as we enter into a new strategic planning cycle. We will be meeting in 2021 to begin strategic planning discussions, with the goal of finalizing our next strategic plan by early 2022. As always, we will be using member input to help create our next strategic plan so that ASHE remains focused on meeting member needs — our constant priority. 

It is my honor to have the opportunity to engage with you and serve you this year so you can continue to serve your communities.

Antonio Suárez, MBA, CHFM, FASHE, ASHE President.