The Bluhm File
- Director of education for the American Society for Health Care Engineering of the American Hospital Association.
- Head of learning and leadership development for The Sterling Group, Mishawaka, Ind.
- Principal and CEO for Professional Development Advisors, Chicago.
- Vice president of professional development and licensing schools for Baird & Warner, Chicago.
- Association for Talent Development member.
- American Society of Association Executives member.
- Inclusion Diversity Equity Advocate Aurora taskforce member.
- National leadership development speaker at various conferences, including Feeding America, The Realty Alliance, Building Owners and Managers Association, National Association of Charter School Authorizers and SkillPath.
Licenses and certifications
- Master Trainer and Certified Instructional Designer.
- Knowledge Management certification.
- Certified Predictive Index® (PI®) analyst.
- Bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from Loyola University of Chicago.
After joining the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) last year as its new director of education, Lisa Bluhm learned about ASHE, its members and their educational needs. This month, she talks with Health Facilities Management about ASHE’s programs and her plans to expand those programs in the future.
What is your background in adult learning and development, and how are you applying it to your role at ASHE?
Helping people and organizations be successful has been my focus over the past 20 years as a learning and development practitioner. I fell into this career path by accident, but once I experienced how it felt to help someone do their job better, faster and easier, I was hooked.
I’ve been lucky over the years to build and strengthen my scope of experience across all components of learning and development, from conducting comprehensive needs assessments to strategic planning, instructional design, program facilitation, performance measurement and leadership development across all levels, from emerging leader through the C-suite.
I have built learning platforms from the ground up and taken existing education portfolios to the next level and beyond. Staying current with adult learning methodology and technology trends is important to me, so I regularly tap into my network of talent development experts, associations and continuing education institutions.
As ASHE’s director of education, my hope is to leverage my passion for lifelong learning with my commitment and approach to delivering future-focused education solutions to maximize member value, drive strategic goals and ultimately improve patient care by advancing our mission of optimizing the health care physical environment.
Where along the way did you get involved in the facilities management field?
Again, another accidental encounter that started about 17 years ago when I held the role of vice president of professional development for a real estate company, Baird & Warner. My experience with property and facility management expanded when I formed a learning and organizational development consulting practice. Many of my clients were real estate investment companies that owned a variety of asset types, including apartment communities, office, retail, industrial and medical buildings, storage facilities and hotels.
My engagements focused around identifying property and facility management core competencies, creating professional development frameworks for facility management professionals, and designing programs and resources to reinforce standard operating procedures and best practices. Working across the different asset types gave me a unique and well-rounded view into facility management.
What attracted you to ASHE?
Initially I was drawn to the mission and reputation of ASHE and the American Hospital Association. Supporting America’s hospitals and health care facilities in the time of a pandemic was both fascinating and humbling.
I was impressed with ASHE’s comprehensive programming and ability to pivot so quickly to tend to member needs. It was very clear during the interview process how dedicated, hard-working and passionate the team was about the members and the mission — it was one of the most important factors in deciding to join the organization.
Another factor was the opportunity to contribute to expanding the education portfolio. There are so many outstanding programs in place along with so much potential for growth and diversity. I’m excited to draw upon my experience directing education strategy while joining forces with the education team, faculty and subject matter experts to assess stakeholder needs and design blended learning solutions to enhance capabilities, compliance and continuing education.
Can you describe ASHE’s current educational offerings?
ASHE education has something for you whether you are new to the field or a seasoned practitioner, and whether you’re a digital native or prefer more traditional learning environments.
To meet the variety of learning needs, geographical limitations and budget restrictions of our audience, we have added virtual and on-demand formats to our learning platform. With pandemic-driven travel bans still in place, this year’s program schedule is packed with interactive, engaging virtual instructor-led trainings, webinars, lunch-and-learn programs, and virtual conferences to develop and enhance facility management core competencies, reinforce critical codes and standards, and share operational best practices.
Members should check out the complimentary Quick Training courses at ashe.org/quicktraining and the ASHE YouTube channel at youtube.com/asheaha. They also shouldn’t miss next month’s PDC Summit, which will be 100% virtual!
What new educational offerings are you planning to introduce to ASHE members?
ASHE education is undergoing a transformation to meet our members and field professionals where they’re at in their journeys. Two major initiatives are launching a competency-based education strategy and expanding microlearning.
Our competency-based education strategy aligns programming with health care facility manager and health care constructor core competencies. This will promote operational excellence, defined career paths and standardized best practices.
One example of this is tying a recently launched handbook series project with educational programming. The first handbook is an overview of the health care facilities management field and will be followed by handbooks dedicated to planning, design and construction; compliance; risk assessments; maintenance and operations; finance; administration; sustainability; and qualifications. Once complete, health care facility professionals will have a comprehensive learning experience through multiple competency-based educational resources.
Microlearning is an approach to design brief learning modules comprised of bite-sized learning activities for quick consumption. They are built in chunks, between three and 10 minutes long. Applying this strategy to multiple delivery formats will increase learner engagement with audio, video and games without wasting valuable time.
Members can expect to see more Quick Training courses, YouTube how-to content, and multi-module eLearning programs and webinar series, which can be found at ashe.org.
Where do you see the future of adult learning and development going?
The format of the future is virtual reality (VR). Applications for VR technology are expanding to include the full life cycle of a health care facility, from planning, design and construction through transition and occupancy training.
ASHE is in the process of developing our first VR program, partnering with Gilbane Inc. and using ASHE’s proprietary “St. Hypothetical Memorial Hospital.” Gilbane will design a realistic health care environment for learners to walk through and identify various conditions to see how well the learner or “player” recognizes code or guideline violations.
ASHE is excited to launch this platform as both an educational tool and testing ground for years to come.