Those of us responsible for maintaining and operating the health care physical environment often need to address issues of aging infrastructure alongside other high-priority challenges with limited resources. Although facility leaders understand that investing in a health care facility’s long-term condition is as critical as handling short-term issues — and that both are invaluable to high-quality patient care — it can be challenging to communicate that to decision-makers. 

However, after the onset of COVID-19, investment in advancing health care — including the health care physical environment — is moving into the national spotlight. The Biden administration is working with Congress to develop policies aimed at rebuilding critical infrastructure across the nation. The American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) is monitoring these developments and is prepared to represent your needs at the federal level with the support of the American Hospital Association (AHA). 

Since 1898, the AHA has been advocating for the needs of health care organizations. It currently represents 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, and 43,000 health care leaders who belong to its professional membership groups (including ASHE). The AHA relies on ASHE to advocate for our sector of the field, and we help the AHA develop recommendations to impact legislation at the federal level. For instance, ASHE recently helped inform a letter from the AHA to the White House and Congress supporting investments in the health care physical environment. This collaboration helps ASHE and the AHA advocate for our health care organizations and the communities our members work to protect.

ASHE will continue fighting the good fight for our members (check out this issue’s cover story for another great example), but we also need your assistance. You can help by continuing your education, connecting with others in the field, and sharing your questions and stories with us. By doing so, you provide ASHE with an irreplaceable element: member experience and insight.

By the way, you could accomplish all of these things by attending the in-person ASHE Annual Conference next month and the virtual Annual Conference in September. I hope to connect with you there!