Each year, members of the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) have the opportunity to make their voices heard by participating in elections for the ASHE Advisory Board. The Advisory Board, which represents the interests of ASHE members by guiding the organization’s strategic plan, comprises nine regional representatives and two associate member representatives elected to two-year terms.
Additionally, ASHE members vote on a president-elect, who assumes the title of president in the second year of their two-year term. Half of the Advisory Board’s representative seats are up for election each year; the newest class of ASHE Advisory Board members interviewed here were elected by their peers in late 2022.
Meet the new ASHE Advisory Board members
Skanda Skandaverl, MBA, FASHE, CHFM, CHC, Midwest division director at CommonSpirit Health, Omaha, Neb.
Region 1 Representative (second term)
Alison Brisson, CHFM, SASHE, system director of facility operations at Concord Hospital, Concord, N.H.
Region 2 Representative
Laurie Anseth, CHFM, SASHE, system director for facilities at JLL/Main Line Health, Radnor, Pa.
Region 4 Representative
Lotoya Beard, CHFM, executive director of hospital maintenance at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, Birmingham, Ala.
Region 5 Representative
Donald Page, MBA, director of engineering at Good Samaritan Hospital, Vincennes, Ind.
Region 9 Representative
Jennifer Buschta, CHFM, facility engineering manager at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix.
Associate Member Representative
Anne M. Guglielmo, SASHE, CFPS, LEED AP, CHFM, project manager at Code Consultants Inc., St. Louis.
What inspired you to get involved in ASHE leadership?
Laurie Anseth: When I was a new facility manager in Minnesota, I was fortunate to have mentors who encouraged me to participate in local, regional and state ASHE activities. They challenged me to strive for more knowledge and not become complacent. As I learned more about ASHE, its members and all the organization had to offer, I knew I wanted to play a larger role. Locally, I participated in meetings and eventually held positions on the board for the ASHE affiliated Twin City Healthcare Engineering Association. Working with those board members was rewarding, and I was exposed to another level of leadership within the ASHE organization in the form of Region 6. Regional leadership was dynamic, passionate and fun — Region 6 members were dedicated to continuously improving our profession and advocating on our behalf with regulatory bodies. I appreciated everything they did.
Lotoya Beard: Working in health care facilities, ASHE is the go-to for everything there is to know about our field. My most influential role models have always advised joining ASHE to access the direct benefits of resources like industry news, professional peer connections and best practices. With that in mind, I wanted to be more involved to provide additional insight into discussions of new trends, create and implement industry standards and directions, and share all those with my region and beyond. I saw how ASHE leadership, both local and national, was so knowledgeable and participated in advocacy issues affecting my day-to-day job. They were, and still are, competent individuals who I admire.
Jennifer Buschta: Gordy Howie, 2023 ASHE president, has been encouraging me to get involved at the ASHE level since I met him! His perseverance paid off, as I finally threw my hat in for the Region 9 representative seat. As the immediate past president of the Central Arizona for Healthcare Engineering chapter, I feel that there’s a need for ASHE affiliated chapters across the country to collaborate more and learn from each other. I always learn so much from chatting with and listening to other chapter leaders during the Chapter Leadership Forum at the ASHE Annual Conference & Technical Exhibition, and I’m determined to figure out how to make that type of sharing happen more than once a year.
What unique professional experience or insight are you most excited to bring to the ASHE Advisory Board?
Alison Brisson: Frankly, when I started participating as an ASHE leader, there were few, if any, women leaders engaged. Now, we are beginning to see a pivot toward inclusivity on a number of levels that is truly remarkable. I’m excited about the prospect of furthering those efforts and bolstering the involvement of early-career professionals. This is a critical path for succession planning.
Another passion of mine is improving the behavioral health environment and providing tools and resources for my colleagues. Ensuring that patients receive care in a safe environment requires continuous review of physical spaces. Thinking outside of the box for solutions that are cost effective, compliant and promote a healing environment remains an important aspect of our roles.
Donald Page: I worked in manufacturing for a large part of my career but have spent the past 12 years in health care overseeing renovation projects, construction, plant operations, biomedical technician groups and maintenance. I had the honor of being involved from the beginning in building a new five-story patient pavilion for Good Samaritan, which was an eye-opening experience that gave me exposure to all things health care. Other than that, I don’t think it’s unique, but I have a desire to make a difference in the lives of the patients, families and staff who visit our facility every day.
Anne Guglielmo: Having served on the ASHE Advisory Board for the past two years, I have been involved in the development of the new strategic plan that was rolled out last year. I’m looking forward to using my experience from that planning process to help facilitate the programs and activities that are being developed and implemented to move the plan forward. I am also grateful that I can continue to bring the voice of the associate member into the decisions that are made for the good of the membership.
Which aspects of serving on the Advisory Board are you most looking forward to?
Skanda Skandaverl: I am so excited to take the lead in a very prestigious, well-run organization that focuses on serving its members. We will pave the way for our own success and for the success of those who follow us.
ASHE’s mission is to optimize the health care physical environment for our health care system. I am eager to continue supporting ASHE, working with our current leadership and listening to each Advisory Board member and all the chapter presidents representing health care facilities professionals nationwide. Collaboration is our key to success!
Donald Page: For me, it’s the opportunity to work as a cohesive group with the other elected ASHE Advisory Board members for the betterment of the ASHE programs. So much of what we do, especially in health care, is about building relationships. Getting the chance to expand my knowledge, as well as my peer network of so many health care professionals from across the country, is something I look forward to very much.
Which challenges facing ASHE members are top of mind for you?
Laurie Anseth: A top challenge centers on the workforce, specifically when supplementing our “silver tsunami” — the aging labor force — with a shrinking pool of candidates. We also continue to deal with post-pandemic issues, reduced or stagnant funding sources, and managing infrastructure deficiencies from deferred maintenance and capital. Another challenge is getting support and resources as we move toward sustainability.
Jennifer Buschta: Energy reform is certainly a huge topic of concern right now. We will all be looking heavily toward our advocacy and sustainability leaders, as well as programs like ASHE’s Energy to Care, to provide useful information to the members as new regulations roll out across the country. Like any facilities professional, I am always thinking about our survey regulations, where and when requirements are changing, and how to implement new programs.
Anne Guglielmo: Identifying and attracting the next generation of health care facilities professionals is what I think about most. There is such a contrast in how different generations think about and approach work, yet the core of the work itself hasn’t changed. While technology has helped us in numerous ways, there are still some “old school” principles and practices that are needed to successfully attain a safe patient care environment. Helping to develop the next generation of health care facilities professionals while integrating new ways to work is going to be a challenge.
What advice would you give to ASHE members to get the most from their membership and their relationship with the Advisory Board?
Alison Brisson: ASHE members can get the most from their memberships by getting involved — attend some of the many educational opportunities, participate in the forums, reach out to your regional leaders who can help to connect you with other members. Let us know what we can do to help you. As ASHE leaders, we have volunteered to be your voice, and we do want to hear from you.
Lotoya Beard: Do not allow titles, certifications and accolades to hinder your openness to meeting new people. It is amazing to witness the warmth that members have for one another at different events and conferences. The rapport among colleagues is so visible and always welcoming. To hear the interactions many members and supporters have had over the years and celebrate the lessons shared is priceless. I have come across so many people in our profession willing to transfer knowledge, and I am gratefully appreciative and receptive to it all!
Skanda Skandaverl: ASHE has so many resources to share with its members. In particular, ASHE conferences are great educational opportunities. They give each member a chance to meet peers, gain access to networking opportunities and get to know business partners. I would also advise every ASHE member to take advantage of the certifications that ASHE offers. These certifications provide recognition in our field and are a mark of professionalism that will advance careers.
Health care is always changing, so keeping up with new codes and standards is vital. ASHE has a powerful national advocacy team to represent us before numerous regulatory bodies, including state and local regulatory authorities. I also encourage ASHE members to get involved in task forces, committees and work groups. These groups will enhance your knowledge and enable you to make a difference.
Lastly, we need your support and feedback. Contact your regional ASHE Advisory Board representatives with your comments so we can incorporate them into our appeals to regulatory agencies. ASHE is all of us, and together we will make a difference.