A true privilege and joy of my role as the Advisory Board president of the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) is the opportunity to visit regional ASHE Chapters and provide updates on the many benefits that ASHE offers. It is energizing to see the great work that our chapters are doing to meet the needs of their members and equally rewarding to meet in smaller, informal groups to discuss the state of health care. 

Because of the connections we make, we can trade best practices and lessons learned through our collective efforts and meet new friends along the way. It is also interesting to learn that we share similar issues, like the need to better ourselves for the sake of the patients we serve, or that we recognize succession planning is critical to our long-term success. 

In chapters across North America, from the Georgia Association for Healthcare Facility Managers to the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society’s Ontario chapter, one major concern is top of mind: the need to continue our efforts in sustainability and in mitigating environmental impact by building and operating efficient buildings. It is imperative that we share our knowledge and come together to influence our field rather than wait for regulations to dictate our path.

ASHE has many tools, educational offerings and methods to track and report sustainability efforts. The Energy to Care® Award is one measure of success that health care facilities can strive for. Through the program, facilities can benchmark performance, set improvement targets and be recognized for meeting their goals. ASHE has also introduced a new program called HealQuest™ that brings teams together and promotes a culture of sustainability within an organization. I would encourage you to review the highlights of the program and consider participation.

Connecting and learning is what makes us successful. Through ASHE programs, chapter visits and discussions with colleagues, it is clear that organizations are not, and have not been, ignoring the ways our facilities impact the environment. Be proud of the work we have accomplished and motivated by what we will continue to do.