There are many great things about AHE. My membership with AHE has added a real boost to my career. I think many of the longtime members would agree that AHE has helped them with their jobs as well. I value the partnership and friendships that have formed over the years. It's one of the best groups of professionals I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
Allow me to share just some of the ways that AHE has helped me over the past several years.
I serve as director of environmental services at a large health system in Tampa, Fla., after having found this position six years ago when it was posted on the AHE website. In fact, I don't believe I would have found this job were it not for AHE's involvement with listing the job on the Career Link.
In that sense, you could say my position and AHE are inextricably linked.
The annual EXCHANGE educational and networking events are first-class and are not to be missed. Each year I learn something new that I can take home and apply with my team.
In fact, last year I shared my three pages of notes with my management team as well as our senior leadership. From there, we set a course that ultimately improved our Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems scores and improved overall performance in our department.
We've had several other success stories, all of which can be tied to our membership with AHE.
Most recently, our organization's floor care technician, Jean Azor, was selected as the AHE and Kimberly-Clark Heart of Healthcare award winner. This was a momentous event and a memory that will last a lifetime!
I am impressed with the number of sharp individuals who work on the AHE committees and task forces. It's also refreshing to know that so many professionals have traveled down the same path and have faced the same challenges. When you are in a roomful of environmental services professionals, friendships are formed and bonds become very strong.
These are people who can help you with any issue, task or challenge.
Working with these professionals has also helped to improve my skills as a leader.
While I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts from "The Dave Ramsey Show," Dave shared a scripture from the Book of Proverbs that sums up my sentiments perfectly: "He who walks with wise men will be wise. But the companion of fools will be destroyed."
If you are looking for a great place to learn from your colleagues, and a wise group of individuals who can help your hospital and enhance your professional development and career, AHE is the right place for you.
By Doug Rothermel, CHESP, director of environmental services at St. Joseph's Hospital, Tampa, Fla., and an AHE board member at large for 2014–2016.
Valuable resources available
AHE represents, defines and advances the professionals responsible for care of the health care environment to ensure high-quality outcomes and healthy communities. Here are a few of the resources that AHE offers.
• Recommended Practice Series: Environmental Services Equipment and Supplies. The equipment and supplies covered in this booklet are essential, discrete components of safe, efficient and productive environmental services (ES) operations. For more information, go to www.ahe.org/ahe/learn/tools_and_resources/publications.shtml.
• Expanding Your Influence in Today's Healthcare Environment. What skills must you develop to expand your influence and position ES as a department to be reckoned with? This prerecorded webinar explores effective communication skills and how emotional intelligence can be leveraged to influence others. To access it, log on to www.ahe.org/education.
• AHE Environmental Sustainability Certificate Program. AHE has launched a new certificate program to acknowledge the ongoing and outstanding environment and ecological sustainability efforts of ES departments. For more information on the program, go to www.ahe.org/ahe/lead/environmental_sustainability_certificate_program.shtml.