Many readers are probably thinking that because the title of this column includes the word "wow" that I am referring to customer service. While customer service is important, it is not the focus of this column. Instead, my focus is on AHE.

Wow! We as environmental services (ES) leaders have a great organization supporting us! I have sincerely been honored to be AHE's president this year and I continue to be surprised and amazed at all that is available to us.

We have a strong bulletin board and listserv. And beyond that, we have one-on-one contacts through phone or email. No member need be a lone ranger. There is always someone available to help a struggling member at any time. I have had wonderful conversations with members through phone calls, emails, chapter meetings and at EXCHANGE 2012. We have knowledgeable, committed, loyal and service-oriented members.

The AHE board of directors this year was phenomenal. Each of them sacrificed a lot of time, intellectual capital and sleep during this year. Without their dedication to serve, we would not have such a strong organization. Each director has considered carefully the members' needs. AHE members should be proud and thank the board when they see them.

The EXCHANGE 2012 planning committee was exceptional. They looked closely at past years' survey results to determine what attendees wanted in programming. I believe we were successful, based on evaluation results and conversations I have had with attendees and industry partners.

There are many AHE committee members who made a commitment to be involved with AHE. They are sharing their knowledge and expertise, which is greatly appreciated. If you were at EXCHANGE 2012, you may have seen pictures of many of them. If you get a chance, thank them for their dedication and hard work.

Our association has loyal and dedicated staff members who are willing and eager to help members. They have shown the true meaning of service, which I do not often experience in other arenas. Such unparalleled service points to the strength of AHE.

Finally, we have awesome leadership training opportunities. AHE's webinars are presented by nationally recognized individuals and are pertinent to ES leaders' daily lives. The leadership and staff development programs are quite successful as well. The publications that AHE offers are top of the line. This is especially true with the revised edition of AHE's Practice Guidance for Healthcare Environmental Cleaning.

We should be proud of our organization. If you are not involved in AHE, please think seriously about doing so and you, too, will say, "Wow!"

By Kent L. Miller, MHL, CHESP, president of AHE and director of environmental services, Jackson Hospital and Clinic, Montgomery, Ala.

AHE insight

Valuable resources available

AHE offers a comprehensive educational and professional development program that engages all levels of health care experience.

  • Virtual Conference — EXCHANGE 2012. Join us for our trade show event where you can download exhibitor materials and chat live. Interact with high-level sponsors in dedicated booths and explore other exhibitor materials in booths listed by category.
  • Webinar — 21st Century Room Decontamination: Technology Solutions. This event, which is free for AHE members and $139 for nonmembers, will be on Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. CST.
  • Publication — Practice Guidance for Healthcare Environmental Cleaning, 2nd Edition. This guide provides evidence-based research and guidance for health care environmental services departments. It costs $239 for members and $359 for nonmembers. Order by phone at 800-242-2626 using product code 057034.
  • DVDs — From Top To Bottom: The Environmental Services Series. This three-part training solution for environmental services managers and infection prevention professionals facing myriad challenges can be purchased through the AHE website.

For more information on any of these events and resources, log on to the website.