A fundamental task of any good industry publication is to help its readers raise their levels of performance and document their successes and achievements so that others may learn from them. That is why Health Facilities Management (HFM) is proud to be working with the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) once again to bring you the annual Environmental Services (ES) Department of the Year awards, sponsored by CINTAS Corp.

The ES Department of the Year was created to recognize the achievements of a hospital ES/housekeeping team in maintaining the highest levels of performance in 13 critical areas, including customer service, staff training, recycling, demonstrating value and, especially, infection prevention.

This year's awards will be based on advances made during the 2010 calendar year. The winning team will be profiled in a full-length feature in HFM and receive a crystal award at the AHE Annual Conference & Healthcare Marketplace, which will be held this September in Kissimmee, Fla. A runner-up award and honorable mentions may be presented to high-scoring teams as well.

To enter the competition, simply log on to the registration page on HFM's website, where you will find samples of past winning entries and articles about previous award winners. This will guide you as to the type of information to include, such as success stories, statistics and patient satisfaction scores. Then, download and complete the entry form and e-mail it to HFM Associate Publisher Bob Kehoe. Supporting documentation may be sent by mail.

The deadline for entries is May 27, so go to www.hfmmagazine.com/hfmmagazine/html/ES-Department.html today and become part of this year's ES Department of the Year competition.