AHE 2022 Conference Focuses on Environmental Education

The Association for Health Care Environment (AHE) annual conference brings together people who are passionate about environmental health. Rock Jensen, AHE’s chair for the advisory board, tells ICT® about the goals of this year’s conference.

Healthcare environment professionals gather in Orlando, Florida, October 3-5, 2022, for the Association for Health Care Environment (AHE) Annual Conference: AHE Exchange, AHE Conference & Solution Center .

Infection control today® (TIC®) reached out to Rock Jensen, chair of the advisory board for the Association for Health Care Environment (AHE) and administrative director of support services at Yuma Regional Medical Center, for his thoughts on what AHE hopes attendees will gain from their experience.

TIC®: What is AHE’s goal for this year’s annual conference?

Roche Jensen: At this year’s conference, we are celebrating and seizing opportunities to provide better understanding, education and certifications to our members.

TIC®: Could you please describe the educational opportunities at this year’s AHE conference?

We have spent years at AHE developing signature certification programs for AHE members. The only national industry organization to provide this. We have set up education opportunities and classes at the conference venue, which take place days before the conference even officially begins this year to be able to provide these in-person classes where members can engage with trainers and improve their educational opportunities. This year, prior to the conference, we are offering the Masters Certificate in Infection Control and our CSCT (Certified Surgical Cleaning Technician) Train the Trainer workshop. We also offer the AHE CHESP (Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Professional) review sessions and the exam preparation course. This certification is the benchmark standard for leaders in environmental services.

Other online courses offered are….

  • CHESP Study Group
  • EVS Leadership: A Seat at the Table
  • Employee engagement: going further
  • Essential Elements of Environmental Hygiene Infection Prevention
  • Foundations for success in managing environmental services
  • Principles of effective laundry management
  • The Lean Management System in Healthcare
  • Ultimate scores for the ultimate experience
  • Disinfectants: the essentials of evaluation and selection

Our goal since the AHE Advisory Board has been to establish programs and education that will enable members to be seen as thought leaders providing ideas and expertise, as well as our leaders in the prevention of infections, to provide safe and healing environments for our patients, visitors and staff. This training not only ensures that they have the tools, such as our in-depth practical advice, but also the certifications validating this understanding and expertise.

AHE has also partnered with The Ohio State University to create the first academic certificate in healthcare environmental services in a hospitality management program. The program is run by the Ohio State College of Education and Human Ecology. Students at this college study hotel management alongside existing healthcare professionals. The program consists of 12 credit hours (3 courses and an internship).

AHE is also involved in the Small and Rural Sustaining Initiative to spread quality improvement. They generate requests for scholarships and training for EVS healthcare teams in rural areas. So far in 2022, over 198 applications have been received and accepted.

Finally, AHE, through the programs I’ve noted, uses them to influence healthcare professionals and help reduce infections while improving patient satisfaction in all areas. To achieve this, AHE collaborates with key governmental infection prevention organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and becomes a reference and influencer in the creation of health policies in all health care settings.