REGION 1 BOARD MEMBER
“Of all the months of the year there is not a month one-half so welcome to the young, or so full of happy associations, as the last month of the year.” Charles Dickens
The year 2020 is drawing to a close, and although our “happy associations” were distant at best as we keep ourselves safe, as innovators we continued to learn, adapt and share what we’ve learned every day, I am proud to be part of this association. I can affirm that ASHE business continued apace under the leadership of President Jeff Henne and the organization will continue to do great things under our new president Antonio Suarez who is ready to energetically engage the membership towards a promising and successful 2021.
Let me offer our Region 1 membership the following updates.
- ASHE continued its overall success this year with its advocacy and educational initiatives.
- More than 40,000 people have explored our COVID resources online this year.
- ASHE had more than 13,000 people take advantage of our online education programs and webinars this year.
- Our member numbers are holding strong, with more than 12,700 members finding value in an ASHE membership.
- ASHE is continuing to work on updating the strategic plan, watch for updates in the near future on this.
57th ASHE Annual Conference & Technical Exhibition
- The 2020 ASHE Virtual Conference held on October 5-7 was a magnificent success. Nearly 3,000 people attended the virtual event, and most of those were new to virtual events.
- It is not too late to take advantage of the education if you couldn’t attend. Click here to access the virtual presentations at an attractively discounted rate.
2021 PDC Summit is May 2-5 Tampa, FL – Mark your calendars!
Note this is a date change and stay tuned for some great virtual features for those that still may not be able to travel.
Sign up for electronic updates on this event.
Heartfelt congratulations to John F. DiGirolomo, MBA, CHFM, CHC, FASHE, Senior Vice President, Saint Barnabas Hospital, Bronx, New York for winning the ASHE 2020 Presidents Award.
Congratulations to Joseph C. LaVigne, CHC, Assistant Director of Facilities at University of Rochester, Rochester, NY on receiving the Regional Leader Award for Region 1.
Please join me in acknowledging Alan Owens, Senior, CHFM, Engineering Operations Manager from Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH for achieving his SASHE during 2020.
Congratulations to NEHES for winning the 2020 Energy to Care Chapter Challenge Award in the small chapter category for the second year in a row.
Congratulations to the following member institutions who received the 2020 Energy to Care award:
- NYU Langone Health – 333 E. 38th St, New York City, NY
- NYU Langone Health – 660 1st Ave, New York City, NY
- NYU Langone Health – Huntington Medical Group, New York City, NY
- University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, VT
- Adult Primary Care, South Burlington, VT
- Family Medicine & Rehabilitation Therapy, South Burlington, VT
- Family Medicine – Colchester, Colchester, VT
Congratulations to Yale New Haven Hospital, St Raphael Campus, New Haven, CT for winning the 2020 Vista Award for Infrastructure.
ASHE/ NEHES Advocacy Report
In addition to all the fantastic resources that ASHE has compiled and keeps updated on its website, results are now available online from ASHE's COVID Response Tactics Sharing (CRTS) survey which details surge-related preparation and response strategies deployed by health care facilities across the U.S. This research included nearly 1,200 respondents representing 12 different roles from the health care engineering field. Thank you to those members that participated. This report, which is part of a continuing series, details early decisions made by health care facilities at the start of the pandemic, tracks activities related to maintaining routine clinical operations during active surges, and more. The CRTS project is designed to help the field and those supporting health facilities operations learn about trends and best practices to help respond to and prepare for similar crises in the future.
If you have any COVID-related or concerns about your facility, ASHE wants to know and help. Please reach out to any ASHE staff member or post your question or comment on My ASHE.
Joint Commission Proposed Changes Related to Water Management for HAP, CAH
The Joint Commission is proposing a new water management program standard for the Hospital (HAP), Critical Access Hospital (CAH) and Nursing Care Center (NCC) accreditation programs and is requesting comments regarding the proposed changes. The proposed changes aim to strengthen Joint Commission requirements regarding water management programs and focus on the implementation of a comprehensive water management program.
The proposed changes will eliminate EC.02.05.01 EP 14 regarding minimization of pathogenic biological agents in cooling towers, domestic hot and cold water systems and other aerosolizing water systems and introduces a new standard, EC.02.05.02, which will require hospitals, critical access hospitals and nursing care centers to have a water management program which includes an individual or team responsible for the program, basic diagrams of water systems, a water risk management plan, a plan for addressing stagnant water events and water monitoring protocols with control measures.
CMS Issues Guidance Related to Emergency Preparedness Drill Exemption
On September 28, 2020, CMS issued guidance related to emergency preparedness testing exercise requirements in the context of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). In the guidance, CMS clarifies that the published Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Regulatory Provisions To Promote Program Efficiency, Transparency, and Burden Reduction; Fire Safety Requirements for Certain Dialysis Facilities; Hospital and Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Changes To Promote Innovation, Flexibility, and Improvement in Patient Care Final Rule (84 FR 51732) modifies the exemption to allow providers to be exempt from their next required full-scale community-based exercise or individual, facility-based functional exercise following the onset of the actual event during which the provider activates their emergency plan.
The provider’s emergency preparedness testing scheduling and when the provider implemented their incident command center will impact what types of testing exercises will still be required. For example, if a hospital conducted a full-scale exercise test in January 2020 and then activated their incident command center in March 2020, they would still need to perform a tabletop or workshop exercise within 2020 but would be exempt from having to do a full-scale exercise in 2021. For additional details and other scenarios, see CMS S&C Letter QSO-2-41-ALL.
Finally, it’s been an honor serving you as ASHE liaison over the past two years, and I look forward to my continued involvement with ASHE. Congratulations to Alison Brisson as she takes over this role in her new capacity of ASHE Region 1 Board member in 2021.
Respectfully Submitted by:
Edward M. Browne, CHFM, CHC, FASHE
Eastern New York Society for Healthcare Engineering