REGION 2 BOARD MEMBER
Dear ASHE Region 2 Members,
I have written the opening paragraph of this newsletter no less than four times. Each time, however, I deleted the work because I’m attempting to look at the events occurring throughout the country as a glass half full and not as a glass half empty. It’s difficult to be optimistic when the entire world appears to be grinding to a halt. As history certainly always repeats itself, I found solace in words written by Thomas Paine many years ago.
The Crisis December 23, 1776
“THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value…”
While we do not need to fight the same form of tyranny Mr. Paine was referring to, we as health care facility leaders must stand united against the current challenge facing our nation, COVID-19. Hopefully steps taken contain and reduce the spread of this disease within our country will be successful, but that does not relinquish our responsibility to ensure our facilities are ready to meet the needs of our communities, friends and family.
On the ASHE website you will find recommendations for preparing your facility and links for the latest information available. The ASHE PDC conference, scheduled for later this month in San Antonio, has fallen victim to the COVID-19 health event along with several other Region 2 chapter events. The ASHE Annual Conference, scheduled for August of this year, is still on at this time. As I learn more about the status of other events, I will share with the chapter leaders.
On a much happier note, the ASHE advocacy team has been very busy:
NFPA 2020 Campaign – ASHE is continuing its NFPA 2020 Campaign. During the upcoming 2020 NFPA Technical Meeting, NFPA members will be able to vote on proposed changes for NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code and 101, Life Safety Code along with a few other NFPA codes and standards that have direct impact to health care physical environment. ASHE is requesting that ASHE members RSVP if they plan to be in attendance to participate in the Technical Meeting to be held 18 June 2020 in Orlando, FL. Watch for emails regarding this information from ASHE.
USP – As of March 13, 2020, the Appeals Panel granted an appeal to General Chapters <795> and <797>, which will be remanded to the Compounding Expert Committee. The current versions of these chapters from 2014 and 2008 respectively remain official. The appeal to USP <825> was denied, and the chapter is currently informational unless otherwise required. USP will not reestablish an official date for chapters <825> without granting another six-month implementation period, at a minimum.
ASHRAE 170 – ASHE continues to work with the ASHRAE 170 committee to finalize the development of the design parameters for Outpatient and Residential spaces similar to Table 7.1 but reflecting the appropriate spaces. These will be contained in new tables Table 8.1 – Specialty Outpatient Spaces, Table 8.2 – General Outpatient Space and Table 9.1 – Residential Healthcare Spaces. ASHE is also participating with a work group to develop a user guide for compliance specific to Standard 170.
ASHRAE 100 – ASHE is aware that a few states are looking at adopting ASHRAE 100, Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings, to establish Energy Use Intensity (EUI) targets for existing buildings. ASHE is concerned that the EUI numbers included in ASHRAE 100 are not reflective of attainable EUIs and is working with the ASHRAE 100 committee to establish attainable targets.
FGI – ASHE continues to work with FGI on the next edition of the Guidelines. FGI is developing draft manuscripts and will present these at the HGRC meeting scheduled for March 31 through April 3, 2020. Once the draft manuscripts are finalized, a comment period will open for public input beginning June 1, 2020 and closing August 31, 2020.
Mark A. Mears, Sr., FASHE, CHFM
ASHE Region 2 Board Member