2022 AHE Conference Highlights Environmental Education

Infection Control Today, Volume 26, Issue 10

The Association for Health Care Environment (AHE) annual conference brings together those individuals passionate about environmental hygiene. Rock Jensen, the AHE president for the board of advisors, describes to ICT® the goals of this year's conference.

Health care environmental professionals meet in Orlando, Florida, from October 3-5, 2022, at The Association for Health Care Environment (AHE) annual conference: AHE Exchange, AHE Conference & Solution Center.

Infection Control Today® (ICT®) reached out to Rock Jensen, Association for Health Care Environment (AHE) advisory board president, and the administrative director of support services for Yuma Regional Medical Center, for his insights on what AHE hopes the attendees gain from their experience.

ICT®: What is AHE’s focus for this year’s annual conference?

Rock Jensen: At the conference this year, we celebrate and embrace the opportunities to provide greater insight, education, and certifications to our members.

ICT®: Would 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 set up education opportunities and classes at the conference location, that take place days before the conference even officially begins this year to be able to provide these classes during in-person settings where members can engage with trainers and enhance their educational opportunities. This year before the conference, we are offering the Certificate in Master of Infection Prevention 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 exam prep course. This certification is the gold standard for environmental services leaders.

Other online courses being offered are….

  • CHESP Study Group
  • EVS Leadership: A Seat at the Table
  • Employee Engagement: Going the Extra Mile
  • Essentials of Infection Prevention of Environmental Hygiene
  • Foundations for Success in Environmental Services Management
  • Principles of Effective Linen Management
  • The Lean Management System in Health Care
  • Ultimate Scores for the Ultimate Experience
  • Disinfectants: The Essentials of Evaluation and Selection

Our focus from the advisory board of AHE has been to put in place programs and education that will allow members to be seen as the thought leaders providing insight and expertise, along with our infection prevention leaders, in providing safe and healing environments for our patients, visitors, and staff. This education not only ensures they have the tools, such as our extensive practice guidance, but also certifications validating that understanding and expertise.

AHE has also partnered with The Ohio State University to create the first academic certificate in health care environmental services within a hospitality management program. The program is operated through The Ohio State College of Education and Human Ecology. Students in this college are studying hospitality management alongside existing health care professionals. The program consists of 12 credit hours (3 courses and an internship).

AHE is also involved with the Small and Rural Sustaining Initiative to spread quality Improvement. They are driving applications for scholarships and training to health care EVS teams in rural areas. So far in 2022, over 198 applications have been received and accepted.

Finally, AHE through the programs I’ve noted are using them to influence health care professionals and help decrease infections while improving patient satisfaction across the spectrum. To help accomplish this, AHE is collaborating with key government infection prevention organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and becoming a standard setter and influencer in the creation of health policies across all health care settings.