Our incoming Vice president is Kevin Daniel. Before Kevin’s role even officially began, he was working to prepare the Chapter Affiliation submission package to ASHE. We are only one of a half dozen Chapters nationally to achieve the Platinum Award with Elite Bonus designation and I have no doubt through Kevin’s efforts that we will again receive the Platinum designation. I am looking forward to working with Kevin and the rest of the Board of Directors, and the membership as we continue our mission to promote the professional role of the healthcare engineer and advance the development of healthcare engineering. And I would be remiss if I did not thank the one person behind the scenes who keeps everything “FHEA” running smoothly and that is Alethea Vitray, our Executive Director. Alethea works very hard to make sure our Board Meetings, Spring Meeting, and joint conference/Annual Meeting and Trade Show all run smoothly, and everyone has a great time. As much as I am happy for her, I am sad to say that this year will be Alethea’s last year as our Executive Director before she transitions to retirement. She has been assisting the search committee in finding a suitable replacement, although it will be hard to find someone to fill her shoes. Thank you, Alethea, for all you do and have done for us!
As I think back on my own experiences of the past year, I am reminded what a valuable role the healthcare engineer plays in providing for patient care and team members. Many of us not only serve our campuses as facility engineers but may also have Security, Safety, Emergency Management and other responsibilities. The impact of Hurricane Matthew on North Florida was substantial. Ensuring the needs of patients and staff are maintained during a disaster and protecting the physical environment is no easy task. Most of us are also responsible for regulatory compliance for the Environment of Care and Life Safety which is always a challenge with our accrediting organizations. The role the facility engineer plays is vital to the quality of care and safety of those whose lives are interrupted by illness or injury and come to our facilities for healthcare services.
We have an exciting program for our FHEA 33rd Spring Meeting in Daytona Beach on May 11-12, 2017. On Thursday May 11th, we will start by offering the Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC) Exam Review Course and depending on interest the CHC exam will be offered on Friday, May 12th. If you have not yet registered for the FHEA Spring Meeting, please do not delay.
For 2017 we have two goals. Goal number one is to increase active member participation and sign up new engineers. To accomplish this we need your help to reach out to members who are not attending District meetings or to facilities in your district without representation. Help them understand the advantages of membership and participation in FHEA. Goal number two is to continue to increase the number of active members with a Certified Healthcare Facility Manager designation. It is rewarding to earn the certification that has become a job requirement for many healthcare organizations.
In closing, the Board of Directors and I wish you all a prosperous 2017. If there is anything we can do better to serve your needs, please pass that on to your district officers and the Board of Directors, and we will do our very best to provide the tools you need to provide quality patient care and improve the patient experience.
Hope to see you at the Spring meeting!
Larry Peterson, CHE, CHFM, CHSP
FHEA State President