The Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE), part of the American Hospital Association, is a professional organization for those who care for patients and provide residential care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, continuing care retirement communities and ambulatory care. The fact that they specifically focus on the healthcare industry means that members are making relevant contacts and obtaining information for their specific industry.

Just like with APPA, there are several memberships to consider. Benefits include education in webinars and online courses, a monthly e-newsletter, access to other members, and more.

AHE also offers year-round networking and professional development opportunities through their certificate programs, educational offerings, chapter meetings and their online community. One of the best ways to take advantage of networking and career development through AHE is to attend their annual EXCHANGE event.

“EXCHANGE provides the best value in addressing your workplace concerns, ongoing education and career development,” says Executive Director, Patti Costello. “With sessions focusing on all of the important issues you face, top-notch keynote presentations, and ample opportunities to network and connect with peers and speakers – you’ll walk away better prepared to weather the impending healthcare reform changes.”

According to Jack Van Reeth, director of environmental services at Geisinger Medical Center in Mountain Top, Pennsylvania, AHE’s EXCHANGE show allowed him to, “Network with peers from all over country and exchange ideas and processes. I especially benefited from the education presentations, which resulted in our facility investing in technology and improving quality of patient care.”

Some managers use associations for networking, education and career development, while others do what they can to capitalize on online offerings. Either way, it is a matter of taking advantage of what each avenue has to offer and applying what is learned to one’s own career. Learning from industry leaders and increasing one’s value to their company are all ways to help ensure career success. Not to mention, it creates the ability to provide safe and clean environments for those who use the facility. 

ANGELICA DUDENHOEFER is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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