The Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE), of the American Hospital Association (AHA), announced that it has partnered with Kimberly-Clark Professional to launch "The Heart of Healthcare": a new, educational campaign designed to recognize and elevate the critical role that healthcare environmental services (ES) departments play in supporting safety initiatives and furthering the goals of their institutions in reducing healthcare-associated infection (HAI) rates.

"The Heart of Healthcare" campaign will elevate these pivotal contributions to patient safety through print and online advertising with uplifting creative elements that spotlight the ways in which ES professionals help to improve patient outcomes.  The campaign will encourage and support peer-to-peer learning, provide advice from experts in the field and offer support and tools for those new to the field.

"We are proud to salute our members and all ES professionals with this well-deserved recognition. It honors the important contribution they make to enhance care safety and their commitment to patients and residents," said Patti Costello, executive director, AHE. "We appreciative that Kimberly-Clark Professional is partnering with us to recognize ES professionals with the "The Heart of Healthcare" award. This is an exciting time and we are pleased that the important role of ES professionals is being recognized."

"The Heart of Healthcare" award will recognize outstanding ES professionals who are on the front lines making a difference for patients and residents. A panel of AHE members will select one first place winner and three "outstanding" honorable mentions. The first place winner will receive a one-year complimentary AHE membership, a framed certificate of recognition, an engraved, crystal award and the opportunity to be featured in a "Heart of Healthcare" advertisement.

"Kimberly-Clark Professional is excited to partner with AHE on this campaign to recognize the highly meaningful, yet often less publicly visible impact that ES professionals have on patient safety and the quality of healthcare," said Laura Ball, marketing manager, healthcare, Kimberly-Clark Professional. "We have always recognized that ES professionals are on the front lines continually making a difference in the lives and safety of patients and residents."

During the AHE 2011 Annual Conference & Healthcare Marketplace, September 25-28, attendees will have the opportunity to vote on the toolkit in the Kimberly-Clark Professional booth 711. Based upon feedback, the toolkit will be developed to recognize ES professionals for outstanding work. 

For more information on the campaign, and how to nominate an ES professional for "The Heart of Healthcare" award, please visit