The American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES) announced that Thomas J Fitzgerald, III, CHESP is the recipient of the 2008 Phoenix Award. ASHES highest honor, the Phoenix award recognizes an individual who has made a lasting impact in the ASHES organization through outstanding contributions to the growth and professionalism of the field of health care environmental services and textile care services.

Fitzgerald has been an ASHES member since 1998. He served as president of the ASHES board of directors in 2004 and 2005 and has tirelessly worked in the environmental services field in the Veterans Administration's healthcare system. Currently, Fitzgerald serves as Assistant Health Care System Director for the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in California. Throughout his involvement with ASHES, Fitzgerald has been an outspoken supporter of the Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Professional (CHESP) certification program.

ASHES also recognizes excellence in health care environmental services with a variety of awards and honors to local ASHES chapters as well as to individuals. Other award winners announced at the annual conference in San Antonio, Texas include:

* Lifetime Achievement Award: Gerald B. Stepman, CHESP, Retired, US Army Medical Command, Boerne, Texas. The ASHES Lifetime Achievement Awards is presented to an individual that has positively impacted the healthcare environmental services field and the ASHES organization. The individuals selected for this honor are highly regarded among the professionals in the field.

* J. Owen Flynn Memorial Award: Dave Roberson, JD, CHESP, Vice President, Sodexo Health Care Services, Brentwood, Tenn. The Owen Flynn Memorial Award is presented to one who, without compensation or personal gain, performed a service or services to the benefit of their hospital, community, state, or country. This service may be in the form of community projects, civic work, or charitable service.

* James Wolffbrandt Mentor Award: Keith Bednar, Chief, Environmental Services, VA Hospital, Madison, Wis. The James Wolffbrandt Mentor Award recognizes an individual who has made a selfless commitment of their personal time and/or professional expertise to guide, encourage, and educate professionals in the field of environmental services or textile care.

* Employee Recognition Program Award: Eva L. North, CHESP, Chief Environmental Management Services, VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Murfreesboro, Tenn. The Employee Recognition Program Award recognizes members who have developed and implemented successful employee recognition programs. These programs can be demonstrated as having had a positive motivational impact and resulted in significant changes in staff  behavior

* Environmental Stewardship Award: Eva L. North, CHESP, Chief Environmental Management Services, VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Murfreesboro, Tenn. The Environmental Stewardship Award is presented to an individual who has worked to preserve the environment through waste reduction, pollution prevention and/or mercury elimination.

* The Excellence in Education Award: Robert J Bos, CPHRM, CHESP, Chief Environmental Management Services, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Fayetteville, Ark. The Excellence in Education Award recognizes an individual or organization that has made a commitment to providing educational and management growth opportunities to health care environmental services professionals, through the design and implementation of innovative member programs, seminars, and/or vendor shows that go beyond a standard session and address timely topics.