Fall 2006 Letter from the President
As we enter the 2006 holiday season and prepare for the year ahead I would like
to take time to thank you for the confidence you have shown in allowing me to
lead the organization into and through 2007. The momentum of the organization is
at full steam ahead as planning for both education and advocacy efforts are well
underway. I feel confident as I had stated at the annual conference that 2007
will be as exciting and productive as 2006.
I would like to use this forum to inform you of issues and opportunities that
are leading our planning for education and advocacy into the next year.
ASHE, Energy Star, and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance have asked for
WSSHE to support development of, test, and lead the Pacific Northwest in
implementing their respective organizations strategic energy management
NEEA has created a program designed to support the development of a Strategic
Energy Master Plan for Healthcare Organizations. In early December ten WSSHE
hospitals will meet with NEEA to review, tune, and assist in planning the
introduction of these materials to hospital facility and engineering programs
throughout the State. The ten hospitals were chosen by region, demographic, and
size, to ensure the information can be utilized by all engineering and facility
departments’ state wide. If given the opportunity and after the approval of the
supporting member hospitals, NEEA would like to take the program and integrate
training sessions into the respective chapters training and education schedules.
ASHE and Energy Star have partnered together with what is referred to as the E2C
Program. E2C is sharing of fundamental concepts, real data, proven strategies,
financial tools, and local success stories by ASHE members. It can provide you
the expert knowledge of where to dig to uncover the energy savings inherent in
your building design and operations with the minimum goal of saving your
organization 10% or more in utility costs.
After reviewing both programs thoroughly I see real value in merging the two
initiatives. Both programs are good on there own but together they provide a
complete package that includes- training and education, implementation tools and
tracking programs, best practices and support networks, and most importantly
like-in-kind facility comparison resources.
I have contacted both Dale Woodin, Executive Director of ASHE and Jennifer
Stout, Market Manager for NEEA, and have asked that ASHE, the EPA, Energy Star,
and NEEA meet to discuss the opportunity for a joint program that can be
supported by WSSHE in 2007 and possibly 2008. All parties seemed genuinely
supportive of the idea and preliminary discussions have begun about a meeting in
Within the next three weeks the final draft revised WAC regulation (with all the
changes from the public comment process) should be out. We will put a small
committee together to review the recommended changes and then formulate a plan
for our next direction.
There are significant issues at stake, for example the state is continuing their
charge to survey our organizations while allowing the surveyor the opportunity
to cite us on their retroactive application of new construction standards. This
is very rarely done with other state agencies, CMS, or JCAHO and is never done
without significant research, testing, data collection, specific dates for
program integration, and significant debate.
The draft document will be posted on the DOH website in the same section as the
report on proposals and comments. If you are interested in joining the review
panels please reach out to me or any board member and we will contact you with
our meeting plans.
The State Fire Marshal is expressing interest in creating an annual inspection
of our facilities.
Even though I am an advocate for firm life safety standards, the additional
inspection would levy unjustified resources on our facilities. JCAHO and their
unannounced survey process, DOH and their bi-annual inspections, and our local
fire marshals have done a great job ensuring we are keeping our life safety
standards at or even above code requirements. The financial costs for inspection
fees and lost time allocated to the inspection are without merit, the existing
agencies all have certified inspectors and the gaps between the existing surveys
or inspections ensure an issue or violation will be caught quickly.
ASHE Platinum Recognition: 60% of WSSHE's Full Members must also be in ASHE!!
At this time we have 56-ASHE Members who are also WSSHE members, out of a total
count of 187. This is 29.94%, only half of the required Platinum percentage of
60%. To reach Platinum, we need another 60-Full Members to become ASHE members
in 2006. Each of us is strongly encouraged to recommend ASHE membership
($125/yr) to current WSSHE members. ASHE is and has been a great partner of ours
and I strongly encourage you to look at their website:
www.ashe.org. I will
admit it is my dream to become the first WSSHE president to reach this goal and
I am aggressively seeking your support. Just write the check, I promise it is a
significant investment in your facility, your leadership development, continuing
education, and your advocacy and issue awareness.
As you can see your board is hard at work preparing for great educational
opportunities and important advocacy issues. We will continue to develop our
relationship with NEEA, the EPA, ASHE, and the WSHA as we lead not only the
State but also the country in both advocacy and education. There is always room
for your involvement and I encourage you to join the charge as leadership at
either the state or local level. Have a great end to 2006 and may God bless you
and your families as we move into 2007.
Stephen J. Grose, CHFM
President, Washington State Society for Healthcare Engineering