WSSHE News and Issues

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Newsline Article - Fall  2015
Newsline Article - Spring  2015
Newsline Article - Summer  2013
Volume 67 - Winter  2011
Volume 66 - Winter  2011
Volume 65 - Spring 2011
Volume 64 - Fall 2010
Volume 63 - Summer 2010
Volume 62 - Winter 2010
Volume 61 - Fall 2009
Volume 60 - Spring 2009
Volume 59 - Winter 2008
Volume 55 - Winter 2006
Volume 54 - Fall 2006
Volume 53 - Summer 2006
Volume 52 - Spring 2006
Contact for Newsline submissions.

August 1, 2016

WSSHE named ASHE Platinum Level of Affiliation for 2015

WSSHE has once again earned the Platinum Level of Affiliation with ASHE for 2015

The Platinum Level is the highest Level of Affiliation that can be attained by an ASHE Chapter. This accomplishment reflects our membership's dedication to Education, Leadership, Communication, and Advocacy for the Healthcare Engineering profession. WSSHE has consistently performed at a higher level, maintaining a Gold Level Affiliation from the inception of the program in 1997 to 2008 and Platinum Level Affiliation in 2009 - 2014.

For WSSHE to earn Platinum level there are a few requirements:
- Conduct 24 hours or more of educational programming in the year
- Attendance at the annual Chapter Leadership Forum.
- Submit an application/nomination for the Emerging Regional Leader Award
- Chapter President & President-elect must both hold active ASHE membership.
- Joint ASHE/Chapter Membership: Maintain a minimum of 25% active members who hold joint ASHE membership in WSSHE.
- Distribute a minimum 12 or more member communications.

WSSHE met or exceeded minimum criteria for the Platinum level in several areas, including:
1. Education
2. Number of WSSHE members who are also ASHE members
3. Communications from WSSHE officers to members
4. Four quarterly WSSHE Newsletters
5. Four quarterly WSSHE Codes & Standards issues
6. Blast e-mails to all members throughout the year.

ASHE chapters participating in the Levels of Affiliation Awards Program submit documentation demonstrating that they have met several criteria based on affiliation objectives ASHE would like to achieve to make its chapters stronger and more viable, which in turn benefits the fields of healthcare engineering and facilities management.

A BIG "Thank You" to those outstanding WSSHE members that assisted in the Platinum level for 2015 application.

May 22, 2016

Advocacy Alert!
CMS has Adopted the 2012 Life Safety Code

ASHE resources on the 2012 edition of NFPA 101: Life Safety Code topic.

ASHE Advocacy Alert about the change
Full CMS Federal Register document (includes preamble, background, and final rule (starting on page 104)
Excerpt from Federal Register document: CMS final rule for hospitals and other types of health care facilities
   - Ambulatory Surgical Center Conditions of Participation (CoPs) begin on page 108
   - Hospital CoPs begin on page 118
   - Long term care CoPs begin on page 122
CMS press release on the adoption.


March 13, 2016

Sign Up for the Tool Lending Library Roadshow

The Tool Lending Library at the Smart Buildings Center is going on the road this Spring! Hospitals in Washington State can request a free tool demonstration at their location. The tool lending library has over 80 different types of diagnostic tools such as temperature and humidity data loggers; air and water flow measurement; infrared cameras; ultrasonic flow meters and power metering equipment. The demonstration can be tailored to fit specific organizational needs and will include hands-on tool demonstrations as well as a review of the tool reservation process. Attendees will receive a participation letter documenting the tool training for credential maintenance, including ASHE and BOC certifications.

For more information or to schedule a Tool Road Show contact Duane Lewellen at 206-538-0856 or Please allow 2-4 weeks lead time for scheduling.


December 13, 2015

Help WSSHE become "Elite"! Applications due by March 1, 2016

Enroll in ASHE's Energy to Care program and help WSSHE earn the "Chapter Elite" designation, as well as recognition for your hospital!

What is Energy to Care?
"Greater efficiency supports patient care." Energy to Care is a free benchmarking and awards program geared toward assisting you and your hospital meet your sustainability and efficiency goals.

The program uses the Energy to Care dashboard that helps identify trends, compare energy usage and reduction efforts to other facilities, and supports patient care by reducing operational costs.

Why should I enroll in Energy to Care?
Most importantly, sustainability supports population health by reducing carbon emissions and promoting stewardship of precious natural resources. It reduces hospital operating costs and highlights corporate and social responsibility.

How do I enroll in Energy to Care?
1. Enroll in Energy to Care
. Benchmark data in Portfolio Manager (includes a step-by-step guide to follow as well as a how-to video)
3. Share Portfolio Manager data with ASHE and with BuildingOS (also includes a step-by-step guide and how-to video)

When do I need to enroll?
- As soon as possible! If we can get 12 members signed up before the end of 2015, we'll earn the "Chapter Elite" designation!
- Award applications will be available 1/1/2016 with applications due by 3/1/2016.

June 9, 2015

Your Help Needed to Protect Wireless Patient Monitoring

Dear WSSHE members,

I am asking if each of you could take a seconded and fill out the comment letter and send it out. The issue that we are dealing with could pose a real risk to our patients who are on medical telemetry. Click here for the comment letter template and the instructions, we need YOU to take a second and fill this out. This is a critical patient safety items that effects our patients and we need voices heard by the FCC even if you don't have responsibilities over Bio Med. Please see below for more detail.

In 2000, at the urging of the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) dedicated a portion of the radio spectrum for wireless medical telemetry devices such as wireless heart, blood pressure, respiratory, and fetal monitors. The creation of the Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS) was a direct result of the AHA's advocacy to the FCC about our concerns over how electromagnetic interference with wireless medical telemetry equipment can affect patient safety. This issue gained national attention when a Dallas TV station, testing a digital television (DTV) transmitter, knocked out of operation low-powered heart monitors at Baylor University Medical Center and Methodist Medical Center. Fortunately, no patients were harmed; however, this disruption placed patients at both facilities at risk and could have caused serious injury or death. Since 2000, the use of WMTS has steadily increased, and there are now more than 360,000 WMTS patient monitors in U.S. hospitals.

However, the benefits of low cost monitoring available to patients throughout hospitals are in peril. The FCC is currently considering rules that would allow unlicensed devices to operate on the same frequencies as our WMTS. ASHE, a personal membership group of the AHA, has worked closely with the FCC staff and commissioners to make them aware of the impact harmful interference will have on patient monitoring. But as available wireless spectrum has become scarce, the desire to share previously protected spectrum is simply too great to be altered by one voice. We need multiple voices, telling their story of how WMTS interference will patient care in their facility. We need your help.

Please use the comment letter (put on your own organizational letterhead), fill in the hospital specific information, and send this letter to the FCC. Feel free to change the form letter as needed to put these thoughts in your own words and help explain why this monitoring is so critical to our patients. We need your voice to help convince the FCC to put patient safety first and reject all proposals that do not ensure inference free patient monitoring.

Thanks for taking the time,
Kevin Kajita
Director of Plant Services
Gray Harbor Community Hospital

November 13, 2014

WSSHE named ASHE Platinum Level of Affiliation for 2013

WSSHE has once again earned the Platinum Level of Affiliation with ASHE for 2013

The Platinum Level is the highest Level of Affiliation that can be attained by an ASHE Chapter. This accomplishment reflects our membership's dedication to Education, Leadership, Communication, and Advocacy for the Healthcare Engineering profession. WSSHE has consistently performed at a higher level, maintaining a Gold Level Affiliation from the inception of the program in 1997 to 2008 and Platinum Level Affiliation in 2009 - 2013.

For WSSHE to earn Platinum level there are a few requirements:
- Conduct 24 hours or more of educational programming in the year
- Attendance at the annual Chapter Leadership Forum.
- Submit an application/nomination for the Emerging Regional Leader Award
- Chapter President & President-elect must both hold active ASHE membership.
- Joint ASHE/Chapter Membership: Maintain a minimum of 25% active members who hold joint ASHE membership in WSSHE.
- Distribute a minimum 12 or more member communications.

WSSHE met or exceeded minimum criteria for the Platinum level in several areas, including:
1. Education
2. Number of WSSHE members who are also ASHE members
3. Communications from WSSHE officers to members
4. Four quarterly WSSHE Newsletters
5. Four quarterly WSSHE Codes & Standards issues
6. Blast e-mails to all members throughout the year.

ASHE chapters participating in the Levels of Affiliation Awards Program submit documentation demonstrating that they have met several criteria based on affiliation objectives ASHE would like to achieve to make its chapters stronger and more viable, which in turn benefits the fields of healthcare engineering and facilities management.

A BIG "Thank You" to those outstanding WSSHE members that assisted in the Platinum level for 2013 application.

May 14, 2014

Advocacy Update: CMS Code Adoption

WSSHE members:
As many of you know CMS is looking to adopt the 2012 versions of NFPA 101 and NFPA 99. I have copied the latest information on the potential impact from Chad Beebe below. We all have the ability to comment and have an impact of the adoption of these codes through the public comment process. In addition I am also in the process of setting up a webinar with John Williams of DOH to discuss the adoption, how it will affect the DOH and also his intent to adopt the most recent version of the FGI guidelines (more to come on time and date for the webinar later this month). If you have any questions or if I can help out further please let me know.
Kevin Kajita
WSSHE Advocacy Chair

Advocacy update: CMS Code Adoption
by Chad Beebe, AIA, SASHE, ASHE Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is accepting public comments on its proposed rule to adopt more recent versions of NFPA 101: Life Safety CodeŽ and NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code while making a few changes to the codes. An ASHE issue brief outlines the proposal.

ASHE supports the CMS proposal to update life safety standards and believes CMS should keep standards current in the future. ASHE has advocated for changes to NFPA 101, NFPA 99, and the International Codes that reduce conflicts between various requirements and are appropriate to health care delivery models. The 2012 editions of NFPA 101 and NFPA 99 reflect this work as well as other initiatives that promote greater flexibility in applying codes and standards appropriately to health care facilities.

It is important for CMS to adopt the latest codes without modification to ensure consistency between the multiple regulations enforced in health care. Although ASHE has very little concerns with NFPA 101 and NFPA 99, we have identified a few concerns with the proposed CMS rule because the proposed rule makes substantial changes to these two codes.

NFPA, like other standards making organizations, uses a public consensus process to debate points and ensure that provisions of the codes are appropriate for health care facilities. We have an overarching expectation of the various NFPA technical committees responsible for the changes in codes and standards to make changes that are backed by good science, defensible economics, informed policy making, and clear decision authority.

Our fundamental disagreement with the proposed CMS rule is the lack of open, transparent discussion and lack of evidence or good science to warrant the proposed deviations from the codes that so many of our nation's experts reviewed, debated, studied, and researched.

ASHE will be submitting public comments to CMS about its proposed rule. We also encourage all of our members to submit comments as well. Facility managers, architects, engineers, consultants, manufactures, and anyone else with an interest in the way health care facilities are regulated have an opportunity to get involved.

During a recent public comment period for a proposed change in a federal rule, ASHE asked its members to comment but fewer than 50 people took the time to submit a comment. While public comments are not votes, your comment does matter. Many unique comments from individuals can spur change. The comment doesn't have to be elaborate; it just needs to communicate your thoughts.

It is important that we don't copy each other's comments. The comments need to be original, but here are some issues ASHE members may want to consider in the proposed rule (also available in PDF format):

 - Health care occupancy definition change (§482.41 (b)(2)(i))
 - OR smoke ventilation requirements (§482.41 (b)(9))
 - Changing out of service requirements for sprinkler systems from 10 hours to 4 hours (§482.41 (b)(8))
 - Requiring windows in rooms occupied for 24 hours or more (new and existing) to have sill heights no more than 36" above the floor (with some exceptions) (§482.41 (b)(10))
 - Elimination of Chapters 7, 8, 13 as well as Chapter 12 on emergency preparedness (§482.41 (c)(1))

ASHE offers the following tips for submitting comments:
 - Read and understand the proposed rule before commenting.
 - Include information on how the rule would affect your facility and support your claims with facts, data, and science.
 - If you are commenting on a particular sentence in the rule, provide the page number, column, and paragraph citation from the federal register.
 - Be concise, but support your claims. For example, if you are refuting the cost of installing a smoke exhaust system and recently installed such a system, you can provide a redacted copy of the project bid.
 - If a proposed rule raises many concerns, do not feel obligated to comment on each one. You can select the issues that concern you most, affect you most, or that you understand the best.
 - Constructive comments are helpful. If you disagree with a proposal, consider posing an alternative (which could be not regulating at all or keeping the status quo) and include an analysis of how the alternative could be more effective.
 - A constructive, information rich comment is more effective than simply stating whether you like or do not like a proposed rule. There is no minimum or maximum length for an effective comment.
 - Consider opposing points of views and address them in your comments with facts and sound reasoning.
 - Identify any credentials, experiences, and expertise that you have that may help distinguish your comments from others.
 - Public comments are not votes. One well supported comment can be more influential than a thousand form letters.


January 15, 2014

WSSHE 2014 Annual Letter from Heather Warner

Dear WSSHE Members and Friends:

The Washington State Society for Healthcare Engineering (WSSHE) wishes you a prosperous New Year. Our State President this year is David DeVous of MultiCare Health System, Tacoma, Washington. Here are a couple of event dates and an update on being a Sponsor.

Semi Annual Symposium, Chelan, WA - April 23 - April 25
Typically held in Chelan and typically a topic related conference, the Semi Annual Symposium's topic will soon be revealed. At that time, we will accept twenty (20) Technical Exhibitors provided their products or services are related to the topic on a first signed up, first served basis. Table Top Display fee is Eight Hundred Dollars ($800) this year. Sponsorship opportunities will be available.

Annual Conference & Technical Exhibition, Yakima, WA - October 14 - October 17
The theme for the annual conference will be decided right after the Semi Annual Symposium and the tradeshow is open to all topics. We will be staying with the exhibition booth fee of One Thousand Twelve Hundred and Fifty ($1250) this year and Sponsorship Opportunities will be announced.

Sponsorship Update
Sponsorship Opportunities will be available at both conferences. This year we are bringing back the WAM (WSSHE Associate Member) Program. All sponsorships count for WAM points. Points will be awarded as follow:

-  1 point for every dollar that a company donates to WSSHE in sponsoring programs, booths, website, or events (not including membership dues).
-  100 points for having a member of your organization selected as Associates Member of the Year.
-  50 Points for giving a seminar or educational training to WSSHE Chapter.
-  25 points for donation of products/services/gifts to WSSHE in support of fund raising events or as door prizes. (Gift must at least equal $25 in value)
-  10 points for giving a seminar or educational training to WSSHE members at their locations (limit 20 points max).
-  5 points for assistance that an Associate Member gives to WSSHE (sitting on a committee, assisting with events, volunteering, etc.)

Points will be kept as your company sponsors any of the listed events throughout the year. Your company could end up as a Gold Sponsor (2500 or more points); Silver Sponsor (1500 points); or a Bronze Sponsor (800 points). WSSHE will recognize your company as either a Gold, Silver, or Bronze sponsor by adding a ribbon to your name badge at our conferences. Additionally, all sponsors receive recognition at the event that they sponsor and special recognition is given by the WSSHE President at the beginning and the end of the conference.

Our conferences, as well as other WSSHE Chapter events, are also posted at the WSSHE website ( Please call or email me if you have any questions or concerns.

We look forward to seeing you at the Semi Annual in the spring and at the Annual in the fall.

Yours truly,
Heather Warner
Conference Services Manager
Washington State Society for Healthcare Engineering



July 5, 2013

ASHE Announces The President's Award & FASHE Designation to Arthur D. Kjos

Arthur D. Kjos, AIA, NCARB, FASHE, principal at Clark/Kjos ArchitectsArthur Kjos, AIA, NCARB, SASHE, has selected to receive the President's Award by ASHE. The President's Award, which is presented at the discretion of the sitting ASHE president to an individual who goes above and beyond to optimize the health care physical environment, was presented to Arthur D. Kjos, AIA, NCARB, FASHE, principal at Clark/Kjos Architects in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA.

Mr. Kjos will also be bestowed the FASHE designation! This designation is given to those who have been ASHE members in good standing for at least seven years and have supported ASHE through education, leadership, and written contributions.

Art has been an ASHE member since 1991 as well as ASHE Emerging Leader 2006, 2011 and 2012 ASHE National Conference Planning Committee and many other industry contributions.

ASHE will present the awards during its 50th Annual Conference July 21 - 24, 2013 in Atlanta.

Congratulations, Arthur!

> News Release: ASHE award recipients work to improve the health care environment
> More about the Presidents Award


June 25, 2013

ASHE Announces Region 10 2013 Emerging Leader Benjamin A. Myers

Benjamin A. Myers, BOC, CHFMRegion 10 WSSHE Member Benjamin A. Myers, BOC, CHFM, is the recipient of The Emerging Regional Leader Award by The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association. The award recognizes people for their contributions to the fields of health care engineering and facilities management; planning, design, and construction; safety; clinical and biomedical engineering; and technical management. Meyers is WSSHE's past State President and past Eastern Chapter President, is Director of Plant Operations at Deaconess Medical Center/Rockwood Health Systems, Spokane, WA.

ASHE will present the awards during its 50th Annual Conference July 21 - 24, 2013 in Atlanta.

WSSHE has a way of growing and cultivating the best. We've had the Emerging Leader 7 out of the last 8 years!

Art Kjos - 2006
Chad Beebe - 2007
Mike Kelly - 2008
Brad Jones - 2010
Russ Kent - 2011
Keith Deline - 2012
Benjamin Myers - 2013

Congratulations, Ben!

> News Release: ASHE award recipients work to improve the health care environment
> More about the Emerging Regional Leader Award


June 5, 2013

ASHE Region 10 Report: WSSHE Washington State Hospitals Are Leading The Way To New Energy Efficiency Frontiers

The ASHE Region 10 Energy Efficiency Commitment campaign has assisted WSSHE Chapter hospitals to benchmark and invest in low cost/no cost energy efficiency opportunities to reduce energy consumption as a region in 2012.

Reported by Kim Hughes, LEED AP, CSBA, Operations Manager, Commercial Sector at the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, the campaign successfully engaged 44 hospitals across the Northwest. All told, the group has realized a total electricity savings of 2% since 2010. That is a .45% savings of electricity from 2011 - 2012, equaling 2.5 million kWh. Natural gas usage rose slightly from year to year.

> Energy Efficiency Final Report for WSSHE Chapter Hospitals

To learn more about Strategic Energy Management Planning and to encourage your members to implement these best practices, please visit:


April 6, 2013

April 22 Deadline for ASHE Region 10 Chapter Candidate Elections

It is our pleasure to inform you that it is once again time for ASHE Region 10 to participate in the ASHE election process to determine who will represent our GREAT Region on the ASHE Board for the next two years.

Click here for a description of the job. This should answer any questions that you may have regarding both the position as well as the criteria to become an ASHE Board candidate.

Most importantly, if you have any questions or are interested in the position please contact any one of the Region 10 Election Committee Members. Additionally, be aware that the committee's deadline to submit the Region 10 candidates to ASHE is April 22nd.

Robert Forister
Rick Mcguffey
Keith Deline

> Job Description

On behalf of the Committee, Thank you
Keith Deline, Committee Chair


October 16, 2012
WSSHE and ICC needs your help in Portland!
Final Action Hearings for 2015 International Building Code October 24-27

The Final Action Hearings for the 2015 International Building Code are in Portland, OR from October 24-27. This is our last chance to have a voice in the codes that we will be required to follow in 2015. Hot healthcare topics include:
  • Support increasing the smoke compartment size from 22,500 sf to 40,000sf in hospitals!
  • Support the removal of the requirement to smoke damper every duct penetration of a smoke barrier!
  • Fight the move to require elevator lobbies, regardless of how tall your building is!
  • Fight a proposal that would require fire dampers in all smoke barrier duct penetrations!

These changes and many more will be heard during the four day hearing. Testimony will be limited, but your presence will speak volumes. This is also the opportunity to speak to the code makers and help them understand the challenges of healthcare codes compliance.

Finally, this hearing is part of the first step to the joint ASHE/ICC goal of one single fire and life safety code. The efforts here will hopefully lead to CMS recognition of the IBC as an alternative for NFPA 101.

In an effort to make it easier to get our voice heard WSSHE is offering a $250 stipend to offset the costs of travel and lodging to attend this event.

If you're up for helping out please make sure to register for free to attend the final action hearings:

If you plan to attend, let ASHE know you are coming and we will keep you updated on the latest meeting developments and schedules. Use our online form found at

For more information or to help with coordinating travel and room sharing to help with reduce any costs above the $250 mark, contact your chapter Advocacy Liaison, Kevin Kajita at or 206-744-3191. or ASHE Director of Codes and Standards Chad Beebe at or at 312-422-3824.

October 2, 2012
Get Involved in the ICC Code Hearings
Save Your Facility Money and Headaches from CMS or TJC Citations

Sometimes everyone has to get involved in advocacy work to accomplish an important task. ASHE has been working diligently to align the codes, to improve the efficiencies of delivering patient care, to improve the safety of hospitals, and to reduce the number of citations and the expenses associated with compliance with outdated standards. Unfortunately, these improvements can't be made without your involvement.

ASHE's goal is to get 200 people to the International Code Council (ICC) final action hearings in Portland, Ore., from October 25-27. We need members of the health care community to testify and support the proposed code changes made by the ICC's Ad Hoc Committee on Healthcare, a committee formed by ASHE and the ICC last year to suggest code improvements affecting health care. These proposed changes cannot pass simply through work done just by the ASHE advocacy team. It is imperative that the voting membership at the ICC hear from all of us in health care so that the codes can be improved to streamline our efficiency and reduce the number of unnecessary annual citations.

Among the issues that will be discussed are:
 -    Smoke Dampers: A proposal would exempt hospitals from requirements for duct smoke dampers if the hospital met certain conditions, such as being equipped with automatic, quick response sprinklers and having a fully ducted HVAC system. Smoke dampers are not required by other model codes in this situation and have shown a history of success without additional dampers. One health system with 32 hospitals estimates smoke damper maintenance costs $3.2 million over the six year inspection cycle.
 -    Elevator Lobbies: Prior to the 2009 edition of the IBC, hospitals were not required to provide elevator lobbies if the building was equipped with fire sprinklers. This proposal would exempt hospitals from this requirement because elevator lobbies serve no purpose on floors of facilities that defend in place (meaning patients are evacuated to adjacent smoke compartments rather than exiting the building). The addition of required elevator lobbies would not only add unnecessary expenses to hospitals, but could complicate the movement of patients to adjacent smoke compartments by adding doors that bedridden patients must go through.
 -   Lay-in Ceiling Tiles as Smoke Barriers: Current interpretations require ceiling systems to be monolithic, and this proposal would allow lay-in ceiling systems designed to limit the transfer of smoke. Monolithic ceilings are not feasible in a hospital setting because main utility and ductwork lines run in the corridor to keep them out of patient care areas. Hospitals need many access panels in the ceiling, which compromise the intent for monolithic ceilings to be smoke-tight. However, lay-in tiles would provide a smoke-tight system with no open portions or gaps in the ceiling. ASHE estimates that it costs 56 percent less to install a lay-in ceiling compared with a monolithic ceiling.
 -    Door Locking and Infant Abduction Systems: Doors are required to unlock if the automatic sprinkler system or fire detection system is set off, but this proposal would allow an exemption to that rule in areas where egress control systems are used to prevent the abduction of infants and children. This could help prevent infant or child abduction in cases where the abductor sets off the fire alarm as a distraction and way to get doors open.

Anyone can register for free to attend the final action hearings

If you plan to attend, let ASHE know you are coming and we will keep you updated on the latest meeting developments and schedules. Use our online form found at

For more information, contact your chapter Advocacy Liaison, Kevin Kajita at or 206-744-3191. or ASHE Director of Codes and Standards Chad Beebe at or at 312-422-3824.

September 7, 2012
Proposed WSSHE By-law Changes
News from Ben Myers, BOC, President, WSSHE

The Annual Conference is just around the corner, and with that conference comes our annual meeting. One of the items we'll be taking action on is the proposed WSSHE bylaws [pdf]. Please take a moment to review the attachment which includes notes and comments defining the reason for the change.

A formal vote on the acceptance of the new bylaws will take place at the Fall conference on October 5, 2012.

A copy of the existing bylaws can be found at

A major driver for the changes was to bring WSSHE bylaws into alignment with ASHE's bylaws.

A special Thank You goes out to Jim Mead, Gary Nevius, Russell Kent, and Ray Tiedemann who served on the Bylaws Committee over the past year and put this together.

Thank you for your support and involvement with WSSHE! See you in Spokane!!

Ben Myers, BOC I President, WSSHE
Director, Support Services
Samaritan Healthcare | phone 509.793.9641 | fax 509.764.3230

September 6, 2012
Advocacy update: Undergroun​d Storage Tanks
News from Kevin Kajita CHFM

I wanted to make sure that all our membership was aware of changes concerning Underground Storage Tanks. There are new changes to the regulations including training to staff that is maintaining and monitoring. Please see below and if you have further questions or concerns you can go to the following site

Overview of Program
Washington State has a federally-approved state Underground Storage Tank (UST) program. This means that state law, not federal law, applies to UST systems in this state.

Under state law, the Department of Ecology (Ecology) currently regulates more than 9,500 tanks at more than 3,600 facilities, including gas stations, industries, commercial properties, and governmental entities. Ecology works to ensure these tanks are installed, managed, and monitored in a manner that prevents releases into the environment. To do so, Ecology conducts compliance inspections at about 800 facilities each year (most facilities have multiple tanks) and provides technical assistance to tank owners.

Changes to UST Regulations
On August 8, 2012, the Department of Ecology (Ecology) adopted changes to Chapter 173-360 WAC, Underground Storage Tank Regulations. The changes will be published in the Washington State Register on September 5, 2012, and become effective on October 1, 2012.

The changes:
  - Authorize Ecology to stop regulated substances from being delivered to UST systems that do not comply with regulatory requirements.
  - Establish an operator training program for individuals who operate and maintain UST systems. Current operators must be trained by December 31, 2012.
  - Require secondary containment and interstitial monitoring of tanks and pipes installed or replaced after October 1, 2012.
  - Require containment under dispenser systems if the dispenser, dispenser system, or underground piping connected to the dispenser system is installed or replaced after October 1, 2012.

To learn more about the changes and get copies of the adopted rule amendments, click here.

NEW: Compliance with New Operator Training Requirements
Under the adopted rule amendments, operators must be trained by December 31, 2012. To learn more about operator training requirements and training opportunities, click here.

Kevin Kajita CHFM
Operations Manager
Facilities & Engineering Services
Harborview Medical Center

August 13, 2012
The Great Washington ShakeOut

The Washington State Department of Emergency Management invites you to join thousands of people who will Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:18 a.m. for the Great Washington ShakeOut on October 18th. It only takes one person to register an entire organization at

Registration is fast, easy, and allows the organization to have their name posted on the website as a participating entity.

For additional info, please contact John Schelling at 253-512-7084.

> Letter about the ShakeOut from Emergency Management [pdf]

> ShakeOut Resources: Audio and video broadcasts, manuals, posters, & more

 -  You can hold your drill at any time within 2 weeks of October 18th.


July 10, 2012
Letter from Ben Myers & Kevin & Kajita: Be a Voice for Change on Healthcare Proposal

Welcome back from your 4th of July BBQs and celebrations!! Kevin Kajita, our newly minted Advocacy Chair, is gathering a small group together to develop a response for the recent denials by the ICC committee.

> Click for the compiled list of proposals submitted by John Williams (Chair for Ad-Hoc Committee on Healthcare) with ICC committee action and reason highlighted in yellow.

ASHE and the Ad-Hoc Committee on Healthcare (ACH) need your help to submit comments on the proposals that were "denied" by August 1st.

We want our voices to be heard and to provide the best care through the standards as possible. The immediate goal is to review these denials in a couple of conference calls and draft a response. If you or another member is passionate and interested in helping out please let Kevin know ASAP!

Kevin will be getting the first conference call set-up for either July 12th or 16th with another call on July 25th to finalize our responses.

Thank You!
Ben Myers & Kevin & Kajita

> List of proposals ICC committee action and reason highlighted in yellow [pdf]

Revise as follows:
710.4 Continuity. Smoke partitions shall extend from the top of the foundation or floor below to the underside of the floor or roof sheathing, deck or slab above or to the underside of the ceiling above where the ceiling membrane is constructed to limit the transfer of smoke. A lay-in ceiling system that is designed to limit the transfer of smoke shall be permitted. Hold-down clips for such ceilings shall not be required where the ceiling tiles will resist an uplifting force of at least one pound per square foot of tile. 
> more [pdf]


May 24, 2012
Message from Kevin Kajita, Puget Sound Chapter President & Advocacy Liaison for WSSHE

I wanted to take a second and introduce myself. My name is Kevin Kajita and currently I am the Operations Manager at Harborview Medical Center and the Puget Sound Chapter President. As some of you know, Don Kilgore is retiring and is stepping down as Advocacy Liaison for WSSHE and I have been given the chance to fill his, or try to fill his shoes. I wanted to share my contact information and encourage any of you that are having issues with regulatory interpretation at any level to please reach out.

That being said, we have an issue that both ASHE, TJC and AAMI need your help with. Recently CMS published S&C:12-07 in December of 2011 which restricts the methods that we adjust or assess our maintenance frequencies and activities on life support to manufacturer's recommendation. It also restricts adjusting non-life support maintenance activities. For those of us who use different fact based strategies (predictive, reliability-centered, corrective, metered maintenance) that differ from manufacture's recommendations this could mean more PM's and man-hours with little to no gain on equipment reliability and life expectancy.

On June 4 of this year TJC met with CMS and agreed to do research on the above mentioned strategies and what the impact to patient safety and equipment reliability is.

Here is where your input is needed, please go to and select the Facility Equipment Survey and fill out the survey so that when we go back to the table we have facts to support our arguments.

Also, if you are either in charge of or have peers in charge of Clinic Engineering please get them to fill out the AAMI survey at

I look forward to supporting you to the best of my ability. Please feel free to call me or email with any concerns.

Kevin Kajita, CHFM
Harborview Medical Center
Operations Manager/ Chief Engineer 


May 23, 2012
ASHE Announces Region 10 2012 Emerging Leader Keith Deline

Mr. Deline has been recognized by ASHE as Region 10's 2012 Emerging Leader! The Emerging Leader Award recognizes members who have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills and commitment to the field of health care facility management.

2012 Emerging Leader Keith DelineWSSHE has a way of growing and cultivating the best.
We've had the Emerging Leader 6 out of the last 7 years!

Art Kjos - 2006
Chad Beebe - 2007
Mike Kelly - 2008
Brad Jones - 2010
Russ Kent - 2011
Keith Deline - 2012

Congratulations Keith, and, as always, WSSHE ROCKS!


May 3, 2012
WSSHE has once again earned the Platinum Level of Affiliation with ASHE for 2011

This accomplishment reflects our membership's dedication to Education, Leadership, Communication, and Advocacy for the Healthcare Engineering profession. WSSHE has consistently performed at a higher level, maintaining a Gold Level Affiliation from the inception of the program in 1997 to 2008 and Platinum Level Affiliation in 2009 - 2012. There is an awards presentation for the Chapter Leadership Award Luncheon in San Antonio on July 15.

For WSSHE to earn Platinum level there are a few requirements:
- Conduct 24 hours or more of educational programming in 2011
-Attendance at the annual Chapter Leadership Forum.
-Submit an application/nomination for the Emerging Regional Leader Award
-Chapter President & President-elect must both hold active ASHE membership.
-Joint ASHE/Chapter Membership: Maintain a minimum of 25% active members who hold joint ASHE membership in WSSHE.
-Distribute a minimum 12 or more member communications.

A BIG "Thank You" to those outstanding WSSHE members that assisted in the Platinum level for 2011 application:
Philip J. Kercher, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center
Russell D. Kent, Naval Hospital Bremerton
Keith Deline, Providence St. Peter Hospital
Brad Jones, Central WA Comprehensive Mental Health
Katie Bohocky, Association Management, Inc.

Platinum Level of Affiliation with ASHE


August 12, 2011
Fire Door Maintenance

by the Washington State Patrol Fire Protection Bureau Inspection Section

In 2010, in the state of Washington, the most cited violation in nursing homes was corridor doors. During the same time period, the second most documented violation in hospitals was rated doors. The most common violations were: doors that did not close and/or latch properly, doors purposely blocked from closing with wedges and/or doorstops, and penetrations in the door compromising the smoke resistance of the door.

A Fire Door Assembly is defined as any combination of a fire door, frame, hardware and other accessories that together provide a degree of fire protection to the opening. Fire doors are designed to stop or slow down the spread of fire, smoke and toxic fumes from one section of a building to another. This gives the building's occupants a chance to exit safely from one smoke compartment to another and time for emergency responders to arrive on site.

> Read the full article [pdf]

Washington State Patrol Fire Protection Bureau Inspection Section
P.O. Box 42600, Olympia, WA 98504-2600
Phone: 360-596-3906; Fax: 360-596-3934

July 8, 2011
PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center Groundbreaking Set for July 23, 2011

An innovative new rural healthcare facility for the San Juan Islands

Healthcare in the San Juans will take a major step forward at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 23 when the groundbreaking ceremony for PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center is held at 1049 San Juan Valley Road in Friday Harbor. The San Juan community will be joined by federal, state and local leaders in breaking ground for this new primary care and specialty clinic, and Critical Access Hospital.

The community will celebrate the start of construction by touring the building site where markers will show the location of major features and medical services. Visitors will be able to view both floor plans and external and internal building images. There will be refreshments provided.

The grounds will be open from noon until 5 p.m. Access to the grounds and on-site parking will be available via Franklin Drive, the entry road to the Friday Harbor Airport.

“PeaceHealth is honored to become a part of the San Juan Island community and is looking forward to providing the highest quality on-island hospital care and expanded clinic and diagnostic services beginning in late 2012,” said Jim Barnhart, Chief Administrative Officer, PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center. "The Design Committee has focused on developing the new facility with an island look and feel. We hope to see a large turnout on the 23rd joining in the celebration and taking a look at the design and services planned for PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center.”

The facility will include an expanded primary care and specialty clinic, an enhanced diagnostic services center, a cancer care suite providing on-island chemotherapy and cancer care services, a 24-hour emergency room and a 10-bed Critical Access Hospital. This will replace San Juan Island’s existing clinic (the Inter Island Medical Center) which is 38 years old. The new facility is scheduled to open in late 2012.

The building incorporates the latest environmentally sensitive and sustainable design and construction concepts and will feature natural ventilation, a ground-source heat pump system, carbon neutrality and extensive day lighting. Architecture for PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center is by Mahlum. Construction is by Howard S. Wright Constructors.

The groundbreaking ceremony is being synchronized with events at the annual Friday Harbor Airport Fly-In and Open House. Starting with a pancake breakfast and ending with a big-band hangar party, the Fly-In and Open House is an all day nostalgic trip to a place where airplanes are for fun. There’ll be plenty of interesting visiting airplanes to see, biplane and helicopter rides, in-hangar displays, fly-overs and more. The Friday Harbor Airport is adjacent to the site of PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center.

Further material about PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center is available at

June 14, 2011
Russell Kent Named ASHE Region 10 2011 Emerging Leader

Russell Kent has been recognized by ASHE as Region 10's 2011 Emerging Leader. The Emerging Leader Award recognizes members who have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills and commitment to the field of health care facility management. Russell Kent is WSSHE's Past Presiden and works at the Naval Hospital Bremerton.

WSSHE has a way of growing and cultivating the best. We've had the Emerging Leader 5 out of the last 6 years.

Art Kjos - 2006
Chad Beebe - 2007
Mike Kelly - 2008
Brad Jones - 2010
Russ Kent - 2011

June 6, 2011
Important Product Information: ATG & Guldmann Patient Lift Systems

ATG (Advanced Technology Group) has been appointed the Exclusive Dealer and Distributor for the complete line of Guldmann Patient Lifts, Parts, Service and Repair for Oregon, Washington and Arizona. To assure uninterrupted customer service and patient care, please update your contact information to include Rich Cunningham, ATG/Guldmann representative at (503) 693-9209 or email or

May 31, 2011
WSSHE has once again earned the Platinum Level of Affiliation with ASHE

This accomplishment reflects our membership's dedication to Education, Leadership, Communication, and Advocacy for the Healthcare Engineering profession. WSSHE has consistently performed at a higher level, maintaining a Gold Level Affiliation from the inception of the program in 1997 to 2008 and Platinum Level Affiliation in 2009 & 2010.  There is an awards presentation for the Chapter Leadership Forum in Seattle on July 17.

May 17, 2011
NFPA 101: A golden opportunity to guide your own Future!

According to ASHE, five of the top ten citations on Joint Commission surveys over the last few years have been related to life safety issues, and of these, four are related to the NFPA 101 requirements surrounding corridor width (cluttered corridors, corridor protrusions, etc.).

The proposed language for the 2012 version of NFPA 101 still requires an 8 foot corridor, but would only require a 5 foot "effective width". In other words, the new language would allow 3 feet to be used for certain other functions, and would likely result in a significant decrease in TJC citations at our facilities.

This and other proposed code changes will be debated and ultimately voted upon at the upcoming NFPA conference (week of June 12, with technical meeting June 14 and 15). We now have a golden opportunity to guide our own future. In order to vote at the session, one must be an NFPA member for at least 180 days. Please help get the word out, and encourage eligible members to attend the conference and vote their conscience.

> Click here for more details

February 24, 2011

The sixth annual Puget Sound BetterBricks Awards honored a total of 14 building professionals from a variety of fields February 17. Among those recognized with an award were WSSHE Members:

Winner: Owner/Developer
Daniel Coxall, Hammes Company

Winner: Facility Manager / Operator
Stephen Grose, Virginia Mason Medical Center

Winner: Facility Manager / Operator
Edward Krause, Providence St. Peter Hospital

Winner: Design Engineer
Dick Moeller, Finn Jakobsen, Norm Brown, CDi Engineers

Winner: Service Provider
David Nieman and the MacDonald-Miller Building Performance Group

February 24, 2011
Communication Survey for WSSHE Members

It's all about communication!

The WSSHE Board of Directors invite you to take this VERY short (4 question) survey to let us know:

1. How we are doing in communicating with our members.
2. What tools (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) you use in your daily communication.

This information will help us determine how to better serve you!  Survey closes March 11, 2011.

> Take Survey


November 3, 2010
Overview of the 2009 Washington State Non-Residential Energy Code

View the presentation from the Puget Sound Chapter Educational Conference: "Humidification in Healthcare Today"
> View Event Flyer [pdf]
> View "Overview of the 2009 Washington State Non-Residential Energy Code 
Presentation  by Stan Price, Northwest Energy Efficiency Council" [pdf; 59 pgs]

August 27, 2010
Training on Fire Systems for Small Hospitals

Fire system training particularly important for smaller facilities that do not have 24/7 engineers

by Chris Pashen, Facility Manager, Providence St. Joseph Care Center

I recently had a problem with our fire system going into alarm and no one could operate the system, not even the firemen. I was called in to get the system up and running again.

This is what I have done to make sure this does not happen again. I have written a one-page operation manual that is now in our disaster manual. All existing supervisors, managers and lead staff have been trained on this information. All future supervisors, managers, and lead staff will be trained on this as part of their orientation. I have also brought in the local fire department and trained them on our system as well.

These are some of the things I have put in this training –
  • Where the fire panels are located and how to read them. (for my facility I have had all fire devices named for ease of finding them, i.e. smoke detector by room 116.) This has helped tremendously for those not trained in the maintenance field
  • What smoke detectors, pull stations and heat detectors look like when they have been triggered
  • Where pull stations and fire extinguishers are located
  • Where the fire sprinkler shut off valves are located
  • How to post a Fire Watch in the event the fire department is unable to reset the system
  • How to use the Fire System public address system

I strongly recommend smaller health care facilities train all leadership staff in depth on their fire systems. We all have disaster manuals that staff are supposed to be familiar with. We also know that we put enormous amounts of work load on our staff, and truthfully when it comes down to it, will they know what to do in an emergency situation at 2am when all other leadership staff are at home in bed. Hands on training and showing staff what fire devices look like when triggered is an invaluable tool.

Chris Pashen
Facility Manager
Providence St. Joseph Care Center
Spokane, WA

August 17, 2010
OR Extinguishers

From W. Bud McIrvin, CBET, CHFM, Manager, Biomedical & Facilities Engineering Services, Providence Regional Medical Center Everettl

The recent TJC visit this past April at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett concluded with some interesting results in the Environment of Care portion of the survey. Only one deficiency within our EOC was cited under a Direct Finding from The Joint Commissions Executive Summary.

The Standard EC.02.03.01 Element#1. The hospital minimizes the potential for harm from fire, smoke and other products of combustion. During the week the Nurse surveyor in her tour of Surgery, noted ABC type extinguishers present but no CO2 type extinguishers present or available. Discussion during the next days opening briefing focused around Regulatory references and the lack of any regulatory, NFPA or otherwise requiring CO2 or equivalent extinguishers to be present in surgery areas. Surveyors were insistent on a best practice finding, citing EOC News and Anesthesiology Journal publications of Practice Advisory. Although there was agreement in the understanding of OR Fires and issues with extinguisher types, there is no standard, regulation, code or requirement that exists for ABC type extinguisher alternatives in surgical areas, the observation was considered a final Direct finding. The appropriate appeals were filed with the TJC, but were denied.

With a required 45 day official response, our action plan obviously included the addition of an ABC type alternative in the OR environment to comply. Risk assessments were discussed and the plan was to replace all extinguishers in the Surgical suite with a CO2 equivalent to prevent OR staff confusion and abbreviate training with various fire types.

Two weeks prior to our 45 day deadline, a letter from The Joint Commission, signed by VP Ann Blouin, was received by our Compliance Officer. The letter described the issue and her justification in reversing the finding. It went on to infer that surveyors' beliefs or readings on the topic should not guide the writing of findings, rather from actual standards.

Is there a bottom line? A moral to the story? An EOC Direct finding was reversed and taken off our summary. More importantly: did the system work here? Are the patients more safe? The frequency of OR Fires are rare. However, from the few known, we have learned ofsome issues with usingthe standard ABC type extinguisher. Groups like AORN and others with the expertise, much like our ASHE/WSSHE group, have strongly recommended the change, perhaps a standard (yet)to be. Lower risk to be sure, "minimizing the potential for harm", we now have a bunch of bright metal Dupont FE-36 extinguishers in the OR. Hey, one less thing to worry about.


July 14, 2010
Chad Beebe Takes his Talents to a National Stage

Chad Beebe has announced his intention to resign his position of Manager for DOH Construction Review Services. Effective August 2, 2010, Chad has accepted the position of Associate Director of Advocacy for the American Society for Health Care Engineering of the American Hospital Association.

Chad's new role will include working closely with ASHE's Dale Woodin and Doug Erickson for the development of national standards in the construction and maintenance of physical environments for health care facilities. WSSHE is pleased to learn that Chad will maintain his residence in Washington State and is committed to continue to work very closely with WSSHE as he advances codes and standards for our benefit on a national stage. We look forward to seeing Chad at the Region 10 Conference in Spokane in September to wish him well in his new position.

Chad has served as the DOH Construction Review Services Manager for the past ten years. Over this period of time he has implemented a strategic vision for CRS that has resulted in a more timely, professional review process while adopting consensus national standards, lowering fees and reducing duplicative review efforts.

Chad has been recognized as the first Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to receive ASHE's Regional Leadership Award and has received the Business Examiner's "40 - Under" Leadership Award.

Chad writes: "My passion has always stayed the same - to reduce healthcare cost related to compliance with governmental regulations and ensure that lives saved by science and skill are not lost by an error in the environment."

WSSHE members will certainly miss Chad's leadership and vision as Manager of DOH Construction Review Services. We wish him all the best in his new role with ASHE and look forward to the opportunity to work together to influence codes and standards on a national level.

April 22, 2010
ASHE region 10 energy efficiency commitment (E2C)
Improving the Energy Wellness of our Region

ASHE and its Region 10 affiliated chapters are coming together to kick off a cost-saving energy efficiency campaign!

This effort is supported by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s BetterBricks initiative, local utilities, and the EPA’s ENERGYSTARŽ program.

The goal is for Region 10 healthcare facilities to benchmark their energy performance using ENERGYSTAR’s Portfolio Manager – or update their existing scores – and collectively reduce energy consumption by 10%.

We are committed to provide the support you’ll need for success.

Please open the pdf flyer below for full details:

>> ASHE region 10 energy efficiency commitment (E2C) [pdf]


March 8, 2010
Webinar: "Electrical Safety and Risk Management in Healthcare Facilities"

On March 3, 2010, WSSHE members participated in the webinar "Electrical Safety and Risk Management in Healthcare Facilities" presented by Joseph Weigel.

The webinar was an overview of the NFPA 70E 2009 Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace and the requirements of the standards, which are intended to better protect electrical workers from injury when the work on energized electrical equipment.

The following webinar documents are helpful as a reference for those who attended and those who missed it:

>> Webinar Presentation [pdf; 55 pages]
>> Existing Facilities Guide Specification for Arc Flash Studies
>> New Construction Guide Specification for Arc Flash Studies
>> Overview of Webinar and Joseph Weigel



December 11, 2009
Letter from your Board of Directors: Renew!

[Excerpt]  "As we approach 2010, I want to take a moment to invite you to renew (or begin) your membership with the Washington State Society for Healthcare Engineering.

Through good economic times and bad, WSSHE continues to offer top quality education and networking opportunities, at an extremely competitive price. The very definition of value!"

>> Read the full Membership Renewal Letter from the WSSHE Board of Directors [pdf]

November 18, 2009
Rule Development for Chapters 246-314 and 246-320 WAC

All proposal forms for "Rule Development for chapters 246-314 and 246-320 WAC" must be received by end of business December 1, 2009. Only proposals received by December 1, 2009 will be discussed and considered at this meeting.

In order to maintain a process that is quick, efficient and fair to all interested parties, your proposed amendments must be submitted by the cut-off date. There will not be an opportunity to propose additional changes after that date, you will however have an opportunity to discuss all of the proposed amendments and discuss them at our meeting on December 14th. You will also have an opportunity to formally make comments on any of the recommended actions that are made at the December 14th meeting.

An all day public rules meeting will be held in Tumwater, WA, December 14, 2009. Interested parties are encouraged to attend this meeting and comment on the proposals posted on the website. Again, only proposals received by December 1, 2009 will be discussed and considered at this meeting.

Further details about the meeting will be sent out in a membership e-mail notice. If you have any questions, please contact rules coordinator John Hilger at 360-236-2929 or

November 3, 2009
Memo: Waiver to Allow Hospitals to Use the NFPA 6-Year Damper Testing Interval

TO: State Survey Agency Directors, State Fire Authorities
FROM: Director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations/Survey and Certification Group

"Option for Damper Testing Interval: This memorandum permits hospitals to apply the NFPA 6-year testing interval for fire and smoke dampers in hospital heating and ventilating systems, so long as the hospital’s testing system conforms to the testing requirements under the 2007 edition of NFPA 80 and NFPA 105.

Categorical Waiver: Hospitals may operate under the damper testing cycle of the NFPA 2007 edition without special application to CMS."

>> Read the Memo in full [pdf]

November 1, 2009
Important notice to those who supervise or maintain clinical or biomedical engineering at a facility

KSTW-TV Seattle-Tacoma will increase their digital operating power which may cause telemetry interference..

"All full power television stations are required by law to begin providing DTV services, and have been given second television channels for that purpose. We are notifying you of our intention to begin DTV maximization (power increase) operations because patients within your facility may use biomedical telemtry devices that operate in he television broadcast band, and may be affected when we begin our maximization DTV service.,,"

>> Read Notice about increased power of digital television operations

October 22, 2009
"Letter to the Boss": A Thank You for the Annual Conference and Technical Exhibition | October 13-16, 2009 in Yakima, WA

Learn new information that will help me reduce our operating costs. ..."

>> Launch "Letter to the Boss" [pdf]
>> See forms, brochures and info from the Conference in Past Calendar

October 22, 2008
Presentation from Annual Conference and Technical Exhibition | October 13-16, 2009 in Yakima, WA

Conference Presentation: "The Healthcare Gauntlet: Reducing Cost While Improving Care" by Daniel Swanson
[pdf; 18 pgs, 4.6mb]


September 14, 2009
Stephen Grose, CHFM, Elected as ASHE’s Region 10 Representative

ASHE election results are in and WSSHE Member and Advocacy Chair Stephen Grose is our new Region 10 Representative and will assume office in January 2010.

Letter from Stephen Grose:

STEPHEN GROSE!Dear friends from ASHE Region 10 and fellow WSSHE members,

Thanks largely to your active support I am able to announce that I have won the regional elections for ASHE’s Region 10 Representative. Although it’s a bit early to step into the role, I want you to know that plans around the work ahead are beginning to develop.

Please let me know if you are interested in joining a committee focused on developing solutions around issues facing our region, a list of regional committee needs will be out soon. I look forward to engaging any and all of you that are interested in getting involved, there is a lot of wonderful work ahead, your support and involvement is needed and appreciated.

In closing I want to thank the entire WSSHE board, Art Kjos, Lucy Stockton, Dick Molar, and Mike Severns for going well beyond what one person could expect for support. This election is not mine but rather ours and please know how privileged I am to call you all friend. As a final note I want to thank my very talented collogue Russell Harbaugh from St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center in Boise Idaho. Russell was an excellent candidate who ran a wonderful campaign and I look forward to ensuring Russell is an important part of the next two years. Once again thank you for electing me and I look forward to working with you all very closely.

Fraternally yours,
Stephen Grose, CHFM
ASHE Region 10 Representative



September 9, 2009
"Fire Sprinklers Save Lives", an important announcement from the Office of the Washington State Fire Marshal

From The Office of the State Fire Marshal:

On August 28, 2009, at approximately 3:13 a.m. a fire occurred at Regency at the Park Nursing Home in College Place, Washington. The fire occurred under a roof extension from the main building that formed a patio area in the enclosed courtyard of the facility. The origin of the fire was in a plastic trash can which was adjacent to a supporting column for the roof.

The fire was initially reported to 911 dispatchers by nursing home staff. Within seconds the sprinkler head went off and the alarm system was activated. Due to the quick action of the staff, the fire department was on its way.

A single sprinkler head activated and contained the fire until the arrival of College Place Fire Department who then completed extinguishment with the use of a portable fire extinguisher. There was minimal damage thanks to the sprinkler head containing the fire. The administrator for the facility advised that repair cost to the post was less than $100.00. The probable cause was discarded smoking materials. The facility is a non-smoking facility and has a smoking policy that permits smoking only in designated areas outside the building.

State Fire Marshal Michael Matlick reports “Smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in Washington State. Fires can double in size in just minutes. Had this fire gone undetected or if the area had not been protected by a sprinkler system it may have spread causing a greater potential for loss of life and much more damage to the building. Fortunately, the quick action of the staff and the activation of the fire sprinkler and alarm systems notified emergency responders without delay.”

For additional fire safety tips visit the Washington State Patrol – Office of the State Fire Marshal web page at or contact your local fire department.

>> Read full "Fire Sprinklers Save Lives" announcement


September 9, 2009
Proposed Bylaw Change: Retired Membership Category

From: WSSHE Board
To: WSSHE Members

As set forth by Article VII of the WSSHE bylaws (which may be viewed at Bylaws), this flash serves as advance notification of a proposed revision to the bylaws, as follows:

Replace the existing Article II, Section 5 verbiage with the following (new or modified text highlighted):
Section 5. Retired Members
Retired membership in the Society shall be available to those individuals who have retired from positions which qualify for either Full or Associate membership. Retired members may vote and serve on committees, but may not hold office.

Section 6. Dues
The Board of Directors shall establish annual dues for Full members, Associate members, and Retired Members of the Society. Dues shall be payable by January 1 of each year except for Honorary members who will not be required to pay dues. Dues will be requested Dec. 1 for the following year.

Rationale: Currently, WSSHE bylaws do not provide a membership category which allows retired members to continue their participation. However, retired members are a valued part of our community, and are encouraged to participate. This bylaw change will provide a clear mechanism for retired individuals to continue their membership in the Society.

At the WSSHE general membership meeting on October 16th in Yakima, full members will have the opportunity to vote on this important change.

If you have any questions or suggestions in regards to this matter, please contact Russell Kent at

>> Read the current WSSHE bylaws
>> Read 'Flash' about the proposed bylaw change


July 29, 2009
Vote for our own WSSHE Nominee Stephen Grose!

ASHE's 2009 Online Election Opens Saturday, August 1

Cast Your Vote for the 2010 President-Elect of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering and Select Regional Directors.

STEPHEN GROSE!Please make sure to cast your vote for WSSHE nominee Stephen Grose for ASHE Region 10 Representative

Read their candidate information on

Voting opens Saturday, August 1, 2009 and closes at 11:59 p.m. (CDT) Thursday, September 3, 2009

>> Go to


May 19, 2009
Annual Conference & Tradeshow Information 2009

Dear WSSHE Friends and Valued Vendors,

The Washington State Society of Healthcare Engineers (WSSHE) would like to invite you to participate in our annual conference and technical exhibition in October of 2009. Our State President this year is Bradford P. Jones of Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health, Yakima, Washington.

The Annual Conference “The Health Care Gauntlet: Reducing Cost While Improving Care” will be held Wednesday, October 14, through Friday, October 16, 2009, with the evening of Tuesday, October 13 planned for the President’s Reception (7 p.m. – 10 p.m.)...

>> Read Complete Announcement
>> More conference details on our 'past events' page


May 19, 2009
Survey Results of the Semi-Annual Conference

Did you attend the  WSSHE 2009 Semi-Annual Conference in Chelan, WA in April? Curious of the opinions of your fellow attendees?  How satisfied were you with the speakers?  What kinds of sessions would you like to see included at future conferences? Check out the answers!

>> Launch Survey Results  Be sure to click on "View" button on the results page to see further comments.
>> pdf version [does not have 'view comments'

May 4, 2009
"Letter to the Boss": A Thank You for the Semi-Annual Conference

Did you find the  WSSHE 2009 Semi-Annual Conference in Chelan, WA a big benefit? Use this template to tell your boss. It is designed to be edited to suit the individual user.

"Thank you for supporting my attendance at the Washington State Society for Healthcare Engineering (WSSHE) Semi-Annual Conference in Chelan ..."

>> Launch "Letter to the Boss"
>> See forms, brochures and info from the Conference in Past Calendar

April 24, 2009
Seattle TV Channel 21 Features Facilities Electricity Use Tracker 'Seattle MeterWatch'

Jim Mead, WSSHE member, Sec./Treas. of the Puget Sound Chapter  and Operations Supervisor, Facilities Engineering at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center shared a  Seattle TV Channel 21 video program on featuring the energy savings work they're doing at Fred Hutchinson.

Robert Cowan, director of Facilities Engineering, discusses energy expenditures and the Seattle MeterWatch program used to track electricity use and cut costs - a 10% reduction in the Engineering budget.

Seattle MeterWatch is a free, online service that helps large Seattle City Light customers track hourly and daily electricity use patterns and estimated costs.

Jim Mead says, "Even though other utilities may not have a similar program, which, by the way is free of charge, but I am confident that this "Smart meter" revolution is coming soon to all utilities. This short video illustrates just how powerful it can be even in facilities that already are ahead of the curve in conservation programs."

>> Watch the Seattle Channel video


April 24, 2009
Training for Utility System Reliability

From Doug Sowers, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center:

In keeping with our theme for the Semi-annual; here are a few thoughts on Staff Training to support your utility systems. As engineers we tend to focus on equipment; it’s condition, preventative maintenance issues, and performance capabilities. We write PM’s, Policies and Procedures and even Action Plans. However we tend to give less attention to the human element. Unfortunately, all our preplanning has little value when that emergency occurs, if our staff cannot carry out these plans.
The answer of course, is Training. Now I’m sure you all have some training in place, but here is a couple of ideas you may not be using.

  • Consider training your staff in the use and interpretation of your One-line Electrical drawings.
  • Write a quiz on the drawings, given annually, causing them to practice their training.
  • When training, require each staff member to perform the task. Simulate a real event. You are only as prepared as the ability of your weakest staff member.
  • Train everyone!! When the emergency occurs that “Key person” might not be there.
  • Train on the ancillary equipment. That generator is not going to run if the fuel system fails.

Of course the list goes on, you get the idea. If you have questions or some ideas of you own to share feel free to contact me.

Doug Sowers
Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center



October 30, 2008
Fire Safety Evaluation System

With the adoption of the 2000 edition of the Life Safety Code CMS retained the authority to apply the Fire Safety Evaluation System (FSES) as an alternative approach to meeting the requirements of the LSC. The FSES alternative approach is used by qualified individuals trained and experienced in the proper application and limitations of the FSES. This approach is not to be used if patient/resident safety is compromised in any way. The link below is to an excel spreadsheet on the Construction Review Services website and is a calculator for determining if your deficiency qualifies as an alternate approach for meeting the requirements of the Life Safety Code.

Posting approved October 29 by WSSHE President Brad Jones

>> view Fire Safety Evaluation System for Healthcare Occupancies [xls]


October 10, 2008
Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities

Comment Period Open for Health Care Design and Construction Guidelines

>> more  [pdf]


September 25, 2008
2008 Annual Conference Attendee List

Many colleagues attended the September 16 – 19, 2008 "Meeting the Challenge of Change" Annual Conference and Technical Tradeshow at the Wenatchee Convention Center in Wenatchee, WA

>> view the attendee list [pdf]


July 8, 2008
News from DOH and WSHA: Department of Health Allows Hospitals to Build Semi-Private Rooms

The Department of Health recently announced that it will adopt construction standards that clearly allow hospitals to build semi-private rooms. The new construction standards go into effect on July 21, 2008. More information is available at:
or by contacting Chad Beebe at  or (360) 236-2944.

In March, the department proposed different language that would have required hospitals to build private patient rooms in hospitals unless they receive approval from the department for semi-private rooms. While WSHA agreed that private patient rooms are the best practice in patient care, this rule would not have worked in the real world of financing, building, and operating hospitals. The department received comments from WSHA and hospitals throughout the state. The proposed rule would have limited the ability of hospitals to meet their community needs during emergencies or times of high patient volume, limited the ability of public and non-profit hospitals to receive financing, and limited the number of patients beds available to the community because of building space restrictions.

WSHA appreciates the department's willingness to listen to hospital concerns and adopt the original agreed-upon language. Thanks also to all hospita ls that submitted comments to the department and testified at the rules hearing. WSHA also appreciates the expertise provided by the Washington State Society for Healthcare Engineering.


May 13, 2008
Open letter to WSSHE members
Re: Pete Peterson Scholarship Fund (PPSF)

Fellow WSSHE members,
I have been asked to write this document to clarify what the Pete Peterson Scholarship Fund [PPSF] is and its relationship to the Washington State Society for Healthcare Engineering (WSSHE). During the past several years, there have been many questions raised concerning the reasons for the formation of the PPSF, how it is run and what influence WSSHE has over it.  In 2004, several members of the Puget Sound Chapter of WSSHE (PS), myself included, thought it would be a good idea to hold a golf tournament strictly as a social event. The success of the event prompted the idea of creating a fund that would allow Full Members to attend the two WSSHE “state” conferences.
>> read more

Regards, James Mead, Secretary, PPSF
Posting approved May 13 by WSSHE President Tom Pitts


April 25, 2008
Semi-Annual Conference Presentation

A “Nuts and Bolts” Approach To Healthcare: Electrical Systems Safety / Emergency Power Reliability Presented by: Bruce Alward. P.E. [46 pgs., 1.36 mb pdf]


March 25, 2008
Gov. Chris Gregoire signs SB 6710 20080325-6564

Senate Bill (SB) 6710 ensures coordination between fire/life safety surveys by the fire marshal and the Washington State Department of Health’s licensing surveys and creates a reasonable set of surveying standards. >> read more
>> click to enlarge

Gov. Chris Gregoire signs SB 6710
March 27, 2008
Attention: Retraction of USP 797 revision information

Dear WSSHE Membership,

On March 11th of this year WSSHE sent to your attention an emergency information release titled "USP 797: New requirements for Pharmacy Clean Rooms". We proceeded to state- Please be aware that USP 797 will become effective June 1, 2008 in Washington State. Knowing the sensitivity towards this issue and the advocacy efforts to advise against adoption of this standard by many of us at the local and national level for no less than the last 24 months, the WSSHE advocacy committee was able request a special meeting with Brenda Suiter, Vice President for the Washington State Hospital Association, Steven Saxe, Director - Facility and Services Licensing, and Grant Chester, Supervisor with the Washington State Board of Pharmacy.

In this meeting all four organizations were able to clarify their positions with regard to USP 797 and following are updates from the meeting with the state, communications with ASHE, and information from your advocacy committee:

• Washington State will not be enforcing the environmental controls chapter from USP 797 unless mandated by the federal government. If mandated we (WSSHE, WSHA, DOH, and State Board of Pharmacy) will work collaboratively towards a model that meets the needs of Washington State hospitals and the communities we all serve.

• ASHE has informed us that The Joint Commission, CMS, and the FDA will not be surveying to the revised USP 797. We will advise you if this status changes.

• If you are planning a major renovation or new construction you should plan for future integration of the standards. We are not saying that USP 797 is a dead revision, only that there is enough debate taking place with regard to how it was developed that WSSHE feels comfortable in advising our membership to ‘hold off ’ but ‘be prepared’. Our reasons for not supporting this revision are sound and we will be posting a position paper for your review on the WSSHE website this week.

• We have been successful asking the State agencies to listen, support, and address our concerns with regards to enforcement of the environmental controls chapter but they can only support us to the point of time when the Feds mandate enforcement. At this time WSSHE will be offering any and all advocacy support that ASHE may need to keep this issue resolution active at the national level. If asked, and I assume we will, be prepared to engage your administrator about this revision. We will need your support and the support of your organization if we are to ensure a permanent moratorium on this issue.

I want to thank you in advance for your support and encourage you to reach out to us with any questions you may have. See you in Chelan.

Regards, Stephen J. Grose, CHFM
Advocacy Committee Chair
Washington State Society for Healthcare Engineering
925 Seneca Street
Seattle Washington 98101

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Washington State Department of Health Manager Chad E. Beebe, AIA to receive prestigious award from the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE). This prominent award recognizes 10 exceptional individuals, one from each ASHE Region, for their exemplary leadership skills and their commitment to the field of healthcare facilities management through their local and/or national involvement with ASHE.  Chad Beebe, a licensed Architect and Certified Fire Protection Specialist is actively involved nationally with the National Fire Protection Association as secretary of the Healthcare Section Codes and Standards Review Committee, NFPA 99 - Technical Correlating Committee and NFPA 101A – Technical Committee on Alternative Approaches to Life Safety. Chad is an active Steering Committee member with the Health Guidelines Revision Committee which produces The Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities.

ASHE Award
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Issues & Presidents Letters
Letter from President Brad Jones [Fall 2009]
Letter from President Brad Jones [Winter 2008]
Letter from President Tom Pitts [Spring 2008]
Letter from President Steve Grose [Fall 2006]
Sprinkler Recall-O Ring Flyer [July 2001]
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