‘CHEST’ Program Elevates Environmental Services Team at Fairview Hospital


December 27 – “Doctors and nurses do their best to keep patients healthy, but they can’t provide the very best care possible without the facility being healthy,” stated Fairview’s Quality Director, Dr. Alec Belman, as he congratulated members of Fairview Hospital’s new Environmental Services Team for achieving the American Hospital Association certification as Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technicians (CHEST).

Previously known as the Housekeeping team, every member of the new Environment Services Department had to complete 24 hours of required classroom instruction. The CHEST Program content consisted of seven domains: Cleaning and Disinfection, Waste Handling, Floor Care, Linen Handling, Infection Prevention, Safety, and Communication. Fairview Hospital is the only rural hospital in Massachusetts that completed the staff development program.

Fairview Executive Vice President Anthony Rinaldi said, “We are here to recognize your efforts, to celebrate your achievements and thank you for your contributions to enhancing Fairview Hospital’s performance. Your dedication plays an important role in patient outcomes and patient experience.

The program was funded by a grant by the Massachusetts Office of Rural Health, said Fairview Operations VP, Doreen Hutchinson, who supported two employees, Kelly Holmes and Carly McKenney, who both attended a training seminar by the American Hospital Association in order to return to Fairview to train the entire team.

Following the ceremony, staff from throughout the hospital congratulated the members of the Environmental Services team, recognizing how environmental services technicians play an essential role in patients’ experience of care, as well as, ensuring patient safety and satisfaction and contributing to a clean and quiet healing atmosphere that leads to improved outcomes.

Participants felt the program incorporated many existing skills and practices but also elevated the level of understanding of their role, the environment, its risks and effective techniques.

Three members of the Environmental Services team cited ways the program improved their performance:

  • Gregory Ferry gained knowledge and understanding. “The first lesson is learning about infection, the infection link cycle and the kinds of chemicals you need to clean and how to kill micro-organisms. Understanding infection helps me protect the patient, the staff and myself.”
  • Betty Ostran
  • Angelina D’oro felt CHEST reinforced her knowledge and experience but added a more organized approach to her thinking about the hospital environment. “We have incorporated many new techniques during my 11 years at Fairview. We learned about different products and techniques, all tailored to infection control. What is most important is to create a healing environment. You can’t heal if the hospital is not clean. Clean makes healing and healing makes happy patients,” she said.

For more information, contact Donna Wichman, MSN, RN, CIC, Director of Infection Control, at (413) 854-9729 ext.21.