ASHE celebrates extraordinary contributions to the field with 2023 ASHE Awards

August 9, 2023

CHICAGO – The American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association celebrates the outstanding achievements by members to improve the health care physical environment with its annual member awards. Awardees will be recognized during ASHE’s 60th Annual Conference and Technical Exhibition August 6-9 in San Antonio.

The Crystal Eagle Leadership Award, considered ASHE’s lifetime achievement award, was presented to David A. Dagenais, BS, CHSP, FASHE, senior director of plant operations, clinical engineering, emergency management, and safety officer at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, N.H.

Dagenais has been a distinguished leader in the ASHE community for more than 25 years, serving on the ASHE Advisory Board first as Region 1 Representative and, in 2015, as Advisory Board President. He is also active at the local level with the New England Healthcare Engineers’ Society and was the chapter’s president in 2011. Dagenais has represented ASHE and its members on several code development committees throughout his career, including those for the National Fire Protection Association and the Facilities Guidelines Institute. He is also a highly engaged ASHE faculty member and has presented as an instructor or expert panelist at numerous ASHE education events and conferences.

“Dave is a true asset to the ASHE community. He has been a mentor to countless ASHE members and a fierce advocate for ASHE’s interest in the compliance arena for decades,” says ASHE Deputy Executive Director Chad Beebe, AIA, CHFM. “He’s a leader in every sense of the word, and the organization is fortunate to count him among its members.”

ASHE President’s Award Presented to Dean M. Pufahl

The ASHE President’s Award, which is given 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 Dean M. Pufahl, CHFM, CHC, of West Bend, Wis.

Pufahl’s career in facilities management spans more than four decades. He served as director of facilities at health care organizations throughout southeast Wisconsin, including director of plant operations at Elmbrook Memorial Hospital in Brookfield, Wis., and director of enterprise facility service at Froedtert Health West Bend Hospital in West Bend, Wis. He first became involved in ASHE leadership as a member of the Region 6 Conference planning committee and later served as ASHE Advisory Region 6 representative and then as Advisory Board President in 2019. Key accomplishments throughout Pufahl’s tenure with ASHE include championing education and professional development opportunities at the regional level and advocating for greater representation of women in ASHE leadership.

“I’ve personally witnessed Dean’s selfless leadership when doing the right thing wasn’t popular,” says ASHE President Gordon Howie, MSPM, CHFM, CHC, SASHE. “His vision for equity, diversity and inclusion in the organization goes back nearly a decade. Dean shared his vision, built a team and stepped back to watch it take wing. His down-to-earth and personable approach to leadership has served ASHE well.”

Excellence in Health Care Facility Management Award Presented to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation

ASHE also presented the Excellence in Health Care Facility Management Award during the opening session at the 2023 Annual Conference. This award, which was reinstated in 2023 after a hiatus in 2022, recognizes exceptional teams who improve patient safety and satisfaction through innovation in facility management.

The 2023 award was presented to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, for completing critical infrastructure upgrades to its H Building facility. The project team demonstrated extraordinary dedication, managerial acumen and technical skill to deliver a complete replacement and upgrade of the facility’s electrical and mechanical systems. Cleveland Clinic Foundation’s commitment to improving the H Building’s resiliency and redundancy provided the impetus for the project, which was completed on time and below budget without any patient or construction safety incidents, even while maintaining critical patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New SASHE and FASHE Members Recognized

Additionally, ASHE recognizes members who attained senior (SASHE) and fellow (FASHE) status within ASHE this year at the ASHE Annual Conference.

The FASHE designation is bestowed upon those who have been ASHE members in good standing for at least 10 years and have contributed to the field through education, leadership and written contributions. The following members are new FASHE recipients:

  • Robert L. Baird, CHFM, CHSP, CHC, FASHE, UF Health Shands, Gainesville, Fla.
  • Shadie R. Rankhorn, Jr., CHFM, CHC, FASHE, Facilities Diagnostics, Nashville, Tenn.

The SASHE designation is bestowed on those who have been ASHE members in good standing for at least five years and have supported ASHE in terms of education and leadership. The following members are new SASHE recipients:

  • Jeremy Thomas Bangert, AIC, LEED AP BD+C, SASHE, The Hagerman Group, Fishers, Ind.
  • Jeremy D. Bechtold, LEED-AP, CHFM, CHC, SASHE, Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Krista M. Biason, PE, SASHE, HGA Architects and Engineers, Maple Grove, Minn.
  • John J. Ganley, CHSP, SASHE, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, Pinehurst, N.C.
  • Jamey Lynn Greer, SASHE, Ascension Providence, Mobile, Ala.
  • J. Alex Harwell, PE, CHFM, CHC, SASHE, Dewberry, Raleigh, N.C
  • Roy D. Hirchak, CHFM, SASHE, Defense Health Agency (DHA), Converse, Texas
  • Gordon Howie, MSPM, CHFM, CHC, SASHE, Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wis.
  • Leah Hummel, AIA, CHFM, CHC, SASHE, American Society for Health Care Engineering, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Khuong T. Huynh, MSITM, BSEE, CHFM, CHC, SASHE, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia
  • Narsimha Irrinki, SASHE, Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Medical Center, Cupertino, Calif.
  • Matthew Keahey, SASHE, Medxcel, Indianapolis
  • Mark Keller, CHFM, SASHE, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
  • Shelly Koehler, LEED AP, SASHE, JE Dunn Construction, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Jeffrey T. O’Neill, AIA, SASHE, RWJBarnabas Health, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, N.J.
  • Richie Stever, CHFM, SASHE, University of Maryland Medical System, Linthicum, Md.
  • James D. Tucker, CHFM, CHC, CHSP, SASHE, OSF HealthCare | Integrated Solutions, Peoria, Ill.
  • Taylor Vaughn, MBA, CHFM, CHC, CLSS-HC, SASHE, Children’s Health, Dallas
  • Meredith Wardwell, CHFM, CHC, SASHE, Centura, Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • G. Andy Woommavovah, CHFM, SASHE, Trinity Health, Elizabethtown, Ky.
  • Emi Camilla Yamada, CHFM, SASHE, UMC, Seattle

Regional Leader Awards Recognize Health Care Engineering, Facility Management Excellence

ASHE’s Regional Leader Award recognizes individuals for their contributions to the fields of health care engineering and facility management; planning, design and construction; safety; clinical and biomedical engineering; and technical management.

  • Region 1: Christopher J. Licata, CPE, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.
  • Region 2:  Bradley A. Benson, Jr., CHFM, Commonwealth Health — Scranton Market, Danville, Pa.
  • Region 3: David A. Hinkle, Baptist Health, Woodbine, Ky.
  • Region 4: Adam Mayle CHFM, CHC, CHE, Memorial Regional Hospital, Hollywood, Fla.
  • Region 5: Brian Denhoff, McLaren Northern Michigan, Petoskey, Mich.
  • Region 6: Cory Majszak, MSOL, CHFM, CHOP, Rogers Behavioral Health, Oconomowoc, Wis.
  • Region 7: Richard Gallaher, CHFM, CHESP, St. Tammany Health System, Covington, La.
  • Region 8: Dylan E. Cardiff, CHFM, CHI Health St. Elizabeth and Nebraska Heart Hospital, Lincoln, Neb.
  • Region 9: Rome Arguelles, Tenet/Abrazo Healthcare, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Region 10: Jessica K. Onaga, CHFM, CHSP, Pali Momi Medical Center, Aiea, Hawaii

For more information on ASHE awards, visit


About ASHE
ASHE is a professional membership group of the American Hospital Association. More than 12,500 members rely on ASHE as a key source of professional development, industry information and advocacy, including representation on key issues that affect their work in the physical health care environment. For more information about ASHE, contact 312-422-3800 or visit