Interlink 2019 Speakers
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Interlink 2019 Speakers

Getting your Hospital Up and Running, Post-catastrophe : A Case Study

Melinda Wood Allen

CEO, Allen & Company Environmental Services/ Cavalry Construction & Restoration

Melinda Allen is president and CEO of Allen & Company Environmental Services (WBENC and HUB status certified) She has worked in a variety of aspects of the indoor environmental industry since 1991. She is a certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialist (NADCA), Certified Indoor Environmentalist (IAQA), and certified TDI CEU training provider. She holds an Asbestos Contractor License. Her company is additionally licensed in Mold Remediation, Lead Abatement, Heating, Ventilation and Refrigeration, Pest Control, and is DOT and OSHA-certified in Bio-hazard and hazardous waste removal.

Mrs. Allen is active in the company operations, overseeing safety and regulatory issues, conducting employee training classes for workers and supervisors. She is also a sought after speaker for asbestos, mold, insurances and leadership training classes.

She has served as Education and Training Instructor and CE provider for these and related industries since 2000. Her articles are published in multiple national trade publications, including Claims Magazine, Plumbing and Maintenance, NADCA and the AC(HR)News. Her company is proud to provide a wide range of environmental services across the state.


In 2018 Coryell Memorial Healthcare System experienced an unprecedented catastrophe. A powerful explosion of natural gas from a new construction site created a concussion that affected the entire property. The campus included the only local ER, ORs, acute and chronic patient care, as well as a nursing home and assisted living center. It was absolutely necessary to get it up and running safely ASAP.

In this case study we will explore the successful remediation of the campus, including: humidity & climate control in summer conditions, working with infection control and facilities management to prioritize work areas & create work plans, containing/controlling contaminants, communicating & cooperating with medical staff, working in patient occupied areas, assuring patient and worker safety, and achieving a high level of cleanliness in all areas including HVAC system, and efficient re-build to restore Coryel to full function in the shortest time possible.

Emergency Power Infrastructure Improvement Project – Guidelines to Consider

Craig Ayers

Director of Facilities Engineering, Memorial Hermann

Craig Ayers has held numerous leadership positions in healthcare facilities management for over 38 years. Currently, he is the Director of Facilities Engineering at Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital. Craig’s facility at Northeast has attained the Energy Star label and has received the ASHE E2C award for 25% energy reduction. The Northeast campus continues to be an Energy Star ranked facility. Craig has held similar positions at HCA as Director of Engineering and Security at the Bayshore and East Houston campuses in the Houston area as well as Director of Plant Operations at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, Texas. His leadership positions have included facility engineering, clinical engineering, security, and construction management of more than $270-million in capital projects.

Craig attended Ohio University, where he received his Master of Health Administration degree in 2011. Craig holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from LeTourneau University. He is a Certified Healthcare Facilities Manager (CHFM), Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC), Certified Healthcare Safety Professional (CHSP), Certified Safety Management Practitioner, and Certified Pool and Spa Operator (CPO).

Craig has served three years on the Board of Directors for Keep Longview Beautiful and one year as president. He received the Shooting Star Award from Good Shepherd Medical Center and spent several years as part of their Chaplaincy Program. He is active with the Boy Scouts in the Mont Belvieu area. Craig and his wife Carrie reside in the Baytown area with their son Christopher with one daughter living in Ft. Worth.


Addressing issues with emergency power systems has always been problematic in healthcare institutions due to the critical nature of those systems. The industry expects these systems to work every time, all the time. Reliability is key and most of us have experienced problems with generators that would not start or transfer switches that would not operate properly, and make our best efforts to remedy the problem and continue operations. Redundancy is also an important topic and goal to achieve with these critical systems. Although not a code requirement, redundancy has become more important to our industry – especially given the frequency of natural disasters in the Gulf coast. Over time, emergency power system components must be updated in order to ensure reliability – always a challenge in a fully functioning hospital environment.

This presentation will describe an Emergency Power Renovation Project at Memorial Hermann Northeast. It will detail the steps it took to develop and execute a multi-phased project to provide a safe and efficient emergency power distribution system that should support the hospital for many years to come; and improve redundancy of the distribution system. The presentation will also detail the communication plan and the steps involved at getting the healthcare staff involved at mitigating patient risk during the project.

Controlling Your Workers' Compensation Costs - Financial and Human

Pat Crawford

Worker's Compensation Specialist, Division of Workers' Compensation, Texas Department of Insurance

Pat Crawford is a worker's compensation specialist for the Division of Workers' Compensation. For 25 years, prior to joining DWC, she managed workers' compensation claims, adjusters and costs for Levi Strauss & Co. She was responsible for legislative and regulatory matters in 13 states. She served on the Board of Directors responsible for establishing the Texas Workers' Compensation Insurance Fund, which eventually became Texas Mutual Insurance Co. She has participated in numerous committees and organizations addressing workers' compensation and labor concerns across the Country.


Controlling workers' compensation cost is a major concern for employers. It is important that employers have a good understanding of our workers' compensation system. Employers will learn what they can and should be doing to help reduce costs, learn how to eliminate costly unnecessary lost time, and reduce staff turnover and absences.

Refrigerants: Where are we headed in North America?

William Dietrich

Daikin Applied Americas Product general Manager, Chillers

Product General Manager for Chillers at Daikin Applied Americas. This includes all air cooled and water cooled Centrifugal and Positive Displacement machines. Prior to joining Daikin Applied, Bill was the Vice President of Global Engineering for Baltimore Aircoil Company. In addition, Bill spent many years at both McQuay and York International prior to joining BAC.

With over 30 years’ experience in the industry, Bill has held numerous Engineering and Marketing Applications positions addressing commercial/industrial HVAC equipment (chillers, AHU, rooftops, cooling towers and evaporative condensers) and systems using these components.

He has a deep chiller background and was involved in the transition from CFCs and HCFCs to HFCs, and is actively involved in the work and discussions regarding the new low GWP refrigerants.

Bill has a BSME from University of Minnesota Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School Of Management. He is active in industry organizations such as AHRI and ASHRAE. Past chair of TC 8.2, Centrifugal Machines, and the ASHRAE CEC, and a recipient of the ASHRAE distinguished service award. He is currently an active member AHRI and Vice-Chair of the Chiller Section Committee.


The refrigerant issue is back! Those of you who have been in the industry for some time may remember the transition away from CFCs and HCFCs. With new climate considerations many of the refrigerants we are using today are being called into question for the future. This presentation will cover the of the basics surrounding the refrigerant issue: Alternatives, safety, performance and next steps.

Facility’s Insight: How to Prepare for Survey

Lorrie Elizarraraz

Executive Director of Facilities Management, University Health System

Lorrie has over twenty years of safety experience with eighteen of the years’ in the healthcare physical environment. She is currently working at University Health System in San Antonio, Texas as the Executive Director of Facilities Management, responsible for over 3 million square feet of infrastructure and utility systems. Most recently, Lorrie served as the Senior Staff Consultant and Director of Education Services & Publications with Safety Management Services, Inc. for nearly ten years.

Mrs. Elizarraraz worked at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, developing a comprehensive Safety Department and Program. She also worked full-time at Harris Methodist H.E.B. Hospital and Cook Children’s Medical Center, both in Fort Worth, Texas. In her duties as a Director of Safety, Lorrie has wide experience in all seven areas of the Environment of Care®, with focus in the areas of Emergency Management, Fire Safety, and Safety management. As a facility Safety Officer, Lorrie has helped her organizations prepare for The Joint Commission® survey, as well as responsibilities related to regulatory compliance for OSHA, EPA, FDA and local authorities having jurisdiction.

Lorrie serves in the United States Air Force as a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Traditional Reservist. With twenty-two years of military experience, Lorrie is currently serving as the First Sergeant for an Airlift Squadron.

Lorrie is a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA®), American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE), holds the professional designations of Certified Healthcare Safety Professional (CHSP), Certified Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Professional (CHEP) and Certified Healthcare Facility Manager (CHFM).


Present broader understanding and knowledge of The Joint Commission standards for required documentation and locations for building tour.

Discuss development tools and resources needed for compliance
How to approach Surveyors when you do not agree with finding
How to handle the building tour, routes, support staff (door repairs, penetrations, etc.)

Pulling it all Together - Partnering to Develop a Cap[ital Improvement and Energy Efficiency Program

Gary Fitzjarrell

VP Facilities Management, AIA, CHFM, Texas Health Resources

Gary Fitzjarrell brings more than 30 years of experience in healthcare planning, design, construction, and facilities management into his role as VP Facilities Management at Texas Health Resources, one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served.

Gary holds a Master of Architecture Degree from Tulane University School of Architecture. He is a native of New Orleans, LA, and he and his wife, Lynda, have two grown children and one grandchild, and reside in Hurst, TX.


The overall intent of creating the Capital Improvement and Energy Efficiency plan is to define the needs and challenges of the organization and provide a roadmap for programs and initiatives that will ensure that your facilities have an infrastructure and support structure that will lead the industry in Energy Management and Sustainability.The plan relies on fostering partnerships with our consulting engineering firms, equipment suppliers, Facility leadership as well as executive leadership. Our plan has generated the business justification for investment, organizational & infrastructure support and financial improvements. It is presented to recommend the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), validation protocol and reporting methodology to ensure the teams achieve the organization’s expectations.

Leveraging a Dynamic Capital Infrastructure Program to Provide Reliable, Cost Effective Solutions

Gary Fitzjarrell

VP Facilities Management, AIA, CHFM, Texas Health Resources

Gary Fitzjarrell brings more than 30 years of experience in healthcare planning, design, construction, and facilities management into his role as VP Facilities Management at Texas Health Resources, one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served.

Gary holds a Master of Architecture Degree from Tulane University School of Architecture. He is a native of New Orleans, LA, and he and his wife, Lynda, have two grown children and one grandchild, and reside in Hurst, TX.


Your patients and caregivers may not see it but having safe and reliable infrastructure support services is critical in the delivery of high quality care. Sometimes it is just taken for granted but developing a comprehensive infrastructure program is key to ensure that these services are maintained to the highest levels and delivered timely and effectively. This program will be conducted in an interactive workshop-like environment, actively engaging the audience in conversations and out-of-the-box thinking to develop recommendations and solutions that everyone can take home with them.

A Guide for Hospital AHU Replacement

Alan Fritsche

Principal, LEED AP BD+C, Garner Fritsche Engineering

Alan Fritsche has 40 years of experience in HVAC system design and installation. His tenure includes 10 years of hands on experience as a mechanical contractor and 30 years as a design professional. Alan is a Principal Owner of Garner Fritsche Engineering. His company has been in business for 12 years exclusively serving the healthcare industry.


Key concepts will be presented to assist the unfortunate soul in charge of accomplishing this thankless task. This guide will outline the process of AHU replacement and highlight items that should be considered when this important piece of infrastructure needs to be replaced.

Topics include:

  1. System analysis considerations.
  2. Minimizing down time (or Zero Down time).
  3. Temporary AHU’s and ducting strategies.
  4. Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) planning.
  5. Presentation to the C-Suite. Departmental buy-in.
  6. Implementation of the program.

Redefining Investment models for Capital Renewal and Deferred Maintenance

Mark Kenneday

Director Business Development - Healthcare, MBA, CHFM, FASHE, CHC, CM-Lean, Sightlines

Mr. Kenneday has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Houston in Construction Management and an MBA from UH with a concentration in Service Marketing. He is the Director of Business Development - Healthcare for Sightlines, a Gordian company, and holds the certifications for CHFM. CHC, CM-Lean and Fellow for ASHE.

He has held leadership roles in healthcare facilities management for 35 years, most recently as Vice Chancellor of Campus Operations at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Mark is a past president of TAHFM and was honored as a recipient of the Bob Paul award. He also served as the 2013 president for ASHE and later honored as a recipient of the Crystal Eagle award, both the highest recognition for their respective associations.


To support improved investment in their property portfolio, facilities personnel will need to change their fundamental dialogue and presentations to leadership. By utilizing data analytics, they can redefine their approach to long term sustainable support of the missions. This approach provides facility managers and leadership with an improved understanding of the critical nature of the facilities portfolio and the tactics to support the total cost of ownership.

Potable Water in Healthcare Settings: A frequently overlooked source of HAIs

Eric Myers

Sr. Technical Consultant, Ecolab

Eric Myers is a Senior Technical Consultant with Institutional Water Safety Services, an independent business group of Nalco Water, An Ecolab Company. Ecolab is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that provide and protect clean water, safe food, abundant energy and healthy environments.

Eric is a subject matter expert in the field of water safety. Eric has global responsibilities for the development of new technologies and risk reduction strategies specifically for the control and risk management of waterborne pathogens in building water systems. Eric also provides training, teaches at seminars and is a voting member of the ASHRAE standards committee SSPC 188.

Eric has over 25 years of industry experience. Before coming to Nalco, Eric served as a Staff Microbiologist for Abbott Laboratories where he developed new microbiological methods for products, environmental sampling and validation programs. He also served as Project Manager for Silliker Laboratories (A Mérieux NutriSciences Company), the world’s largest private contract laboratory serving the food industry, where he managed food pathogen and shelf-life studies. Eric also served as an instructor of laboratory methods for detection of foodborne pathogens.

Eric earned a master’s degree in Food Science and Microbiology from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition with an emphasis in Food Microbiology from The Ohio State University.


Potable water used in healthcare is increasingly recognized as a source and vector of infection by opportunist pathogens including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, non-tuberculous mycobacteria, Legionella pneumophila and others. Learning objectives include;

  1. Review the origins and types of microorganisms present in fresh potable water;
  2. How building water systems become sources and vectors of infection for HAIs; and
  3. Review strategies to reduce infection risk within the context of a water management plan as recommended by CMS QSO-17-30 and ASHRAE Std 188.

The Sky Below

Scott Parazynski

Former NASA astronaut and Everest Summiter

Dr. Scott Parazynski has lived and traveled all over the world, spending many of his grade school and high school years in places such as Dakar, Senegal; Beirut, Lebanon; Tehran, Iran; and Athens, Greece. A graduate of Stanford University and Stanford Medical School, he went on to train at Harvard and in Denver in preparation for a career in emergency medicine and trauma. Dr. Parazynski has numerous publications in the field of space physiology with particular expertise in human adaptation to stressful environments.

In 1992 he was selected to join NASA’s Astronaut Corps and eventually flew 5 Space Shuttle Missions and conducted 7 spacewalks (EVAs). In his 17 years as an Astronaut, he served in numerous senior leadership roles, including EVA Branch Chief and the Lead Astronaut for Space Shuttle Thermal Protection System Inspection & Repair (in the aftermath of the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy). Mission highlights include a global ozone mapping mission on STS-66; leading the first joint US-Russian spacewalk during STS-86 while docked to the Russian space station Mir; serving as Senator John Glenn’s crewmate and “personal physician” during STS-95; and conducting EVA assembly of the Canadian-built space station arm during STS-100. read more...

Fire protection documentation and trends

Kyle Phipps

Central Texas General Manager, Koetter Fire Protection

I’ve worked in the fire protection industry since I got out of the Navy in 2006. The majority of that was working in highly regulated facilities with a heavy emphasis on healthcare and hospitals. During my tenure in the industry, I’ve worked alongside and assisted with teams that developed documentation for fire inspection reports that were specific to joint commission requirements. In addition, I have been managing teams that service the fire protection systems at hospitals. Over the last several years, I have worked closely with facility directors in the documentation process while assisting them in survey preparation.


The basis of the presentation is fire protection documentation requirements with trends to joint commission requirements and surveys. We will go over the EP requirements along with changes in the last couple of years that are specific to the EC.02.03.05 section. This presentation is not intended to go over each EP in detail but to go over them briefly while touching on survey trends and requirements. The Q and A section of this presentation should be more of an experience sharing so that it adds to knowledge base overall.

Keeping Doc's Cool, Dry and Happy in the OR...Can I do it With What I've Got?

David Schurk

National Healthcare Strategic Accounts Manager DES., CEM., LEED-AP, CDSM., CWEP., SFP., CIAQM.,HCCC., Carrier Corporation

David Schurk DES., CEM., LEED-AP., CDSM., CWEP., SFP., CIAQM., HCCC., is National Strategic Account Manager-Healthcare for Carrier Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation. David is based out of Houston, Texas. He is a Licensed Designer of Engineering Systems and has over 35-years of experience in the design and analysis of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems for a variety of market sectors, with a special focus on healthcare facilities.


Many times, healthcare facility professionals have “inherited” older HVAC systems which were installed in their hospital at the time of its original construction. These systems can be many years old, may have never work properly, or might have been modified over the years and are now incapable of delivering the critical level of environmental control necessary in today’s ever demanding patient-care model. Regardless of the reason, facility professionals must be equipped to understand and diagnose critical OR space issues of temperature and humidity when problems arise, and be able to determine what should be done in order to remedy the situation.

A Novel Approach to Meet Joint Commission Environment Standard for Critical Healthcare Space

Yeqiao Zhu

PhD, PE, MBA, SASHE, UT MD, Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Zhu has intensive professional experience in healthcare facility management, engineering management, capital project support, healthcare facility compliance and accreditation. Also, he has strong experience in energy management, building commissioning, environment of care, and utility management. He works for MD Anderson Cancer Center patient care facility main campus and responsible for the facility operations, maintenance, and TJC readiness. He holds PhD, PE, MBA and SASHE. In 2013, as one of the award recipients, they were awarded the Healthcare Facilities Management Excellence by ASHE.


A unique EOC program for meeting Joint Commission environment standard for the critical healthcare space is established by MD Anderson facility team. This program combines codes review, best practice, the implementations, and the sustaining process. It involves the collaborative efforts between O&M team, Infection Control team, Building Automation System (BAS) team, hospital and clinical customers, design and construction team, and Environmental Health and Safety team. This program includes the critical space establishment, critical space practical guideline, requirement matrix, practical scope matrix for the different level of the program, measure of sustaining, critical space mapping, PM set up, space condition testing, monitoring, practical alarming set up, rounding process, corrective action EOP, training for the team members, and education to customers.

Thank you to our 2019 Diamond & Platinum Sponsors

TAHFM is the state chapter representing American Society of Healthcare Engineering & Association for the Healthcare Environment
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