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Categories : Notes from our CEO

March 23, 2021

On March 11, 2021, thousands of our people across the country proudly wore their #ChartwellStrong shirts and held events in our residences commemorating the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. On this day, we reflected on the past year and celebrated the tremendous efforts and dedication of our people. I’d like to thank all our employees for showcasing their Chartwell pride and for making this anniversary a day of positivity and hope.

Retirement residence staff at Chartwell Wynfield in Oshawa donned their blue #ChartwellStrong shirts

It was heartwarming to see photos and to hear stories of celebration from our homes – like retirement residence staff at Chartwell Wynfield in Oshawa, Ontario, who donned their blue #ChartwellStrong shirts and participated in a coordinated dance-off – socially distanced – outside their residence.


Chartwell Stonehaven in Kanata handed out personalized thank-you cards

And Chartwell Stonehaven in Kanata, Ontario, who handed out personalized thank-you cards to each paramedic as they entered the home to give residents their second dose of the vaccine.


Chartwell Muskoka Traditions in Muskoka hosted a live cooking demonstration

So many of our Food Service Managers also made this day extra special for residents and staff, like Chartwell Queen’s Garden LTC in Hamilton, Ontario, who handed out homemade cake pops, and Chartwell Muskoka Traditions in Muskoka, Ontario, who hosted a live cooking demonstration, in their dining room, showcasing their omelettes.


Chartwell Carrington House handed out bags of Nacho chips with sayings like nacho average team member

In Mission, B.C., staff at Chartwell Carrington House handed out bags of Nacho chips with sayings like ‘nacho average team member’ and ‘thanks for chipping in’.


Chartwell Villa Chicoutimi's  Exhibition of Hope

And, in Quebec, at Chartwell Villa Chicoutimi, they launched their ‘Exhibition of Hope’ display, that included photos of residents getting vaccinated to commemorate this historic moment.


The day was a wonderful reminder of the resilience, courage and strength displayed over the past year. Thank you to all our staff for making it so memorable.

Another wonderful story recently highlighted in the media came from two of our homes in Cornwall, Ontario. After Chartwell McConnell was declared in outbreak on March 5, its sister property, Chartwell Cornwall, decided to send messages of encouragement and support to fellow residents and staff. They decorated poster boards with motivational messages, blue butterflies and flowers, and with the help of staff, organized a car parade around the residence to show their support and deliver their signs. Thank you to all our homes who not only go above and beyond for their own residences, but who display such beautiful acts of kindness for other Chartwell properties. To read more about this story, click here.

As vaccination clinics ramp up, we are thankful that more residents and staff in our retirement residences and long term care homes continue to receive their full vaccination. I believe these vaccinations are the key contributor to a steady decline in the number of outbreaks we are seeing across the country. While this is encouraging, the existence of new virus variants, high community-spread numbers in many regions of Canada, and the official announcements of the third wave of the pandemic, the need for continuing vigilance is still present. We all want to avoid more lockdowns, outbreaks and closures, which is why we continue to emphasize the need for masking, distancing, and carefully and diligently following all guidance and directives from local health authorities. We have come so far in the fight against COVID-19 and we cannot let our guard down now.

Last but not least, I would like to acknowledge and thank the Ontario government for their commitment to support the retirement and long term care sectors. Recently, this commitment was demonstrated in an additional investment to support the retirement sector in staffing, training, and infection prevention and control procedures to prevent and contain the spread of the virus in our homes. As well, we are pleased to have received conditional approvals and allocation of 467 addition beds to facilitate upgrades of some of our long term care homes. These commitments will allow us to meet the growing needs of our aging population, and we are grateful to have partners who share in our vision of Making People’s Lives Better.

The Chartwell Experience

Tenzin Dolkar, Infection Prevention and Control Nurse from Chartwell Westbury LTC

Tenzin Dolkar, Infection Prevention and Control Nurse from Chartwell Westbury LTC in Etobicoke, Ontario, has been a quiet but fearless leader since the start of the pandemic. She has worked through a tumultuous time with composure, accuracy, diligence, and patience, including collaborating with five different Public Health officers assigned to the home over the past year. What is more impressive is that she has successfully kept the residence COVID-free for the past nine months! Thank you, Tenzin, for your consistent professionalism, and for your heroic efforts to keep everyone at your residence safe.


A Worthy Read

This week’s recommendation comes from Karen Sullivan, our President and Chief Operating Officer: “Paradox Bound”, written by Peter Clines, is a story about an aimless young man who escapes his dead-end town when he meets a time-travelling woman in a souped up 1929 Model A. I have always been a fan of time-travel books (one of my favourites is “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger). This one combines some interesting American history with a few civics lessons. It also seems very topical and appropriate, in light of the current divisiveness and polarization in the U.S., that the book focuses on searching for the American Dream. A fun and interesting read.

Vlad Volodarski
Chief Executive Officer