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Categories : Notes from our CEO

June 01, 2021

I am so pleased we have officially launched the first phase of our E-book, #ChartwellStrong: A Tribute to Our Heroic Employees. The online book profiles 18 dedicated corporate employees who volunteered in our homes throughout the pandemic and their first-hand account of how they felt and what it meant to be able to give back to our residences during such unprecedented times. For John Turberfield, connecting with quarantined residents through a shared love of country music was his way of lending a helping hand. And for Anthony Rizzo, lifting staff morale by bringing them smoothies in the middle of their night shift was one way he helped to support our homes. These profiles are heartfelt and moving, and I hope you take the time to read each one of them. They can be found on our website and we have already begun sharing them on social media. I look forward to the second phase of the e-book, which will be launched in early summer and will highlight 20 front-line employees, their personal experiences and reflections on the past 15 months.

I recently participated in a podcast with the founders of Seniors Junction, a social enterprise aimed at reducing isolation among seniors via social connectedness. We discussed how retirement living evolved since I began working at Chartwell 17 years ago and the challenges the sector continues to face in demystifying retirement living and educating older adults and their children on the many social and health benefits it delivers. All these topics circle back to how we as a company are helping to reduce senior isolation and encourage social connectedness by delivering exceptional personalized experiences for our residents. I encourage you to take a listen at the following link: https://seniorsjunction.com/episode-8.

While the pandemic is still ongoing, I am happy to see great progress being made each week as more Canadians receive their first and second doses of the vaccine. The vaccination rate for employees and residents across all our platforms continues to increase and COVID-19 outbreaks remain low within our homes. Our employees are doing an incredible job keeping our residents, their family members and each other safe and healthy, and I am also pleased to see some restrictions beginning to ease in certain areas. A recent update in Ontario now allows long term care residents to reunite outdoors with their loved ones, which was welcomed news for many of our residents. CTV News recently aired a clip of a reunion between one of our Chartwell Westmount LTC residents and her grandkids who she hadn’t seen in-person for over 14 months. To watch the touching reunion, please click here. This gives me hope that the coming months will see more reunions take place and that brighter days are ahead of us. Thank you to everyone for continuing to remain #ChartwellStrong.

Last week it was reported that remains of 215 children were discovered at the site of the former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. Our heartfelt condolences are with the families, survivors and communities affected by this atrocity and we stand in solidarity with Canadian Indigenous communities who have been touched by this tragic event.

The Chartwell Experience

Leah an Activity Aide at Chartwell Orchards

At Chartwell Orchards in Vineland, Ontario, staff truly believe in the importance of inclusion. Leah, an Activity Aide at the residence took it upon herself to reinforce this among residents by creating a special poster for the Memory Care floor which was very well received. She comes to work each day with a smile on her face and connects with residents on a personal level, giving them a sense of purpose and ensuring they feel included and welcomed. Thank you, Leah, for taking pride in your work and for focusing on the emotional well-being of your residents!

A Worthy Read

On the recommendation of Sarah Todd, a recently retired long-term Chartwell executive, I read a book by the well know author and public speaker Simon Sinek “The Infinite Game”. In it, the author asserts that business is an Infinite Game – a game with no agreed upon objective, no defined set of rules, no beginning or end, where there are known and unknown players and where new players can enter anytime, each with their own strategy. As a result, he argues, business leaders must stop thinking about winning or losing and instead focus on building more innovative, resilient, and inspiring organizations to keep playing. The book contains numerous examples of the leaders and companies which adopted such mindsets and how their actions and performance evolved over the years. One of my favourite quotes is: “In the infinite game “Best” is not permanent state, instead businesses should strive for “Better”. “Better” suggests a journey of constant improvement. “Better” in the Infinite Game, is better than “Best”.” I hope you enjoy this fresh perspective on business success and its place in society.

Vlad Volodarski
Chief Executive Officer