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Categories : Notes from our CEO

January 25, 2022
Chartwell staff helps during snow storm

Most of our employees do not have the luxury of working from home. They are required to be in our homes every day to serve, care for and support our residents. Last week in Ontario and Quebec, a major winter storm swept through, dumping nearly half a metre of snow in some areas in a short period of time. It shut down major highways and left many cars and buses stranded for hours on the roads. This, understandably, made it extremely difficult and in many cases impossible for some of our employees to get to work. Despite these challenges, our employees went to extraordinary lengths to ensure our residents were served and cared for and colleagues were covered. There are hundreds of stories of these exceptional efforts, camaraderie and teamwork that deserve to be shared and celebrated, here are just a few:

Chartwell Wynfield LTC's Maintenance Manager helps clear snow

At Chartwell Wynfield LTC in Oshawa, Ontario, Maintenance Manager Ron spent the day clearing pathways and shoveling out cars from knee-deep snow. While Dawn, the residence’s Director of Social Services shuttled staff, who were unable to get their cars out, to work.

Laundry Room Attendant Sharon at Chartwell Wedgewood in Brockville, Ontario got to work early and jumped in to help support residents during the day and then stayed on to assist with dining service in the evening.

At Chartwell Willowgrove in Hamilton, Ontario, the home’s RAI Coordinator Breanne acted as an Uber driver, picking up staff and dropping them back at home. When she realized the residence was short-staffed for the night shift, she volunteered to stay on and work the entire night to ensure residents were cared for.

At Chartwell Scarlett Heights in Etobicoke, Ontario, Misrak, the home’s dining room server was the only dietary team member who made it in to serve residents. She organized all the outbreak trolleys, gathered as many staff as she could and led the team through the correct serving protocols. The residents didn’t even realize a difference in service times or levels thanks to Misrak!

Staff at Chartwell Tiffin help push cars out of the snow for staff and residents' families

At Chartwell Tiffin in Midland, Ontario, staff helped push out the cars of staff and family members who were stuck, struggling against snow squalls and black ice to ensure they were able to get on the road and get back home safely.

At Chartwell Cite-Jardin in Gatineau, Quebec, Samuel, the residence’s cook traveled over 1.25 hours in order to make it to the residence, a commute that would normally take him less than 20 minutes.

At Chartwell Waterford in Oakville, Ontario, three PSWs – Christine, Delores and Pauline – worked 24-hour shifts showing their dedication and commitment to their residents.

Chartwell corporate employees help at Chartwell Waterford LTC

In addition to the incredible efforts by our frontline employees, many corporate volunteers and their family members also headed to our residences to assist wherever possible. Many mopped floors, cleaned suites, helped serve meals and shoveled snow for hours in the blistering cold.

We also heard wonderful stories of community support, where neighbours helped shovel and clear the driveway of Arus, a corporate General Manager who was trying to get to Chartwell Waterford Retirement Residence. While they didn’t succeed in getting Arus’ car off her driveway, their efforts and willingness to help are truly admirable.

These heartwarming stories of leadership, dedication and courage are a wonderful testament to the commitment of our staff. They are also only a fraction of the heroic efforts that were undertaken that day by our employees. To everyone who lent a helping hand, thank you for all that you do and for going the extra mile for our residents.

On Friday January 28 we celebrate National Activity Professionals Day. I’d like to take a moment to recognize those “in charge of fun” in our residences – Lifestyle Programs Managers (LPMs) and Program Support Services Managers (PSSMs), and all those working in their departments who bring their creative spirit, enthusiasm, energy and compassion to our residents each day. These incredible team members work tirelessly to ensure our residents are kept active and engaged, both mentally and physically, and are kept connected to their friends, families, and each other. To our LPMs and PSSMs, thank you for enriching the lives of our residents, for bringing smiles to their faces and to ours.

A worthy read:

“The Personal Librarian” by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray.

The remarkable story of Belle da Costa Greene, who in her twenties was hired by J.P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for the Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes one of the most powerful people in the art and book industry, helping to build one of the most famous collections in the world. This is the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit. It is also the story of the lengths to which she must go to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives. Belle da Costa Greene was born Belle Marion Greener, the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle's complexion isn't dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white—her complexion is dark because she is African American.

Vlad Volodarski
Chief Executive Officer