Connections Magazine   |   Summer 2022

Connections Magazine

Summer 2022 Issue

In this issue:
President’s Message
Celebrating Our Nurse Leaders
Cheers to 20 Years!
Great People Parties
Team Member Spotlight: Heather Long-Smith
Long Term Care Proud
Learning Together
Our Learning Journey
Safety Culture Summits
Innovation Station: Canadian Frailty Network
Caught You Being Great: Andrew Singh
Resident Spotlight: Ernie Buist
In the Community
World Environment Day
Life Journal Project

President’s Message

August 17, 2022

Hello everyone,

I’m pleased to share with you the summer edition of Connections. 

This is a particularly special issue because it features some of the many cultural events and observances we celebrate during the summer. Our communities do a tremendous job all year round celebrating the incredible diversity that exists within the groups of people who live and work with us, but these activities are more important than ever as we continue our learning journey and work to become a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization where everyone feels a sense of belonging. We are grateful to have our Trusted Partner, Ashanti Leadership and their CEO, Ann Divine, guiding our activities.

In early May, we hosted Great People Parties at every site to celebrate team members and officially launch our “Blue Book” which includes our Guiding Principles. I was honoured to join the team at Northumberland Hall in Amherst, N.S., for their party where the team and residents all had a great time. To date, 90 per cent of our team members have received their copy of the Blue Book which helps guide them in delivering on our principles of Compassion, Honesty, Professionalism and Safety each and every day. You will continue to hear much more about this foundational work in the coming weeks and months. 

There have also been lots of opportunities for us to recognize and reward the Great People who go above and beyond every day. Nursing Week, Long Term Care Proud Day in Nova Scotia, and Nursing Home Week in New Brunswick were all held over the past couple of months. We were also excited to celebrate two 20-year milestone anniversaries for our Arborstone and Maplestone Enhanced Care communities and in May, we were thrilled to welcome everyone back to an in-person annual Excellence Awards Gala where we had the pleasure of a very special performance by Bruce Guthro.  

All in all, it feels good to be together again and I feel a sense of relief and optimism for the first time in many months. We’ve shared a unique experience together, weathering this pandemic, and I think it’s made us appreciate each other more than ever. As we continue to enjoy this beautiful summer, I hope you find time to do the things that bring you joy and that it involves the people you care about.

Jason Shannon poses for a photo with team members from Northumberland Hall during the Great People Party in May. (L-R): Mariel Ravina, Dazzelyn Zapata, Stephanie Miles, Jason Shannon, Ricardo Garcia, Les Paul Lozano, Eden Portacio, Geddy Gatoc.

Celebrating Our Nurse Leaders

August 17, 2022
Parkland at the Gardens Licensed Practical Nurse, Marilou Condenuevo, reviews a resident’s chart. 
Monarch Hall Registered Nurse, Joelle Mazerolle shares a smile with Parkland Riverview resident, Bella Spence.
A special thanks to five retired nurses Fran Costello, Thelma Brown, Ruby Morrison, Pearl Mitchell, and Dorothy Nelson, who live at Parkland Saint John.
Nursing Week

May 9-15 was National Nursing Week, and we were happy to take the opportunity to express our appreciation for the many hats our Great Nurses wear each day.

Not only do our nurses support our residents and provide leadership to their colleagues, nurses are confidants, friends and a comforting presence; exercising compassionate leadership and making sound, clinical decisions.

We are grateful for the commitment and dedication our nurses show every day. 

Want a career that supports the aging population while using your full scope of practice? Explore Healthcare and Clinical careers with Shannex today.

Cheers to 20 Years!

August 17, 2022

In 2022, several of our Enhanced Care communities are celebrating their 20th anniversary. In this issue of Connections we are featuring two Halifax locations Arborstone Enhanced Care and Maplestone Enhanced Care, whose anniversaries were in May and June. 

We are proud to highlight some of the dedicated team members committed to providing service excellence for residents and their loved ones. Check back in our fall edition for more celebrations to come.

Arborstone team members receiving their years of service pins and certificates at the June 24 celebration.
Tania LeFort, Administrative Coordinator at Arborstone proudly showing her Years of Service award.
Arborstone team members (L-R): Recreation Programmer Donna Shadbolt, Licensed Practical Nurse Rose Lynn Demeter and Dietary Aide Shirley Dewolfe.

Arborstone Enhanced Care

Arborstone Enhanced Care, previously known as Armview Estates, first opened its doors under its new name 20 years ago. Today, the community is home to 190 residents, which includes seniors and young adults with disabilities. 

Arborstone’s anniversary celebration was held on June 24 and although the weather outside was wet and dreary, the mood inside was bright and sunny. Party-goers gathered in the newly renovated Great Room and café to recognize 20 years and also celebrate team members with years of service pins.

“I started working here when I was 22, I met my husband who worked here for 40 years, had children and raised them here; my whole life has kind of been centered around Arborstone.”

Donna Shadbolt, Recreation Programmer 

“Mealtimes are always fun because the residents are like brothers and sisters. They’re always laughing with each other, and are a close-knit group – I always enjoy being around them.”

Rose Lynn Demeter, Licensed Practical Nurse

“We take pride in our work. We take pride in our wellbeing; the relationships and the service we provide to the residents – they are well cared for.”

Shirley Dewolfe, Dietary Aide
Maplestone team members at their 20th anniversary celebration. 
Top (L-R): Darlene Hornbuckle, Jenna Shaffner, Kelsey Brown, and Morgan Porter
Bottom (L-R): George Shute, Anu Joseph, and Wendy Litt.
(L-R): Monica Monette, Anu Joseph, Wendy Litt, and Darlene Hornbuckle.
Both Eric Brown and Jocelyn Beals have been team members in the community since the 1970s. 

Maplestone Enhanced Care

Previously known as Fairview Villa, Maplestone Enhanced Care is home to 87 residents. 

To celebrate its anniversary the community held a celebration on June 1 for team members and residents including a photo booth, cake, refreshments, games and lots of smiles. 

“Some things have changed, but a lot of things have stayed the same, like your relationships with the residents.”

Eric Brown, Maintenance

“I look forward coming to work each day. I like getting to know the residents. You get close to them over the years. There are a lot of residents that I can talk with and they do the same with me!”

Jocelyn Beals, Housekeeping

“The team members are what make this place so special and their dedication to residents day-in and day-out. It’s a great group of people who make Maplestone what it is.”

Wendy Litt, Site Manager

Want to learn more about a rewarding career helping older adults? Explore Healthcare and Clinical careers at Shannex.

Great People Parties

August 17, 2022

Celebrating Our Great People

On May 10, we hosted our first Great People Party, a milestone event that brought our teams together to celebrate who we are and introduce our “Blue Book”, and our Guiding Principles of being Compassionate, Honest, Professional and Safe, which were inspired by our Great People.

Thirty-six parties were held across every Shannex, Parkland, Faubourg and Milestone community. Residents and team members came together to enjoy music, refreshments, games and giveaways. Our President, Jason Shannon, shared in the excitement announcing that May will now be Great People Month, complete with a Great People Party and the Service Excellence Gala.

Parkland Cape Breton
Northumberland Hall
Caristas Residence

Recognizing Service Excellence  

On May 27, we were honoured to host our Service Excellence Gala. The evening was filled with recognition, smiles, laughter and a special appearance from Bruce Guthro, performing “What Makes a Hero,” written by Bruce and his children Dylan and Jodi Guthro as a tribute to the teams on the frontline of the pandemic. Congratulations to our award winners, long service employees and retirees. Thank you for your dedicated service.  

Team Member Spotlight: Heather Long-Smith

August 17, 2022

Parkland Saint John

One of the first people you meet when you walk into Carleton Hall, on the Parkland Saint John campus, is Concierge Heather Long-Smith. Her smiling bright blue eyes welcome residents, family members, and guests every day. Connecting with people is an essential part of her role and for Heather, it’s a personal highlight.

“I’ve grown really close to some of the residents, and I would say that’s the best part of my job,” she says. “The relationships that you gain from interacting with the residents every day is something I really treasure.”

Born and raised in Saint John, N.B., Heather has spent her life in the community. Before joining the Parkland team, she earned a degree in Secretarial Studies and Administration from the University of New Brunswick Saint John (UNBSJ) campus. Throughout her career she spent some time working with the city’s former Mayor Elsie Wayne at her alma matter, UNBSJ, and now at Parkland, where she has been since February 2016.

Every day, when she comes to Parkland, Heather knows she’s surrounded by a positive team.

“It’s fulfilling and a great place to work,” she says. “Everyone takes pride in what they are doing, and they do a great job to support the residents.”

We want to thank Heather for the compassion, honesty and professionalism she demonstrates every day.

Parkland Saint John Concierge, Heather Long-Smith.

Long Term Care Proud

August 17, 2022

Shannex Enhanced Care

This year, we joined our sector partners to recognize Long Term Care Day in Nova Scotia (June 23) and Nursing Home Week in New Brunswick (June 6-10).

We are proud of our Great People who work to improve the lives of residents in long term care communities every day. Thank you for your ongoing commitment and dedication.

Members of the Cedarstone Enhanced Care Team celebrate Long Term Care Proud Day.
Losier Hall team members Billy Dean, Elizabeth Davis, and Erica Sutherland stand together for a picture.
Ryan Hall residents and team members gather for a photo.
(L-R) Back: Mae Berggren, Krista Vaughan, VJ Agra, Holly Conway, Judy Wells, Ed Pottie.
Front: Betty Conrad, Catherine Ingram, Muriel Canning, Karen Coulstring, Loretta Grandy.

Learning Together

August 17, 2022

Yellow Belt Training

Recently, 27 of our Great People from across New Brunswick gathered at Faubourg du Mascaret’s Collaborative Learning Centre of Aging, to participate in our first Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt class at Shannex. Made up of team members from various areas, the group focused on our long term care and special care homes.

This enthusiastic team spent two days learning together about quality improvement, Lean Six Sigma, change and project management and tackled their project for Yellow Belt certification. In the fall, the group will come back together to share what they’ve learned, celebrate accomplishments and complete their certification.

Congratulations to our newest class of Quality Improvement champions as they begin this journey. Well done!

The first class of Lean Sigma Yellow Belts, made up of Shannex team members.

Our Learning Journey

August 17, 2022

We are on a learning journey and, together, we are taking steps to educate ourselves and make our communities more diverse, equitable and inclusive. Throughout the summer, our residents and team members celebrated meaningful observances, including Pride Month, National Indigenous History Month, Filipino Heritage Month, National Indigenous People’s Day and Multiculturalism Day.  

Top: Arborstone Enhanced Care held a flag raising ceremony.
Bottom: Shannex team members posing before taking part in the Halifax Pride Parade.
Top: Home Office team members with President Jason Shannon, during a Filipino Heritage Month celebration. (L-R): Melody Ballesteros, Joanah Lugo, Mary Lugo, Caesar Zamora, Gaudencio Nacion, Jason Shannon, Ricardo Garcia, Dazzelyn Zapata, Giselle Lugtu. 
Bottom: Team members from the Colchester region attending the Filipino flag raising ceremony in Truro, N.S.
Top: Debert Court team members (L-R): Jeralenn Mendoza, Elgin Panaginip, Shiji Rajan, Vonn Manahan, Yvette Villanueva, and Young Ah Gil.
Bottom: Cedarstone Enhanced Care team members (L-R): Blesilda Weatherby, Maria Agcon, Rusan Manahan, Michael Galera, Rubilyn Misoles, and Arlene Ortega. 

Pride Month

To honour the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, our residents and team members came together to show their Pride by raising flags, held information sessions and attending their local pride parades.  

Filipino Heritage Month

The Shannex family is grateful to all the Filipino residents and team members who live and work in our communities. Throughout June, we marked Filipino Heritage Month with flag raising ceremonies and cultural celebrations.

Multiculturism Day

Residents and team members had the opportunity to learn about the many cultures living and working in our communities by taking part in various multicultural events. 

National Indigenous Peoples Day & National Indigenous History Month 

Last year, 12-year-old Mi’kmaw youth Landyn Toney walked over 195 km in honour of First Nations children and people impacted by residential schools in Canada and raised $46,000 to support the Indigenous community.  

Following Landyn’s “Journey of Awareness,” he visited Parkland at the Gardens in downtown Halifax to speak to residents. This year on June 20, Parkland at the Gardens was honoured to welcome Landyn, his sister Mataya and his mother, Marsha, back to the community for a Treaty Walk and smudging ceremony.

To mark this special day, the retirement living community raised $772 for Indigenous supports and services. Funding efforts were led by Parkland resident, Maureen Banyard, who presented Landyn with the cheque. Thank you to Landyn and his family for once again connecting with our residents.

Meet Ann Divine

Throughout our inclusivity journey, we have been working closely with our Trusted Partner, Ashanti Leadership and their CEO and Founder, Ann Divine. She has an extensive history of working in change management, leadership development and strategic thinking. Ann says an inclusive workspace is where everyone feels a deep sense of belonging and they don’t have to hide who they are on the job.

“Organizations have to take time to educate themselves about what inclusivity is, what it means, and how can we demonstrate that on a daily basis. It’s easy to talk about, but hard to do. It means you have to put things in place to change the dynamics of the organization.”

Safety Culture Summits

August 17, 2022

Health, Wellness and Safety

Safety is a Guiding Principle foundational to our every day work. We strive for all our communities to have a positive health, wellness and safety culture. 

In June and July, safety leaders at each of our Shannex communities came together at one of 17 Safety Culture Summits to further learn and develop safety skills.

Our summit participants, made up of people leaders and JOH&SC members committed to the following:  

  • Strengthening work relationships 
  • Using the Safety Profile Scorecard (SPS) to benefit their community 
  • Contributing to help strengthen safety culture in the workplace 

In the coming months we will be checking in to learn about what’s happening at every location to transform our safety culture. Keep watching this space in future issues of Connections to be inspired.

Team members attending a Safety Summit in Sydney, Cape Breton in June.

Innovation Station: Canadian Frailty Network

August 17, 2022

Insights Lab

A year ago, we established the Shannex Insights Lab which is an internal research and analysis hub dedicated to analyzing resident data from various sources with the goal of generating insights that help identify opportunities to improve resident care and outcomes.

On May 11, Insights Lab Manager Vicki Muscat attended the 2022 Canadian Frailty Network Conference in Fredericton, N.B. to present the lab’s findings and talk about the great work underway.

“Having access to data is an innovative way to support team members in their work,” says Vicki. “It helps them relay important information to families which can bring them peace of mind about their loved ones.”

The conference brought together healthy aging industry partners, including the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation to network, brainstorm emerging ideas and address questions or challenges they might be facing.

Insights Lab Manager, Vicki Muscat, stands with Clinical Educator and Policy Advisor, Health Services, Angela Collett and Insights Lab Health Informatics Analyst, Gil Ungar and Data Engineer Nasrin Ivari.

Caught You Being Great: Andrew Singh

August 17, 2022

After being nominated for a Caught You Being Great Award, Andrew Singh, team member at Parkland on the Glen, was applauded for his dedication to service excellence and compassionate care.

Coreen is a resident at the lifestyle residence community in Mississauga and frequently likes to call her two sons who both live in the United States. Andrew noticed that Coreen was having trouble seeing the numbers on her current phone and decided to do something to help. After doing some research, Andrew purchased a phone that could have photos associated with each number on the dial. He connected with Coreen’s family and asked them to send photos, which he then shrunk to size, cut out and added them to the phone so she could simply touch the button of the person she wanted to contact. After he convinced Coreen to make the switch to her new phone, Andrew rearranged her furniture to ensure a safe and efficient location for the phone. 

Well done, Andrew. Thank you for your thoughtful act of compassion. 

Andrew poses with Coreen in her suite at Parkland on the Glen following his act of kindness.

Resident Spotlight: Ernie Buist

August 17, 2022

Harbourstone Enhanced Care

Ernie Buist is a World War II veteran who lost a leg one month after storming the beaches of Normandy. Despite being told by doctors that his life expectancy would be shorter than normal, Ernie celebrated his 104th birthday this past May.

Recently, a local newspaper asked Ernie, a gifted storyteller, to share stories of the past century of his life. After returning home from war, Ernie worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs before taking a job at the steel plant in his hometown of Sydney, Cape Breton where he still resides today at Harbourstone Enhanced Care.  

Following the interview with The Cape Breton Post, Ernie was invited to virtually meet with The Minister of Veterans Affairs and MP for Sydney-Victoria, Jamie Battiste, and The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay on June 6, also known as D-Day to thank him for his service.

Thank you for your service and sharing your wonderful stories, Ernie!

Minister of Veterans Affairs, The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay and MP for Sydney-Victoria, Jamie Battiste virtually meeting with Ernie Buist on D-Day.

In the Community

August 17, 2022


We are proud to be working alongside Eskasoni First Nation, as the operating partner in the development of Kiknu, the first long term care home on a First Nation community in N.S. In July, we attended the 30th annual Eskasoni Powwow as sponsor of the event. We were pleased to host a booth and share information about the new home and invite community members to join our Advisory Committee.  

Read more about Kiknu on our website,

Kyle Richardson, Director, First Nations and Regional Manager for Sydney Enhanced Care at the July 2-3 Powwow in Eskasoni. 

World Environment Day

August 17, 2022


June 5 was World Environment Day. 

On this day, millions of people came together to raise awareness about the important role we all play in advocating for positive change.

We are committed to sustainable growth and finding ways to help protect our planet. Here are recent sustainability highlights implemented in our communities:  

  • Face mask recycling stations 
  • Motion light sensors in our office and sites 
  • Paperless invoicing and pay statements 
  • Microfibre cleaning technology, only requiring water at all locations 
  • Many communities have wheelchair accessible raised garden beds
  • Parkland on the River and Bridgeview Hall in Miramichi, N.B. have solar panels for their outdoor parking area 
  • Green roof at Parkland on Eglinton West in Etobicoke, Ont.

Do you have a green idea? Submit your ideas to

Life Journal Project

August 17, 2022

Faubourg du Mascaret

During a small private gathering in April, a group of students from the New Brunswick Medical Training Centre at the Université de Moncton presented residents at Faubourg du Mascaret with a life journal.

Based on Mon journal de grand-mère: Un album-souvenir pour mes petits-enfants and part of the Learning through Community Service course, this project enabled students to develop healthy attitudes towards seniors, a sense of social responsibility and create links between students and residents. 

Students benefitted from meetings, calls and exchanges with residents and students to collect stories.

Many thanks to the students for their commitment to the project. The residents thoroughly enjoyed this experience.

New Brunswick Medical Training Centre students and Faubourg du Mascaret residents pose for a picture.