Connections Magazine   |   Winter 2023

Connections Magazine

Winter 2023 Issue

In this issue:
Editor’s Note
President’s Message
Culinary Corner
Team Member
Spotlight: Lisa Benjamin
Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certifications
Recognizing the Sisters of Charity
Share on Care
Great People Grow Here: Michelle Clark
A Flurry of Fundraising
Clinical Corner
Harbourstone’s Milestone
Celebration of Wreaths
Meet Darren Pellerin
Quilt of Compassion
Service Excellence: Queen’s Platinum Jubilee ...
Resident Spotlight: Delia Burgess
Thoughtfully Designed: Design Build Solutions
Nursing Home Association of Nova Scotia Award...
A Future of Innovation

Editor’s Note

March 15, 2023


This season, our vibrant communities have been abuzz with the spirit of giving. Shirley Swaine (pictured above) from Parkland at the Lakes Bloom Vitality Salon, is just one example of the strong support our residents and team members provide to the community. Shirley generously collected donations for Feed Nova Scotia to support those in need over the holidays.

In the last edition, you learned about Shannex Cares, our new community program which is designed to deepen these important relationships. As part of this program, we recently asked our team members to nominate organizations doing great work to support seniors. As a result of their nominations and voting process, we were pleased to present three organizations with our first Great People Give donations. Read more about their work in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario on pages 11-12. Supporting organizations doing good work is one of the ways Shannex cares about our community, but we also believe it is our responsibility to share our knowledge and expertise with others in our sector. This past
fall, many of our Great People were honoured to be asked to present on their work and Share on Care. Learn more about their activities on page five, and you can also check out our Share on Care library

In this issue you’ll also read about three of our Great People at Parkland Riverview who recently received Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medals for their leadership (page 15) and we’re excited to provide an
update on two new communities about to welcome their first residents: Parkland Ajax and Cohen Hall (page. 19).

We have a lot to be grateful for and we hope this issue warms your heart as much as it did for us as we put it together.

President’s Message

March 15, 2023


Hello everyone,
I’m pleased to share our new issue of Connections. While this will be an exciting year as we celebrate some important new beginnings and milestones, we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished. Last year, we recognized a series of 20-year anniversaries for our “Stones” communities. Harbourstone was the latest
to celebrate and you’ll read about their event in this issue. Every anniversary celebration was planned with care, and each one was unique and spoke to the culture and strong sense of community that exists at all of our locations. The last celebration was topped off with a performance from Harbourstone’s house band, called Connections, featured in the picture below.

Between my father and I, we attended most of the anniversary events and we were so proud to share this
time with our team members, many of whom have been with us for the full 20 years. Compassionate,
professional, honest and safe team members like these are the backbone of our organization and we know they are the reason our residents and their families continue to place their trust in us. As we grow, we’re looking forward to welcoming more Great People to our teams and we’re confident they will add to the vibrancy of each home while they grow their career with us.

Culinary Corner

March 15, 2023


Parkland Saint John resident Norma Gaudet submitted this delicious banana bread recipe, and it’s a family favourite! Over the holidays, she would bake one for each of her children and friends at Christmas. She even entered it into a baking contest and won first prize for best banana bread, winning her a personally engraved rolling pin.

Read more resident recipes at

1 cup white sugar
3 or 4 bananas
4 tbsps melted butter
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs

Mash bananas to a thin batter, add sugar, beat up and then add butter. Add salt and soda sifted with flour. Bake in a loaf tin in fairly hot oven, 350OF for 1 hour. Cook on the middle rack in the oven.

Team Member
Spotlight: Lisa Benjamin

March 15, 2023
Lisa Benjamin, Parkland Ajax General Manager


With a background in nursing and over 12 years of experience working in the sector, Parkland Ajax General Manager, Lisa Benjamin, has always been passionate about helping others live their best life. “I
like to help people – that’s why I wanted to become a nurse. When I started working in retirement living, I was thinking ‘I’ll be here for a minute or two’ and just fell in love with it, whether it’s residents’ stories, or
lovely families, it’s a privilege to be a part of their life every day,” said Lisa.

Now, Lisa is prepared to ensure residents at Parkland Ajax are well cared for, their loved ones are informed and that the community is an enjoyable place to live, work and visit. “I’m looking forward to getting to know residents, their families and team members,” said Lisa. “Together, we’ll all form Parkland Ajax. The building is there, but the people are what really make it special. I’m very excited to see it all come together.”

Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certifications

March 15, 2023

At the end of October, a group of dedicated team members in our New Brunswick communities received their Lean Six Sigma yellow belts at a ceremony at Faubourg du Mascaret. This official certification provides participants with management techniques that help them contribute to business process improvements. The certification took four months to complete and has provided the team with newfound skills. Congratulations to everyone!

Recognizing the Sisters of Charity

March 15, 2023
The unveiling of the plaque dedicated to the Sisters of Charity is located on the third floor of Parkstone Enhanced Care – where the sisters used to reside.


For more than two decades, we have enjoyed a meaningful partnership with the Sisters of Charity congregation who have made their home at Parkstone Enhanced Care and Caritas Residence. Although we no longer have Sisters residing at Parkstone, their spirit and legacy live on in the community.

“We’re very thankful to the Sisters for all the support and dedication that they have provided to this
home at Parkstone and at Caritas Residence. Over the years, they have provided guidance, counsel, and volunteered countless hours, and we are so grateful.” — Dana Power, Vice President Operations, Nova Scotia Enhanced Care

On December 2, Parkstone Enhanced Care held an event to honour and celebrate the Sisters of Charity and our cherished partnership. As a thank you, a plaque in their name is displayed at Parkstone to
recognize their significant contribution.

“Earlier this year, Parkstone celebrated its 20th anniversary, it was a milestone for everyone working here and living here, the sisters were such a wonderful part of life here
over the last 20 years. Here’s to the many wonderful years we’ve worked together and the many more years ahead.” — Jason Shannon, President

We are grateful to have been given the honour of working alongside the Sisters of Charity in their quest to create a home filled with love, care, joy, prayer and enlightenment for their congregation and other
members of our Parkstone community.

Share on Care

March 15, 2023

Throughout the fall, our Great People have been sharing their expertise at a number of sector events. Kathleen Norman, Senior Director of Performance and Innovation, presented at the Nursing Homes of Nova Scotia Association’s (NHNSA) conference on the journey to data-informed care, sharing the work of the Shannex Insights Lab and predictive behaviours. Kyle Richardson, Director of First Nations’ Services
and Regional Manager Sydney Enhanced Care, gave a presentation at the NHNSA conference during the
Solutions Showcase to talk about the Harbourstone Behavioural Unit Pilot Project. Gillian Hoyt-Hallett, Implementation Director, New Brunswick Nursing Home Projects, was a panelist at the Empower 2022+ Summit in Saint John focused on strengthening New Brunswick’s workforce and the importance of experiential learning for students with partners like us. There were many team members who took the time to attend these events. Thank you for supporting our sector, connecting with others in our industry and for representing Shannex so well every day. Kyle Richardson was appointed President of the NHNSA
this year and addresses the audience at the awards gala.

On October 26, Shannex’s Insights Lab Manager, Vicki Muscat, took part in Innovate Care 2022, an event
hosted by Nova Scotia’s Department of Seniors & Long-Term Care and Nova Scotia Health’s Innovation Hub. Along with speakers from across the country, Vicki was there to share thought-provoking insights on topics about seniors’ health and wellness. Vicki was part of a panel discussing the challenges and
innovations for dementia, ageing, frailty and primary care. Other panellists included Dr. Marjan Abbasi
from the University of Alberta and Dr. Ed Leach from Aging Proactively. “As a newly developed innovative division within Shannex, I’m proud that we’re engaging with likeminded peers at such conferences. This allows us to collaborate and learn from other healthcare experts,” says Shannex Insights Lab Manager, Vicki Muscat. “Through our work we have seen that the appropriate use of data can be a powerful tool in your kit to mitigate risk and better support individuals across the entire spectrum of care.”
Find out more in our Share on Care Library at

Kyle Richardson was appointed President of the NHNSA this year and addresses the audience at the awards gala.
Shannex Insights Lab Manager, Vicki Muscat, (centre panelist) takes part in the Innovate Care 2022 conference.

Great People Grow Here: Michelle Clark

March 15, 2023


Originally from Westville, Nova Scotia, Michelle Clark was inspired to pursue a career in nursing at a young age. Michelle completed her studies at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), first becoming a Continuing Care Assistant (CCA) and then training as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Since 2009, Michelle has been a valued member of the Shannex team in various roles with increasing responsibility. “As an LPN, I have been given opportunities that have promoted my professional development,” she says, reflecting on her early days with Shannex. Michelle began her career in the Annapolis Valley South Shore region, working as a front-line LPN in several Shannex nursing homes before joining Arborstone as Community Manager and Education Coordinator.

In 2019, Michelle continued her leadership journey as the Health Services Manager at Parkland at the Gardens, a retirement living community in downtown Halifax. There, Michelle excelled in her role, helping residents maintain independence and social connection while accessing a range of supports and care. When the opportunity to rejoin the team at Arborstone was shared, Michelle decided to return to her roots in long term care. She became General Manager in September 2022 and has continued her work as a passionate and dedicated leader. Those who know Michelle describe her as thoughtful, caring and warm, with a natural talent of helping others navigate the fast pace of life. “I’m proud of the career and life I’ve built,” she says.

“The past 13 years have been nothing short of amazing.”

Interested in a rewarding career working with our Great People? Learn more about our Healthcare and Clinical careers at Shannex

A Flurry of Fundraising

March 15, 2023

Parkland on the Glen

At Parkland, community is more than just a place you live, it’s where you share experiences, give back and
support others. This past holiday season, residents at Parkland on the Glen have been busy raising funds
for a number of great causes.

Caring Cards and Christmas Cakes
In October, seven residents submitted 11 holiday inspired images to be featured on cards, with the artist’s name and where the proceeds were going. At the time of printing this issue of Connections, they raised $584 and counting for the Mississauga Firefighter Benevolent Fund and the Alzheimer Society of Peel.
In the spirit of friendly competition, residents also voted on their favourite card designs. Parkland on the Glen resident, Jerry Guild, received the most votes for his manger design. “It’s the reason for the season,” says Jerry. “I’m a big believer in that, and that’s what I put in my card.” Additionally, the group also sold $386 worth of Christmas cakes at the craft sale with 100% of the proceeds going to Parkinson’s Canada.

Parkland on the Glen resident, Jerry Guild posing with his winning holiday card design.
Marguerite Sumeraj and Barb Chambers selling their all-seasons cards.

Chili Cook-Off

On Giving Tuesday, Parkland on the Glen held its annual chili cook-off event in support of the Mississauga Firefighter Benevolent Fund, raising $480 for the cause. Four participants made up of Parkland team members and Ray Paolini, a firefighter and member of the Mississauga Firefighter Benevolent Fund committee, went head-to-head to see who had the best chili. Resident Experience Manager Krasi Takev came out on top!

1 Chili Maker: Krasi Takev wins Parkland on the Glen’s 2022 Chili Cook-Off!

Clinical Corner

March 15, 2023
Residents and team members at Faubourg du Mascaret taking a walk on a brisk winter day.

Beat the Winter Blues
For many, the winter blues are more than just an expression.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Did you know Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a diagnosed medical condition that hinders a person’s
daily life? As the seasons change and there is less consistent sunlight, people affected by SAD experience
prolonged disruptive mood changes, can have trouble sleeping and feel depressed, lethargic and irritable.
If you feel like you might have Seasonal Affective Disorder, please speak with your healthcare provider.
You can also avoid some of the symptoms of SAD by taking the following steps:

  1. Keep active: Exercising is shown to boost energy levels and improve your mood, cognition, memory
    and sleep. Taking part in Harmony Wellness classes in your community is a great way to stay healthy.
  2. Get outside: Being outside in the sunlight can help balance serotonin, boost melatonin, level circadian rhythms and increases vitamin D, leading to an improved mood.
  3. Healthy eating: Eating well increases good feelings. Changing your diet by eating protein with each main meal throughout the day can help prevent sugar and carb cravings later. Try adding more greens to your plate!

Harbourstone’s Milestone

March 15, 2023

On November 18, a true Cape Breton kitchen party came to life at Harbourstone in Kenwood Hall when residents, team members, friends, families, and community partners gathered to celebrate the home’s 20th anniversary. The celebration kicked off with dancing by the Forrester School of Dance and a performance by Habourstone’s own house band, Connections. Sharing this milestone were two residents who moved into Harbourstone 20 years ago along with over 70 team members who are still working there today. Thanks to everyone who made this celebration a success, and for the compassion you bring to work, every day.

It wouldn’t be a Kitchen Party without dancing! Residents, members of the community and team members came together for a jig.

Celebration of Wreaths

March 15, 2023
(L-R): Dr. Howard Conter, Parkland at the Gardens resident, Maureen Banyard,
Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia President & CEO, Starr Cunningham,
and Parkland at the Gardens General Manager, Jodi Bartlett.

Parkland at the Gardens

Shannex has been proud to support the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia over the years.
To raise money for the cause, this year, Parkland at the Gardens held their own fundraiser called, “The Celebration of Wreaths.” During the first two weeks of December, friends of the community were invited to participate by donating a wreath or by making a cash donation to the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia. Sponsored wreaths were proudly displayed throughout the Garden’s lobby and La Vie Bistro,
until December 16 when they were auctioned off to lucky bidders who took home beautiful specialty wreaths.

Collectively, the community had 22 wreaths and raised over $10,000 for the Mental Health
Foundation of Nova Scotia. Parkland at the Gardens resident, Maureen Banyard, led the efforts.

“While the holiday season is a time to celebrate with those we love and reflect on the things
we are most grateful for, it is also a difficult time for many,” said Maureen. “Supporting an organization like the Mental Health Foundation, which provides much needed care and services to people in need, is so important.”

Meet Darren Pellerin

March 15, 2023

General Manager, Parkland Saint John

After more than 20 years in Alberta, Darren Pellerin is happy to be back in his home province of New Brunswick as General Manager at Parkland Saint John. In his time out west, Darren worked for several hotels, before taking a job as General Manager of a lifestyle residence in Calgary. “In both roles, it’s all about making sure you’re providing a great experience,” said Darren. “It’s our job to provide a clean, safe place to stay, good nutritious food and a fun atmosphere – it’s exciting!” Ultimately what drew him back to New Brunswick was his desire to be close to family, but he is looking forward to supporting residents, their loved ones and team members at Parkland Saint John. “I’m happy to be amongst Maritimers again,” he said with a smile. “I love being involved in every aspect of the building whether it’s dining and hospitality, sales, or maintenance,” he added. “There’s a lot of great work that’s been done here, happy residents and Great People, I’m always looking to see how we can improve their experience.”

Quilt of Compassion

March 15, 2023

Parkland Saint John

A unique piece of artistry and compassion was recently displayed in Saint John, New Brunswick. Together, eight residents provided a 10×10 knitted square before combining the squares to create a beautiful blanket. The knitting club then sold tickets to raffle the blanket to raise money for the local food bank. The knitting club’s goal was to raise $500, but their efforts ended up bringing in double that amount – $1,012, just in time for Thanksgiving! Congratulations to the winner, Kaitlyn Bevans, and thanks to everyone who purchased tickets and helped raise money for such an important cause.

Service Excellence: Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medals

March 16, 2023

Parkland Riverview

Recently, three of our Great People from Parkland Riverview, who had been nominated to receive Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medals, were selected and presented their medals by the Honourable Brenda Murphy, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick and the Honourable Bruce Fitch, Minister of Health. Congratulations to Canterbury Hall’s Client Service Manager, Janice Corey, LPN, Business Manager Kim Ritcy and Monarch Hall’s Health Services Manager, Jennifer Girouard, RN. During the pandemic, they stepped up on multiple occasions to manage challenging and complex situations and ensure that
residents continued to recieve quality care. Congratulations!

Parkland Riverview team members Kim Ritcy (left), Janice Corey (right) and Jennifer Girouard (center) receive their medals from the Honourable Bruce Fitch, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Brenda Murphy, Lieutenant Governor of N.B.

Resident Spotlight: Delia Burgess

March 16, 2023

Parkland at the Gardens

Delia Burgess knows the importance of living a sustainable lifestyle. That’s why, it was a no-brainer to join the Green Team at Parkland at the Gardens when she moved into the community last September. The Green Team’s purpose is to set an example and promote ways to live sustainably amongst residents, team members and the broader community. This is something that Delia has become passionate about. “I want to make a change. The world is not going to last much longer the way it is, and things are getting worse and worse,” says Delia. “But I see great, amazing changes,” she adds. One of the ways she has helped at the site is by organizing the garbage rooms on every floor to ensure people know how to sort their garbage properly. “It’s hard to know how to get through to everyone,” says Delia, noting that she is committed to helping everyone in the community do their best. Whether she is giving helpful advice, sorting garbage, making the waste process easy to understand, or making it fun with games, tips and
tricks, Delia is always on the lookout for small wins and opportunities for positive change. As an organization, we are committed to protecting the environment by taking a sustainable approach in all our communities, and we applaud Delia and the Green Team at Parkland at the Gardens for taking action! Do you have a green idea? We would love to hear from you! Submit yours to

Recycling 101: Delia Burgess has been making sustainability fun for residents and team members.

Thoughtfully Designed: Design Build Solutions

March 16, 2023

Creating age-friendly, accessible spaces for seniors is not something we take lightly. Each one of our communities are thoughtfully designed, expertly constructed and beautifully decorated by our in-house construction team. In every new build and renovation, the team reflects on what they’ve learned, evaluates the latest innovations and updates future plans with residents’ well-being in mind. Here are some of the team’s favourite designs and features.

A Piece of Home

Parkland on Eglinton West and Parkland Ajax both feature amenity spaces inspired by the Maritimes. Whether it’s The Citadel restaurant, named after the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, the Breton Lounge, an ode to our Cape Breton roots, or the Shannon Pub – named after our Founder.

Community Inspired

Today, we have many locations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario. In these communities, you will find several nods to our roots, the communities where they were built and those who call them home.

Parkland Cape Breton and Celtic Knots

Celtic knots traditionally signify the three forces of nature: water, fire and earth. The single line is said to signify the oneness of the spirit and the spirals represent growth. Unique to Parkland Cape Breton, Celtic knots can be found throughout the community.

Welcome to Main Street

Our innovative Main Street concept is at several of our long term care communities. Residents can enjoy the experience of spending time on a small-town street complete with a chapel and theatre space, a hair salon, café and town hall.

Nursing Home Association of Nova Scotia Awards Gala

March 16, 2023

In the fall, the Nursing Home Association of Nova Scotia (NHNSA) hosted an awards gala following their
conference, with three Shannex nominations. Thank you to everyone for your participation in these events. Being asked to take part is a testament to the professionalism and compassion you bring with you
every day. Congratulations to the award finalists and award winner, Dr. Naomi Black.

The Trailblazer Award Nominee: Harbourstone Behavioural Pilot Program

Finding appropriate continuing care options for people with complex responsive behaviours can
be challenging, resulting in some individuals being refused from placement in long term care and
remaining in a hospital. The team at Harbourstone recognized these challenges and piloted a supportive environment for managing responsive behaviours. Since it began, the team welcomed 22 residents who were previously in the hospital or refused from other nursing homes. There have been zero placement refusals and hospitalizations, zero resident-to-resident or resident-to-staff injuries and no requests for 1:1 funding, due to behaviour.

(L-R) Emily Dewar, Danielle McCormick, Shannon Peterson, Katherine VanBuskirk, NHNSA Executive Director, Michele Lowe, Heather Hanson, Kyle Richardson, Stephanie Miles, Louela Paris, Maria Agcon, Vonn Manahan, Ron Garcia, Gavin Slade at the event.

The Cultural Harmony Award Nominee: Colchester Cumberland Team

The Colchester Cumberland Team hosts many events and educational sessions to share culture and diversity with the entire team, residents and their families. In each home in this region, the strength of our diverse and tight-knit community is infectious. The enthusiasm and sincere belief of the entire team in these efforts has influenced our operations beyond this region.

L-R: Stephanie Miles, Louela Paris, Maria Agcon and Emily Dewar.

Champion for Dignity Award Winner: Dr. Naomi Black, Parkstone Enhanced Care

Dr. Naomi Black has been a resident of Parkstone Enhanced Care in Halifax for six years. At 87, she devotes her time as an advocate for those living in long term care. Naomi was chosen from 250 applicants from across Canada to participate on the 32-member Technical Committee to develop new National Long Term Care Service Standards. Naomi was one of the founding members of Shannex’s Resident and Family Advisory Committee, serving two terms and recently returning to sit on the Committee for the current year.

Dr. Naomi Black, recipient of the Champion for Dignity Award.

A Future of Innovation

March 16, 2023


Our Property and Support Services team is made up of a group of dedicated Great People focused on maintaining and enhancing both our physical and environmental footprint. In December, members of our maintenance teams from all our communities came together to discuss the importance of our ISO 50001 Energy Management Certification including building sustainability moving forward, contractor management and emergency preparedness. “It was great to have all three provinces together,” said Vince
Neville, Regional Maintenance Manager in Cape Breton. “It was a nice opportunity to meet new faces and get informed on what is coming down the pipeline for other buildings,” he added. Gurmeet Singh, Facilities Manager at Parkland on the Glen came from Mississauga, Ontario to attend the event. “It
was fantastic to come to Nova Scotia and finally meet the whole maintenance team!” The two-day event was filled with meaningful discussion, collaboration and new ideas that everyone is looking forward to bringing back to their respective communities.

Maintenance team members at Home Office taking part in the forum.