Report to Community   |   Report to Community 2022-2023

Connections Magazine

Report to Community 2022-2023 Issue

In this issue:
A Message from the President
Highlights from the Past Year
Service & Care
Engaged Employees
Research & Innovation
Sustainable Growth
Leading the Way

A Message from the President

August 24, 2023

Telling Our Story

I am pleased to present you with our Report to Community for the 2022-23 year, which was the final year of our 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. We are in a much different place than we were five years ago, and while we have faced our fair share of challenges, we are optimistic about the future.

In our 35 years of providing service and care to seniors, there has never been more focus on our sector and we
are seeing a creativity and willingness to explore solutions. Individuals and groups are thinking in possibilities, and we are too. We are ready to rise to the challenge, and in this report, you’ll read about some of the strategic initiatives we’ve undertaken to support our people and our communities today, while ensuring we are prepared for the future.

We have increased the many ways we use data to make decisions that are rooted in evidence. We have stepped up to be leading partners on initiatives that support seniors as they age. We are building communities that are sustainable and connected to the greater community. We have transformed our approach to people and culture with significant investments in recruitment, retention, immigration, and workforce upskilling while striving to create a warm and engaging environment that celebrates diversity and encourages innovation at every level.

While 2022-23 marked the final year of our Strategic Plan, we had the inspiration and clarity to write our next chapter. We engaged in extensive stakeholder consultation to create a new plan that would see us address ageism, quality of life, service excellence, the growing demand for seniors’ housing, sustainability, trust, and the critical importance of our Great People. Guided by our strategic directions, which include Resident Wellbeing, Employee Experience, Service Excellence, Healthy Business and Environmental Stewardship, we have ambitious goals that will challenge us to lead the way over the next five years.
The momentum can be felt in every Shannex community and we are grateful to our residents and our many Great People whose support allows us to accomplish this meaningful work.

Jason Shannon, President

Highlights from the Past Year

August 24, 2023


  • ISO 50001 certification received
  • Caught you Being Green recognition program launch
  • Green Ideas program launched
  • Green Teams established
  • Donation to Tree Canada to plant trees in Atlantic Canada
  • Five-year goals established for Environmental Stewardship strategy


  • New five-year Strategic Plan developed
  • Accreditation status maintained in abbreviated 2022 survey
  • Record high response rate through Resident and Family Quality of Life and Employee Engagement surveys
  • Resident and Family Advisory Committee relaunched post-pandemic, workplan underway
  • Resident and Family Councils active and engaged
  • Launched new leadership training program: Lead Blue


  • Blue Book launch, Great People parties
  • Shannex Cares Community Program launched
  • Six Great People Give donations; six Community Spirit Grants given
  • Share on Care resource hub built
  • Quarterly updates to stakeholders distributed
  • Employee virtual care and discount platforms offered
  • Shannex’s Centre for Excellence training delivered to 389 participants
  • Student program saw 203 summer term, and 902 cooperative and work term placements
  • Nursing scholarships offered through three NB universities
  • Employer of the Year Award received from Eastern College
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging training provided for managers
  • Women make up 80.5% of all staff and 54.5% of Executive Team

Service & Care

August 24, 2023

Create conditions that enhance our ability to deliver resident-directed care and promote service excellence


  • Achieved accredited status from Accreditation Canada through a supplemental survey. Full Accreditation survey in June 2023
  • Reduced pressure injury prevalence and reestablished targets to meet a higher standard
  • Launched LTCF coordinators in NS to support Momentum, clinical assessments and quality indicators
  • Reduced NS licensing deficiencies related to resident care plans to minimal levels
  • Completed evaluation and expansion of Harbourstone Enhanced Care Behavior Innovation Pilot to other homes

Residents’ Voices: If you lived here, you’d know

Parkstone Enhanced Care residents Naomi Black, Elaine Hawkins and the late Barbara Cooperstone are affectionately known as “The Flamboyance.” Together, they wrote an honest and insightful story titled Residents’ Voices which is a real-life glimpse into their day-to-day life. The piece contains an important message, dispelling many myths about life in long term care. In their words, “we want to see this story have an impact.”

Connecting Residents to Community

As part of a partnership between Shannex long term care community Neill Hall and York Care Centre in Fredericton, a mailbox pilot project was developed to connect residents with community members through special mail deliveries and visits.

The project is a testament to the creativity of our team members and many community connections that have been eager to support the project, including businesses, schools, and community groups.

Meaningful connections with the greater community give residents a sense of purpose, provide opportunities for them to share their experiences and wisdom while building new friendships with people of all ages. The pilot project will run throughout this year.

Recognized by Accreditation Canada

This past year, we were proud to be recognized for two innovative, people-centred, evidence-informed Leading Practices that demonstrate a positive change related to safe and reliable, accessible and appropriate, and integrated care and service.

Our Safety Profile Score (SPS) was developed to ensure we are consistently supporting safety across all our communities by providing a better evaluation of our Health, Wellness and Safety Program to produce a quarterly SPS score for each site.

Through the Harbourstone Behavioural Pilot Program we have created a supportive environment for managing responsive behaviours in long term care. To date, 38 residents who were previously in the hospital, or refused from other nursing homes have a welcoming home at Harbourstone.

Quality of Life

Since becoming a member of the Seniors Quality Leap Initiative (SQLI) in 2020, Shannex has leveraged an internationally validated survey tool to measure our results against our own benchmarks as well as 14 other member organizations across North America. In September 2022, Shannex ranked #2 in being recommended and #3 for “feeling like home”.

Within specific domains, we continue to lead in many areas such as Staff Responsiveness (#2), Personal Control and Autonomy (#1) and Caring Staff (#1).

Resident and Family Resources

Hearing from residents and families is central to the care we provide and is considered in all our decisions. We engage residents and families in many ways.

Resident and Family Advisory Committee

A group of residents and family members across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario that serves to uplift and reflect residents’ voices.

Resident and Family Councils  

Established in every community to provide input and influence decisions to improve the overall resident and family experience. 

Resident and Family Portal 

An online resource with tools and information to help residents and families stay connected with our communities and access information. 

Resident and Family Liaison

A dedicated resource who is available to answer questions and address concerns from family members related to any aspect of care or service.

Engaged Employees

August 24, 2023

Engage our team members and be the employer of choice everywhere we operate.


  • Safety and illness prevention initiatives were successful in reducing workplace injuries, supporting employee wellness and bringing team members back to work faster
  • Completed major milestones in our employee total rewards quality improvement project, including updated job descriptions, launching employee discount platform, relaunching the Executive Leadership program and establishing a compensation framework review committee
  • Launched the Blue Book and established brand standards
  • Stabilized staffing levels from COVID-19, leveraging skills development programs and international recruitment
  • Continued Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging journey with Ashanti leadership, commitment statement, initial training program for people leaders

Great Reward for Great People

Last year, a quality improvement project to review, assess and identify areas for improvement related to the organization’s total rewards program began. Input was gathered from all communities and improvements were made in five key areas:

  • Entitlements for management and administrative group
  • New company-paid perks providers ($44,000 in savings in the first 30 days)
  • Addition of virtual healthcare to our Group Benefits program, with primary and mental health benefits
  • Improved communications and
    materials with easy access benefits information
  • A Compensation Framework Committee working to reshape monetary compensation

Transforming Our Approach to People and Culture

We’ve made great strides this year on a number of fronts to transform our approach to people and culture. Finding the right individuals who align with our values and vision is crucial to our success. With this in mind, we developed an entirely new employer brand platform.

In addition to enhancing our recruitment efforts locally, we have also embarked on international mission trips to attract exceptional talent from around the globe. Our International Recruitment team has participated in joint missions with the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to the Netherlands and Philippines respectively. These trips have not only expanded our pool of Great People but have also fostered valuable cultural exchanges and collaborations.

Our Path to Blue

Last year, Shannex released its Blue Book, an introductory brand guide for new team members to learn about our history, values, guiding principles, universal standards and opportunities to learn and grow through professional development. Since our inaugural Great People Party last May, a committee was formed to develop, create and promote a month-long calendar for Great People Month which kicked off on May 1, 2023 and was followed by a month-long schedule of events and activities to recognize and celebrate our Great People.

Step up to Nursing

Shannex is proud to be one of the first committed partners of New Brunswick’s Step Up to Nursing: Earn as You Learn Nursing Education Pathway. Step Up to Nursing provides Personal Support Workers (PSW) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) with the opportunity to grow their careers while they work through a combination of on-the-job training and classroom learning with free tuition. Shannex New Brunswick’s leadership team was instrumental to the launch of this project which will support our Great People who are looking to further their career while staying in the workforce.

Employee Engagement Survey

Our annual Employee Engagement Survey, conducted in March 2023, saw an overall score of 81.12% – an increase from previous years. An impressive 95% of team members report feeling seen, heard and celebrated at Shannex.

Research & Innovation

August 24, 2023

Lead and support innovation that improves our workplaces and benefits seniors in our communities.


  • Completed two cohorts of Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification training across NS and NB and one cohort of Green Belt. The Yellow Belts worked on a total of 54 Quality Improvement projects spanning all areas of our operations
  • Participated in research to develop a new family survey with interRAI and launched it as part of our annual survey schedule
  • The Shannex Insights Lab launched two analytic reports to support care planning in our long term care homes
  • Achieved goal to be in top 10% of SQLI members for Quality of Life survey scores
  • Expanded WiFi access to achieve full coverage in all of our homes, including LTC
  • Two Leading Practices accepted by Accreditation Canada

Mitacs Partnership Sparks Insight Lab Success

The Shannex Insights Lab is an internal research and analysis hub dedicated to analyzing data that can improve resident care and outcomes.

To optimize data collected through the lab, Shannex partnered with MITACS to hire university students with specialized skill sets. As a result, we recently introduced a new tool called the New Admission Report that helps our care team assess how newly admitted long term care residents are settling into their new home and identifies any changes quickly to allow us to adjust our approach as needed.

Lean Six Sigma Program

As part of our commitment to ongoing quality improvement, we have implemented Lean Six Sigma training to support team members in learning management techniques that help them contribute to business process improvements.

Last year, we graduated two cohorts of Yellow Belts and one cohort of Green Belts across NS and NB. There are now 63 Lean Six Sigma trained quality improvement professionals across our organization, including Yellow, Green and Black belts.

Mitigating Health Risks for Long Term Residents

The Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) selected Shannex as one of 40 Spark program projects developing real-world innovations by frontline healthcare workers and researchers. Our project will see us using location data available through an innovative mobile nurse call system, which is in place at some of our communities, to monitor resident wellbeing and mitigate adverse events. Data will be used to generate algorithms for typical resident behaviour patterns and identify when these appear to fall outside their normal range, alerting team members to determine if an intervention is needed.

Sustainable Growth

August 24, 2023

Grow the company to fulfill future senior needs while expanding and enhancing our existing communities.


  • Successfully piloted our new enterprise system, Yardi, with great evaluation outcomes
  • Added the Milestone Communities to our family of Parkland communities and rebranded to Parkland West Bedford
  • Opened Parkland Ajax in Ajax, ON, and Cohen Hall in Saint John, NB
  • Achieved ISO 50001 certification – the first in Canada for seniors care!

New Communities are Answering the Need

Shannex had an historical year with a hands-on role in the design, construction and operation of our communities.

Our builder, ACL Design Build Solutions Limited, leads and manages construction projects from our Home Office in Halifax, NS, reflecting our commitment to continuous improvements to our communities with residents and team members in mind. Last year, we opened Cohen Hall, a 60-room nursing home in Saint John, NB and Parkland Ajax in Ajax, ON.

We are also continuing work on new long term care communities in Moncton, Fredericton and Halifax with Parkland communities underway in Ancaster, ON, Moncton NB as well as in Bedford, Dartmouth and Halifax, NS.

First Seniors Living Organization in Canada to Achieve ISO 50001 Designation

Two years ago, Shannex began its journey toward ISO 50001 certification, an internationally recognized voluntary standard designation for energy management. It requires companies to adopt a strict set of energy management objectives, guidelines and practices that result in energy efficiency and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. We are pleased to announce that we have completed the process and received ISO 50001 certification, making us the first seniors’ living organization in Canada to receive this designation.

This multi-year journey has set the tone for sustainability in our organization, inspiring a range of policies and best practices, including a dedicated strategic direction in our
newest Strategic Plan.

Our New Community Program, Shannex Cares

As people who have the privilege of being part of communities of elders, we appreciate the wisdom, experience and vibrancy seniors contribute throughout their lives. We also recognize that, as people grow older, they face many issues including ageism, access to affordable and inclusive housing, social isolation, access to care and services, and mental health challenges. Shannex Cares supports initiatives that strategically prioritize areas that reflect the values of residents and team members and create opportunities to build even more connections between seniors, our Great People and the greater community. We are seeing great results in the first months of our work, and already have plans to grow our funding support beyond the two core sources we offer today.

Leading the Way

August 24, 2023

Our New Strategic Plan

Our new strategic plan was thoughtfully developed through extensive consultation and engagement with residents, families, team members and trusted partners. With five strategic directions as our guide, we will deliver on an ambitious plan to continue on our journey toward Leading the Way to Better Living.

We will conduct our work safely, responsibly, and inclusively. We’ll continue to innovate, and we will invest in new and existing technologies to find improved ways of providing service and care. We’ll also expand our knowledge and perspectives by embracing diversity inside and outside our organization.

Our founding vision to improve life for seniors remains the hallmark of the organization and will continue to motivate our leadership and team members as we strive to accomplish the goals of this plan.