Connections Magazine   |   Winter 2022

Connections Magazine

Winter 2022 Issue

Dans cette revue :
Resident and Family Resources
Bethany Centennial Garden Opening
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Great People: Continued Career Growth
Exciting New Partnership
Editors Note
President’s Message
A Taste of Home: Walter’s Chocolate Min...
Meet Ken and Monique
Beautiful art at the future home of Parkland ...
Clinical Corner
Excellence in Business
Quilts of Valour
A Classic Christmas: Festival of Trees
Writer in Residence
Shannex Duo Goes the Extra Mile
Centre for Excellence Goes Back to School

Resident and Family Resources

janvier 7, 2021
Parkland on Eglinton West residents, Clayton Gyotoku and Jessie Ebata.

Resident and Family Resources

As a resident or family member in our community, we recognize and value your input and feedback. We firmly believe that you come first and respect your choices as well as those who share your community. Your voice and your ideas are central to our decision-making and in the care and services we provide. By sharing ideas, fostering teamwork and including you at all levels of the organization, we strive to create a community that you can be proud to call home. The following are some tools and resources available to you at any time.

A meaningful way to become engaged with our communities. It also serves to uplift and reflect residents’ voices in everything we do. The Committee includes residents and family members across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario.

Each campus has its own resident and family councils to provide input and influence decisions that are being made in each community every day to improve the overall resident and family experience. To learn more, please speak with a member of your management team.

An online resource that helps you stay connected with our communities. It’s a one-stop-shop for important news, information, documents and tools that you need to continue to make your voice heard and support your loved ones. Visit communityportal to access the portal.

Katherine VanBuskirk is our Resident and Family Liaison, she is happy to answer your questions, address your concerns and provide you with support related to any aspect of care or service. She can be reached by phone at 902-406-8297.

Whether you have a question, comment or concern, you can always reach us. Zoom meetings, site-level communications and Connections are some of the many ways you can stay in touch. As always, our team members are available to make sure you have all the details you need to know for you and your loved one. Contact information for your community is available at under the locations tab. See what our vibrant communities are up to by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Bethany Centennial Garden Opening

septembre 21, 2021
Bethany Centennial Garden Opening
Sister Rosalie Lavallée, Congregation of the Sisters of St. Martha, sits on bench in front of the former Motherhouse Chapel altar.

Bethany Centennial Garden Opening

September 21, 2021, marked the 100th anniversary of the Sisters of St. Martha Congregation moving from their original Motherhouse on the Campus of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS, to the Bethany Property in 1921. To acknowledge the milestone, the Sisters of St. Martha officially opened the Bethany Centennial Garden on the grounds of the deconstructed Motherhouse building.

Members of the Shannex and Parkland family were on hand for the event including the Sisters of St. Martha from Parkland Antigonish, Shannex President and Chief Operating Officer, Jason Shannon; Shannex Founder, Joseph Shannon and Regional Director of Retirement Living in Nova Scotia, Ian Mader.

“We believe that in sharing this garden, we are able to offer you, the community, town, county, and surrounding area who supported us over the years, a place to rest, to walk, enjoy and to learn,” says Sr. Brendalee Boisvert, Sisters of St. Martha Congregation Leader. The garden includes a heritage walk that highlights significant moments in the Congregation’s history, places for sitting, accessible walking paths, spaces for meditation and contemplation. Benches have also been added to the garden to honour the 100th anniversary, one of which was donated by Shannex.

When visiting the garden, the public is asked to pay attention to signage as they make their way through the property.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

septembre 30, 2021

Désolé, cet article est seulement disponible en anglais.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Honouring the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at Bridgeview Hall and Parkland on the River.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

In June of this year, the Senate unanimously passed a bill to make September 30, 2021, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

To commemorate the tragic legacy of residential schools in Canada, our Shannex, Parkland and Faubourg communities took time to reflect on the impact it continues to have on the Indigenous community.

In Miramichi, Bridgeview Hall and Parkland on the River marked the day with the raising of the Mi’kmaq flag. The event, hosted by Andrea Paul, from the Natoaganeg First Nation included a smudging ceremony, drumming and remarks by Wanda Ward Sebastian from Metepenagiag First Nation.

Andrea is a registered nurse who has a close connection in our Miramichi communities. Her mother is a licensed practical nurse at Bridgeview Hall, where her grandmother is also a resident.

Thank you to General Manager, Jean Doyle, and Health Services Manager, Amanda Quinn, for coordinating the event.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Great People: Continued Career Growth

janvier 7, 2022

Debert Court Site Manager, Vonn Manahan.

Looking back at the 11 years he has been with Shannex, Debert Court Site Manager, Vonn Manahan, cannot help but smile.

“Shannex has been my only employer here in Canada, and I don’t see myself moving on,” says Vonn. “This has been my home, my family; the company has been so supportive.”

Vonn’s career with Shannex began in 2010 when he moved from the Philippines to Canada to settle in Nova Scotia. When he arrived, he began working as a registered nurse at Cedarstone Enhanced Care. After working there for two years he took an opportunity to support residents on the frontline at Debert Court, before becoming the site manager.

“When I started out, I didn’t foresee myself in a management position,” says Vonn. “But I was able to evolve and learned about the opportunities to grow my career within the company; they really support individuals showing potential or those wanting professional growth.”

Working for an organization that has helped him write new chapters of his career has been a fulfilling experience.

“I feel like I’m valued by the company,” he says. “Shannex is not just a company for me, it’s my home. They’ve supported me every step of the way.”

Interested in a rewarding career working with Great People like Vonn? Learn more about our Healthcare and Clinical careers.

Exciting New Partnership

janvier 7, 2022
Exciting New Partnership
Christy Nickerson-Rak will provide project management expertise to support the partnership.

Exciting New Partnership


As we strive to Lead the Way to Better Living, we always look at new ways to improve the lives of seniors in our communities. Through an exciting partnership with the CAN Health Network, our family-owned company is helping to foster tried and true, made-in-Canada technology that provides alternative solutions to strengthen the healthcare system. The collaborative group is made up of public and private organizations that are part of an integrated network that works together to support Canadian solutions.

“Being part of this network fits our desire to be an innovative service provider to older adults,” says Collaborative Learning Centre Manager and Research Specialist, Christy Nickerson-Rak. “We are proud to help create solutions that meet current needs with innovative technology companies.”

The national partnership has opened the door to allow Shannex to trial more ground-breaking, homegrown healthcare solutions to support our residents and team members. We are launching our first project through the network this month to adapt the Tenera Care technology for the retirement living continuum of care.

Visit the CAN Health Network’s website to learn more about the organization:

Editors Note

février 25, 2022
Residents and team members at Debert Court created a display of pumpkin people to greet fully vaccinated visitors to the community.

Happy New Year!  
We are excited to welcome you to the first edition of Connections for 2022. Our communities have been active and busy throughout the fall.  
This issue is filled with stories of giving, support, community and connection, including the inspiration behind the Culinary Corner recipe on page 3, submitted by Parkland at the Lakes resident, Walter Grist. It all started 10-15 years ago, in Pictou Landing, when Walter and his late wife, Jessie, wanted to show retail workers their appreciation. Jessie started making chocolate mint fudge, and they handed it out each time they shopped. This initiative grew, and the couple then started giving it to nurses, dentists, doctors and garage mechanics. Jessie eventually became known in the community as “The Fudge Lady.” After his wife got sick, Walter continued the tradition. Now, he makes the fudge for residents and team members at Parkland at the Lakes.  
As you flip through these pages, you will feel a profound sense of generosity and one of the many things that make our communities special. Tucker Hall Personal Support Workers, Alicia Soucy and Tyanna Tyler, answered the call by supporting nursing homes across New Brunswick that were managing COVID-19 outbreaks (page 10). Harbourstone Enhanced Care donated over $1000 in pet food to the SPCA to help animals in need (page 7). Parkland at the Gardens residents donated a holiday tree to support the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia (page 8).  
I hope you enjoy reading these and the many other great things happening in our communities. 

Editorial Note: In the fall 2021 issue of Connections, we incorrectly identified Joan Mara as Joan Merrick in our story about the Virtual Social Connections Training Program. We sincerely apologize to Joan for this oversight and wanted to issue a correction. Thanks again to Joan for her participation in the story 

President’s Message

février 25, 2022
(L-R): Shannex President and COO, Jason Shannon, retired team member, Carol Wall and Founder, Joesph Shannon, attend the Shannex Service Excellence Awards in Sydney, N.S.

Happy New Year everyone,  
I’m pleased to share the newest issue of Connections with you.  

I know that all of us were filled with hope that by the end of 2021, we might be able to put this pandemic behind us. Unfortunately, that’s not the case now, but we shouldn’t lose hope. Instead, I encourage you to notice the positives in these changing times. The vaccines are working; they are reducing the health impacts for those who get COVID-19. We’ve also gotten very good at adapting to changing circumstances and to helping each other. Our sense of community is stronger in many ways, and I’m inspired by what I see in each of our locations. It’s this sense of community that makes us take care of ourselves so we can protect others.  

Earlier in the fall, before the Omicron variant, I was able to visit many of our sites, and it was good to see residents and team members in good spirits. It’s clear to me residents enjoy strong connections with our team members, which is what our most recent Quality of Life Survey results indicate. I want to thank our residents and families for taking the time to provide their feedback, and I want you to know that we are working on action plans to continue to improve your experience with us.  

In December, I had the honour of recognizing some of our team members at our Service Excellence Awards ceremonies in Halifax and Sydney. We recognized long-serving employees, retirements and those who have gone above and beyond to deliver care and service consistent with our organizational values. As an organization, it’s important our Great People understand how much we value their contributions. We want to invest in their futures through opportunities to learn and grow through meaningful work where they get to make a difference in the lives of others.  

These are extraordinary times that have required all of us to dig deep and be strong as we continue to find ourselves responding to new challenges related to COVID-19. I want to thank our residents, their families, and our teams for making the Shannex family so special.  

As you turn the pages of this issue of Connections, I hope you feel that sense of community spirit and renewed hope for the year ahead. 

A Taste of Home: Walter’s Chocolate Mint Fudge

février 26, 2022

Walter’s wife, Jessie, was known in the community for her delicious fudge. When she became sick, Walter continued to use the recipe. Today, Walter makes it for his friends at Parkland.  

Read more resident recipes at  


1 2/3 cup white sugar 
2/3 cup undiluted carnation evaporated milk  
2 tablespoons butter  
½ teaspoon salt  
2 cups mini marshmallows  
1 ½ cups nuts (optional)  
1 teaspoon vanilla  
1 ½ cups mint chocolate chips  
Combine sugar, milk, butter and salt in medium saucepan.  
Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.  
Boil 4-5 minutes (Walter does 4.5 minutes).  
Stirring constantly.  
Remove from heat.  
Stir in marshmallows, chocolate chips (nuts and vanilla optional).  
Stir vigorously until marshmallows melt and blend.  
Pour into foil-lined 8-inch square cake pan.  
Chill and cut into squares.  
Tip from Walter: Prepare the pan before you start! 

Meet Ken and Monique

février 26, 2022
Parkland in the Valley Wellness Coach, Monique, and resident, Ken, enjoying each other’s company. 
Ken, Parkland in the Valley resident.
Parkland: Where Neighbours Become Friends 

Both a friend and neighbour to many at Parkland in the Valley in the Kennebecasis Valley, N.B., Ken has become the in-house expert when it comes to pool, providing tips and encouragement with a healthy dose of friendly competition.  

At the age of 20, Ken settled into the community he called home for nearly 50 years and started his career as a truck driver. He later became an equipment supervisor, which allowed him to spend more time with his family.  

Nearing retirement, Ken found himself considering a new hobby. “I told my wife if I’m going to retire, I’ve got to have something to do, so I bought a used pool table,” he recalls. “I’ve had that pool table for about nine years, but I can’t remember ever playing pool before that.”  

When Ken sold his home, finding a community of caring people and activities was important. He found it, along with new friends like Monique, at Parkland.  

“I’d see Ken playing pool, so we started playing together,” says Monique, a Wellness Coach. “I enjoy learning the different angles and the competition. Making big shots by accident is always exciting.”  
As a Wellness Coach, Monique plans social activities and exercise classes for residents and surprisingly never played pool before meeting Ken.  
“She has some real good games and some real poor ones—she’s a good sport,” Ken says. “When you have people like Monique around, that keeps people happy,” he adds. “To live here, you’re not alone anymore and that’s the one thing I really like about it—the people that live here are your family.”  
When asked to describe Ken, Monique pauses with evident admiration. “He’s always so positive,” she says. “He’s very kind,” says Monique. Like true friends, neither keeps score—they always start a new day and a new game from scratch.  
Read the full story at

Beautiful art at the future home of Parkland at the Common

février 26, 2022
One of the four murals at the future home of Parkland at the Common and artist, Jordan Bennett working on a mural during Nocturne 2021. 
Building Community

Creative expression and storytelling are important aspects of life at Parkland. It’s what inspires us to thoughtfully design our communities with art to honour local history, scenery and artists.  
A new community is emerging in Halifax’s iconic North End neighbourhood, at the corner of Quinpool Road and Robie Street, Parkland at the Common.  
This year, we were proud to participate in Nocturne at Night, a contemporary art festival that celebrates Nova Scotia’s visual arts scene, as the Emerging Artist Partner.  
Five local artists designed a living canvas on the hoarding wall of the construction site. More specifically, each artist created a unique mural that spoke to the festival’s theme of “building community.”  
Thanks to Trackside Studios for leading the project. 

Clinical Corner

mars 1, 2022
Clinical Corner

Make the Most of Your Day

Each day is an opportunity to positively impact your health. The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) has created a “24-Hour Movement Guideline” for adults aged 65 and over. This guideline outlines recommendations for physical activity, sleep and sedentary behaviour to help you achieve optimal health.


• Aim for 150 minutes each week of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity
• Do strength training activities of major muscles at least twice per week (chair yoga, housework, carrying groceries or laundry count)
• Include activities that safely challenge your balance
• Check with your health care provider if you have any medical conditions; they can help determine what types of physical activity are right for you
• Exercise in short pockets of time (even 10 minutes is enough), especially when starting out
• Find activities you enjoy and combine with socialization (group exercise, walking groups)

• Aim for 7-8 hours of good quality sleep each night
• Setting consistent bedtimes and wake times can help get you in a healthy sleep routine
• Limit screen time at least an hour before bedtime

• Limit sedentary time to eight hours or less
• Limit recreational screen time to three hours or less per day (that includes, tv, computer and phone screens)
• Break up long periods of sitting as much as possible (stand up and stretch, go for a short walk)

Moderate activity is when your breathing is harder, and your heart rate is elevated. You should still be able to speak but would have difficulty if you tried to sing.

Working towards these goals can provide you with many health benefits such as: reducing your risk of falls, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes and stroke, improving your balance and your mental well-being.

We have lots of opportunities for recreational activities that incorporate physical activity and socialization in our communities. Look at your recreation calendar to see if there is something you would enjoy helping you make the most of your 24 hours each day!

Find more information here:

Excellence in Business

mars 1, 2022
Excellence in Business
The New Brunswick regional office team celebrates a great achievement.

Excellence in Business
New Brunswick

On November 17, Shannex received the Excellence in Business Award from the Chamber of Commerce Greater Moncton. This prize is given to an organization that has demonstrated excellence in overall business operations, has shown community involvement and leadership in the business community.

This recognition reflects our Great People who are the foundation of our success. Congratulations to the team for this wonderful accomplishment. We are proud of the commitment, dedication and professionalism you show our residents and fellow team members each day.

Quilts of Valour

mars 1, 2022
(L-R) President, Chocolate River Quilters, Marilyn Bishop, Chocolate River Quilters, Sandra Durelle; Veteran and Royal Court resident, Russell Kaye; Veteran and Royal Court resident, Herb Brandt.

Quilts of Valour

Two Parkland Riverview Royal Court residents, Herb Brand and Russell Kaye, were presented Quilts of Valour from the Chocolate River Quilters in honour of their military service. They also happen to be the first two quilts formally registered in the province of New Brunswick.

Quilts of Valour must meet certain specifications and are presented to members Canadian Armed Forces (past or present), who have been injured during the line of duty.

We would also like to acknowledge and express our gratitude to Herb, Russell and all our residents and team members who have previously served in the military for their dedication to this country.

A Classic Christmas: Festival of Trees

mars 1, 2022
A Classic Christmas- Festival of Trees
Parkland at the Gardens residents working alongside team members to create 60s inspired homemade decorations for their tree, “A Classic Christmas”.

A Classic Christmas: Festival of Trees

In November, Parkland at the Gardens residents and in-house designer Karen Dixon came together to create a tree for the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia’s event, the Forest of Trees. Inspired by the song “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”, Karen wanted to create a design with the residents that stirred a sentimental feeling in a new, old-fashioned way. “When I met with the residents, we looked at what Christmas trees looked like in the 1960s when the song came out,” said Karen.

Susan is one of the residents who helped decorate the tree. “It’s always fun with all the ladies,” she said with a smile. “More hands make it easier – I love doing stuff like this!”

For Parkland resident Joan, the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia is a cause she holds close to her heart. “I’m very happy to participate in this fundraiser. I think it’s an absolutely wonderful idea,” said Joan.

On November 27, the tree named “A Classic Christmas” was auctioned off and purchased for $1,600 with all proceeds going towards mental health services and supports in the province.

A collection of memories and traditions as told by residents who came together to decorate the tree can be read at

Writer in Residence

mars 1, 2022
Thomas Hall resident Dr. Dohaney holds a B.A, from UNB, M. Ed from the University of Maine, a ED. D, from Boston University.

Writer in Residence

When you ask Dr. M.T. (Jean) Dohaney, a professor who spent over 20 years teaching at the University of New Brunswick, who she had aspired to be like when she grew up, she will say, without hesitation, ‘Lois Lane’. Ms. Lane was a fictional character who appeared in Superman Comics and was an awardwinning journalist for the Metropolis Newspaper, The Daily Planet. Admiration for this character’s writing expertise rubbed off on Dohaney.

In 1988, her first novel was published, The Corrigan Women: It dealt with three generations of Newfoundland women and the effect that World War 1, World War 2 and Confederation had upon their lives. She went on to write six more novels, mostly Newfoundland-based.

Dohaney wrote a screenplay – Come Back Paddy Riley – which became one of two screenplays that were selected by the Nova Scotia Film Board as winners in the Atlantic Film Festival. The story is about her uncle from Newfoundland who went to war at a young age and like many others lost his life.

Today, you can find Dohaney at her computer keeping up with current events. However, she is always readily available with words of wisdom for today’s generation and can delight anyone with her storytelling.

Thank you to Dr. Dohaney for penning this piece for us for this issue of Connections.

Dr. Dohaney was recognized by the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award in 1995 for her novel, A Marriage of Masks. She also received the Lieutenant’s Governor’s Award for High Achievement in English Language/Literature Arts in 2012 in New Brunswick.

Shannex Duo Goes the Extra Mile

mars 1, 2022
Shannex - Shannex Duo Goes the Extra Mile
(L-R) Tucker Hall Personal Support Workers, Alicia Soucy and Tyanna Tyler, dressed in full personal protective equipment during an outbreak of COVID-19.

Shannex Duo Goes the Extra Mile

When Tucker Hall opened its doors in 2016, Personal Support Workers, Alicia Soucy and Tyanna Tyler, were there to welcome residents. Since then, they have become integral parts of the community. Alicia’s bright personality has earned her the nickname “Ray of Sunshine” and Tyanna’s empathy and caring for others is admired by many. Over the years, they have formed strong bonds with residents that will last a lifetime.

“I love working with them,” says Tyanna. “They’re like my extended family.”

On November 20, 2020, the community, team members and residents faced a major challenge – an outbreak of COVID-19

“The first thing I said when I was asked to help out was, ‘Oh my gosh, what I can do to help? Put me where you need me,” says Alicia. “I immediately knew I needed to help.”

In the face of uncertainty, they put aside their fears and did what they always do by going the extra mile to provide quality care to residents.

This experience taught them many lessons that they have shared with others; both PSWs have supported eight COVID-19 outbreaks in long term care communities (three Shannex and four non-Shannex) across New Brunswick.

“Alicia and I are a great team, and I’m so glad I got to have her at every outbreak,” says Tyanna. “It’s been great working with everyone and getting to know people in the other communities.”

“If someone asks you for help when they’re scared or they’re in an overwhelming and fearful environment, how can you say no?” says Alicia. “How do you say no? I couldn’t.”

Thanks to Alicia and Tyanna for your dedication and commitment. We are grateful for your willingness to provide support and care to those in need.


mars 1, 2022
CCA, Arnold Francisco, pictured at Parkstone Enhanced Care


Arnold Francisco is an internationally educated nurse working as a Continuing Care Assistant at Parkstone Enhanced Care in Halifax, N.S. To be recognized as a registered nurse in Canada, he must meet all registration and licensure requirements, which included a language component.

“Before moving to Canada, I worked in Singapore for six years in a dementia unit,” says Arnold. “I came here as an international student and studied Palliative Care Nursing at Niagara College in Ontario; after the program, I moved to Halifax seeking full-time employment and was hired by Shannex.”

In June, Arnold took part in the YMCA’s 20-week pilot program known as the Sector Partnerships for Enhanced Language Learning. This course helps address work shortages and enhance employment skills in the health care sector by supporting new immigrants with targeted language services.

In April 2021, the YMCA teamed up with Shannex as an initial partner in the pilot; this involved identifying needs and logistics, curriculum design, regular consultative meetings, scheduling team members for lessons and project evaluation.

“It’s been a great partnership,” says YMCA Newcomer Settlement Coordinator, InHae Park. “Both organizations have the common goal of supporting newcomer employees to be successful in the workplace and get the support they need.”

Arnold believes this program has been valuable. “I am so grateful that I was able to participate,” says Arnold. “It has helped me communicate better with my supervisors and residents and helped prepare me to write my licensing exam.”

The project is funded by the Nova Scotia government department of Labour Skills and Immigration and runs until March 31, 2022.

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

Centre for Excellence Goes Back to School

mars 1, 2022
Team members take part in an in-person learning session at the Centre for Excellence.

On November 1, 2021, the Centre for Excellence reopened to in-person classes.

Throughout the pandemic, the Learning and Development team worked diligently to adapt and ensure there were minimal educational disruptions by transitioning to virtual and self-directed learning. Between April 2020 and October 2021, 63 virtual/ online sessions were offered to 492 participants.

The pandemic offered an opportunity to refresh and revamp the course content to determine the best delivery method. This time of reflection has allowed for courses to be delivered in three ways: self-directed online learning, face to face or a blended model.

Over the long term, we are looking at restructuring existing programs with new formats for leadership courses that will eventually include resources being more readily available online. In-person classes will focus on application, scenarios, case studies and guest speakers and allow more time for questions and answers, integrating prior knowledge and work experiences into learning.

We are grateful to the Learning and Development team for their tireless work throughout the pandemic and their steadfast dedication to making sure our Great People continue to succeed.