Cambridge, ON – July 9, 2020 – As part of its ongoing efforts to transform and enhance the delivery of long-term care for seniors in Ontario, Southbridge Care Homes has appointed a new Chief Seniors’ Advocate and Strategic Partnerships Officer, a role which will be filled by former Ontario Long-Term Care Association CEO, Candace Chartier.

“Ms. Chartier brings with her more than two decades of experience in Ontario’s long-term care sector, and she has an extensive and established record of advocating for change that will benefit seniors across the province, starting with changes in our own homes,” says Ryan Bell, CEO of Southbridge Care Homes. “Her forward-thinking approach to how we care for our elderly is exactly what we need in light of the impacts from COVID-19.”

As Southbridge’s Chief Seniors’ Advocate and Strategic Partnerships Officer, Chartier will be responsible for leading and implementing the organization’s ongoing commitment to quality and care across Southbridge’s 37 care homes, including ensuring strong accountability mechanisms focused on operational standards and quality of living for the seniors we care for.

Over the past several weeks, Southbridge has further responded to the pandemic by putting  enhancements into place including:

  • Testing staff twice per month for COVID-19.
  • In addition to the Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) support provided by Extendicare (the manager of Southbridge’s 37 homes), Southbridge recently hired an epidemiologist who is solely focused on residents and staff at Southbridge homes; and
  • In addition to the recruitment support provided by Extendicare, Southbridge has hired a Human Resources recruiter to be solely focused on Southbridge homes.

To build on these efforts, Chartier will focus on:

  • Advocating to government and other stakeholders for change in seniors’ healthcare as it relates to the retirement and long-term care sector;
  • Advocating to government and other stakeholders for the need to expedite the redevelopment of C licensed beds into new beds, including advocating for more capacity; and
  • Developing new and fostering existing partnerships in the long-term care and retirement sectors.

“It’s true that COVID-19 has presented unique challenges in the long-term care sector. But it has also presented unique opportunities within our 37 homes to optimize the way we deliver care to our residents, and protect our staff,” says Chartier. “Long-term care needs to be considered on a spectrum of healthcare services, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to bring a collaborative approach to the role.”

Chartier joins the Southbridge team after having served as the CEO of Safe Haven Consulting Inc. She also sits on the Board of Directors of Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences and the Ontario Pharmacists Association. Candace has also been representing senior care during the COVID-19 pandemic at the provincial Ontario Health strategy tables.