Expanding the Village Model a key priority for Schlegel Villages
In late 2015/early 2016, Schlegel Villages formalized its five-year strategic plan targeting seven key priorities that will help the organization achieve four main goals:
- Enhance the Village Model as a thriving social environment for all Villagers;
- Preserve the Schlegel Culture as we grow;
- Bring our unique approach of enhancing quality of life to more people;
- Lead the health system in research-driven innovation.
Members of the support office leadership team took time during the annual Schlegel Villages Leadership Retreat in late-April to update close to 250 gathered people from across the organization on progress in each of the seven fronts.
One of the seven strategic priorities is to: “Expand Village model and capacity through acquisition, design enhancement and build-out.” Rose Lamb, vice-president of operations for the Eastern Villages spoke briefly about how Schlegel Villages is continually expanding in all three capacities.
She first officially welcomed two new Villages to the Schlegel organization: Waterloo’s Pinehaven Nursing Home and Retirement Residence and Hamilton Continuing Care. She also hinted that a third new village will come into the fold in late May bringing the total number of Villages to 19.
Aside from bringing new residents and team members on board at different locations, existing sites continue to expand at a relentless pace. Rose first congratulated the team at the Village of Wentworth Heights, the latest expansion of retirement neighbourhoods to welcome new villagers.
“In virtually 22 weeks, they have exceed 90.3 per cent occupancy,” Rose said, inspiring loud applause from the entire room. This is an unprecedented feat in the retirement sector and the organization hopes to build on this success as construction continues on several new retirement expansions across the province.
As of the end of April, for example, six of the 12 floors of the new retirement suites at Erin Meadows in Mississauga have leapt out of the ground with an anticipated opening date of October 2018.
The team at The Village of Taunton mills has waited a long time to see the third phase of the village expansion underway in Whitby, and work began this spring. By spring 2019, the village will welcome its newest residents. Similarly, the Village of Tansley Woods in Burlington is also watching construction begin on the third phase of its village expansion. These will be the first two villages in the Schlegel family to see the entire vision of the full continuum come to reality. All that has been learned in previous openings informs how the organization approaches this work, especially in terms of recruiting the hundreds of team members required to serve residents to the highest of standards. The waitlist for potential residents at Tansley Woods, Rose pointed out, already contains more than 300 names, and the organization must be diligent both in attracting new team members it every location while supporting the growth of those already working within the family
Both The Village at University Gates and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging in Waterloo are also expanding. The RIA will be a few floors taller and with addition of the Village’s new retirement suites the RIA will officially be sandwiched between two residences, properly embedding it within the village community.
The key to this growth is to ensure that with each new acquisition and expansion, the villages get better, learning from past experience to ensure constant enhancements are considered. Equally important is a strong focus on maintaining the culture of the organization – that sense of community and family connectedness that has defined Schlegel Villages as it has developed over the years.