2015 CAE Recipient Profile - Diversicare Canada

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Diversicare Canada Management Services Co., Inc. (Diversicare Canada) is a Canadian-controlled private company which operates independent living, assisted living, memory care, and long-term care residences across Canada.  It was incorporated in 1994, but evolved from various predecessor companies dating back to 1977.

Diversicare Canada provides management services to 39 retirement and long-term care residences, with approximately 4,900 suites/beds, split 91% retirement (which includes independent living, assisted living, and memory care) and 9% long-term care.  This total includes three retirement residence projects which are currently under construction and scheduled to open in early 2016. The Company currently operates residences in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

Since becoming a 100% Canadian owned Company in 2004, Diversicare has significantly enhanced its development capabilities and, to-date, in conjunction with its ownership group has developed and opened seven properties (comprising 988 suites) in the GTA with another residence currently under construction and scheduled to open in the next six months.

The Company is growing by providing high quality retirement residences in and around Canada’s larger urban centres. As always, the key to success is providing value to the residents and supporting staff in their efforts to provide a high level of service.  Our efforts in this regard are helped greatly by our reputation for quality and our nationally-recognized CQI Program.

Diversicare’s CQI program began in 1993 and has been and continues to be one of the keys to the company’s success.  The tools in our CQI program help us focus on leadership, customers, employees, suppliers/partners, processes and planning.   With metrics being tracked and evaluated over the years, our Company has continuously focused on improvements. As our sector has evolved with larger companies emerging while also becoming more hospitality and service based, external best practices and benchmarking are becoming increasingly more important. As such, our quality journey today reflects a shift from being mostly internally driven, to one that is more comprehensive. From our first Gold Trophy in Quality from the National Quality Institute in 2001 through to our fifth Order of Excellence in Quality from Excellence Canada in 2015, Diversicare has benefited from the framework provided by Excellence Canada, to sharpen our focus on quality and best practices from different sectors. The feedback and reports from the verification visits, have helped to guide our excellence journey, and the awards themselves have provided positive reinforcement and opportunities for celebration along the way.  

Our journey today, has us focusing on several major initiatives all aimed at improving our competitive focus.  A brief description of these initiatives follows:

With a national presence and concentrations in three major metropolitan areas, we now have a platform from which to begin to develop brand awareness thereby strengthening our sales effort. Our brand name for our retirement residences has just been launched – Verve!  The intent in making this change is to better reflect what makes us and the retirement residences that we manage so special – the passion and zeal of our staff and the active and fulfilling environment that they work to create for the residents at each and every property that we manage.  Verve means spirited effort, so it fits perfectly with how we want to present ourselves. 

The re-branding represents a significant investment and a significant opportunity to move the organization forward and we are using this opportunity to ensure that we take advantage of the opportunity through a re-alignment and a re-commitment to operating principles which support the outcome, which our new name promotes.  This includes reaffirming our values, mission and vision.

As our business evolves, our customers’ expectations change.  One of the areas where this is particularly evident is food and beverage.  Understanding this trend we have added a corporate executive chef to lead the roll-out of a series of changes aimed at upgrading the dining experience of our residents.  The executive chef’s efforts are coordinated with the efforts of our corporate dietary director in a way that supports the mandate of offering greater variety, more choice, more locally sourced foods and a higher level of service. 

We are also in the process of upgrading our financial systems which will improve the efficiency of production and the effectiveness of the financial data we produce.  In addition to providing us with property and corporate operating and financial data on a real-time basis, the new system will give us a set of tools that will enhance our analytics and facilitate forecasting and reforecasting in a way that is consistent with best practices in these areas.

Our culture and focus on people has been a huge strength over the years and we are currently in the process of supplementing our popular mentoring program with a management training program and a broader Leadership Development effort which is aimed at the continued development of each of our leaders at the corporate and property level.  We expect that these changes will be advantageous in our efforts to retain talent and develop qualified internal candidates for positions that become available as we continue to grow.

While these are our current initiatives, our quality journey will continue into the future with a focus on studying and acting upon the results in those areas in the Excellence Canada framework: leadership, customers, people, planning, processes, and suppliers & partners as we fulfill our vision: To be a company which creates ‘person centered’ communities where each person is inspired to experience fulfillment and well-being – whatever that might mean to them.