As staffing challenges continue to make the news and impact health care across Manitoba, the Prevost Foundation in Ste. Rose-du-Lac is finding innovative ways to support recruitment. The Ste. Rose Health Centre is home to acute care, palliative care, an emergency department, a personal care home and other medical and auxiliary services. Keeping a full staffing complement is crucial to safe and supportive care.
“We had a really great strategy meeting in March, facilitated by Réseau Compassion Network,” explains Ste. Rose Health Centre Executive Director, Michelle Quennelle. “We all left wondering how we would contribute in our own ways to ensuring higher staffing levels in our community.”
Roger Sheldon, the chairperson of the Prevost Foundation, a community organisation that supports local initiatives, led the board in a search for a home to purchase to expand housing possibilities for new or existing staff. “The Prevost Foundation has spent about $200,000 purchasing and upgrading a home close to the health centre,” continues Quennelle. “It’s a four-bedroom home, and two more bedrooms were added to the basement. A group of coworkers has already moved in.”
A recent recruitment campaign led by Rosily Kochuvareed, Care Team Manager, over the summer of 2023 was successful and a large group of people from eastern Canada and Alberta have moved to Ste. Rose-du-Lac to live and work. Many of those folks were recent immigrants to Canada and already knew each other. A group of seven employees got together and decided they’d like to live together in the house.
“They were living in the residences of the health centre, and this gives them more room and more privacy,” explains Quennelle. “Two of the residents are brothers and were happy to share a room; they said they always have and it no problem for them.”
The new residents of the home in Ste. Rose-du-Lac are grateful for the chance to be together and live in a comfortable space. “The health centre was going to write an official letter of thanks to the Prevost Foundation,” says Quennelle. “But those living in the house have told us that they would like to write the letter. They wanted to put into their own words, to thank the whole community for welcoming them.”
The cost of housing for new staff is covered for the first year of employment, including internet and cable TV. “This type of incentive makes a huge difference in recruitment,” admits Quennelle. “Rental properties in our community are limited and this allowed us to move a group of individuals who already spend a lot of time together into a homelike setting so they can continue to feel like a family.”
More than anything, she’s heartened by the dedication of the residents of Ste. Rose-du-Lac. “It’s been so wonderful to see the community step up and acknowledge that this is about all of us and that for us to find success in recruitment, it will take a sense of community and everyone chipping in,” concludes Quennelle.