It occurred to me the other day that with all of this blogging, one thing we’ve never done is tell our story. How did a health care, solution driven, tech company happen to come out of the “A-Dot” (Azilda, Ontario)? For your reading pleasure, I give you the story of StaffStat…
In 2011, Sheri Tomchick founded a health care staffing agency out of her home, Plan A Health Care Staffing. Before Plan A’s inception, the North’s LTC homes relied on Southern Ontario to fill shifts when in need. They now had a one of a kind solution from the North, for the North. The company emerged and grew exponentially in its first 6 months. I was lucky enough to join Sheri in early 2012 and came on in a full-time capacity in the month of May. We shared the ‘on call’ which meant every single time a home called for a nurse, we pulled out the ‘green’ binder and started to call down a list of 100+ nurses (at that time – the pool’s now reached over 360). I still remember some of those on call shifts. I remember some of the specific dates because it was constant. You would fill an 8 hour shift for one home, call them, feeling relieved and then; ‘ring, ring’. Another home needed someone. I felt glued and stuck to that green binder and the on call phone for the next year!
You know how on the Dragon’s Den, the entrepreneur almost always voices: “There has to be a better way!” I still remember the moment Sheri looked over at me and said exactly that. She suggested that we look online for a ‘shift filler’. I perused scheduling software and apps that would do just what we needed. Neither of us found anything. Sheri had a contact (a developer) in the community and had a brief discussion, detailing what it was she imagined. The synergies were there, the idea was innovative and everyone was on board. We worked and reworked the concept, the bugs, the little details. Eventually, we had an automated way of reaching all of our staff. From the moment we started using our new web based solution, on call was a breeze. We used that tool as a trade secret for one year.
In 2014, Sheri was invited to ‘pitch’ her idea at the inaugural “The Pitch” put on by NORCAT, the Innovation Mill in Sudbury, Ontario. She won People’s Choice which entitled her to $25,000 in kind with services ranging from accounting to research dollars. THIS was the turning point. It’s when the decision was made to bring our product to the market. We heard time and time again that LTC homes needed what we had. So we did it! StaffStat was incorporated, we launched and we started on one roller coaster of a ride!
Since that time, we’ve been growing in both health care and developmental services. We’re changing the way that homes and organizations call out open shifts to their staff and we’re saving them time AND money! We’ve launched the StaffStat App and we’re always looking for ways to improve our product while keeping it simple, efficient and effective.
We now have 2 sister companies; one focused on bringing a solution to the North and the other solving a global problem. We have 2 phenomenal teams and Sheri has taught each and every member of those teams to think like entrepreneurs. Every idea is welcome and we continue to foster growth and innovation at every level. Taking the lead on StaffStat was an easy decision! It’s a labor of love and we’ve just recently added our 2 newest team members (Mandy Gauthier and Tessa Anderson) making the endeavor an absolute dream! We’re driven, excited and while there’s no end in sight, we are looking forward to writing the next few chapters of our story!