A New Plan A Owner’s Q&A: Patty Shepherd, Plan A Glengarry

Hello! My name is Patty Shepherd and I am the Owner/Operator of Plan A Glengarry. I decided to answer a few questions about my journey with Plan A so far! Check out my responses below!

How do you plan to involve Plan A in the community?

As a new member of the Glengarry community, I am excited to participate in Long Term Care home events as well as build relationships with our new partners and their residents. In the near future, I look forward to donating to our local food banks and shelters. I believe that it is important to give back to the community that we live in. Therefore, I am always open to any non-profit organizations that may need donations. I am new to the area; however, I hope to make this my home and give back in any way I can. Any and all suggestions on how I can help improve my new home are always welcome.

What are your goals this year?

This year, one of my biggest goals is to help more people. As I have been in the nursing field for almost twenty years, I recognize that many LTC homes are in short-staffed situations and therefore, their residents are in need of our supplementary care. In order to help more people, I hope to find and hire more trustworthy employees as well as create new connections with potential partners. Similarly, I want to make it a goal to keep our staff and partners happy. It is important to me to create an environment that is friendly, honest and uplifting. Having people you can rely on who can also rely on you is the key to a happy partnership. I truly want everyone to feel welcome and confident in our services and happy to be a part of such an inspirational team of caregivers. If we work as a team, Plan A Glengarry can be the best place to work!

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your business right now?

The biggest strength I believe I have right now is my new hires—they are my superstars. Getting to know these wonderful health care professionals makes me feel confident and excited about this business and what we can accomplish together. People working together with a common goal in mind is the absolute biggest strength in my business. Another big strength I have is the crazy amount of support from my family. They knew I was serious about this and they all helped me make it possible. My husband, Dan Shepherd, is my rock; he helps keep me grounded and is always there to reassure me. 

What was the path you took to get to where you are today?

After having my two children, I decided to go back to school and take the Registered Practical Nurse program. After graduating, I worked many different jobs in the field. Having been a nurse for almost 20 years, I went from Long Term Care to hospitals, being a scheduling clerk, an admitting clerk in the ER department and management of employees in Nunavut. I have traveled up north for work in places like Gjoa Haven & Attawapiskat. After my travels, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Having multiple symptoms made it very hard for me to continue in the fast-paced nursing career I was used to. I then went on to work in-home care, which was much better on my physical health, but I knew I needed a change. That’s when the great opportunity of becoming a Plan A owner came into my life, and I could not resist. 

Why did you decide to become a Plan A owner?

Like I have mentioned, I needed a change for my health and I’ve always dreamed of being self-employed, but as a nurse, I didn’t know of many opportunities that would allow me to use my knowledge and skills to do so. I knew that Plan A’s business plan really works in helping the Long Term Care sector. It’s a modern way to keep the homes staffed, which relieves the staff from becoming overworked, and helps the residents get the quality care that they deserve. When the opportunity came along, I knew it was exactly what I had been asking for. I thought I would be a great fit as an owner because of my experience with previously working at Plan A and being a Registered Practical Nurse; I can share my nursing talent and passion in a different way.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome?

Being a business owner is completely new to me. I have had to learn many different skills along the way. From new IT programs to time management skills, to being away from family. Everything has had its challenges, but I am happy about how far I have come and how many lessons I have learned along the way. Overcoming challenges is helping me grow both personally and professionally.

What are your outside interests?

Some of my interests include gardening, having bonfires, spending time with my family, and traveling to hot destinations. I have two daughters as well as two toddler granddaughters who are four days apart in age, so I really enjoy spending time with all of them. I love watching baseball as I use to play and I enjoy occasionally playing golf with my husband.

How can I become a Plan A owner?

Fortunately, I am blessed to have been friends with Sheri Tomchick, the President of Plan A, and had the privilege of being one of her first employees in the Plan A pool. After speaking with her and understanding her goals and mission to expand throughout Ontario, there was no hesitation for me. This was the perfect opportunity for me to share my knowledge and passion for the nursing field. For anyone interested in becoming an owner, feel free to contact Plan A Headquarters in Sudbury! Their website is www.jointheateam.com. Hurry! There is only one more location left in Ontario but we are expanding to the rest of Canada, too!

~ Patty Shepherd, Owner/Operator, Plan A Glengarry

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