My Experience as Team Lead of Plan A’s COVID-Care Teams

When I was young, I didn’t expect my life to head in the direction of the health care and advocacy industries. I wasn’t really certain of what career path I was going to choose, but one thing I always had was a strong, commanding voice that spoke with certainty. I always found myself in a leadership role, where people felt comfortable, reassured, and have always provided a judgment-free safe space and someone they could look to for advice. As I became older, I faced some personal struggles which included the loss of my father and grandmother only 1 year apart. When I was thrown into the circumstances of ill family members, my eyes were opened to a world that had just not applied to me before. Sure, I was young but this was like the wizard behind the curtain finally revealing himself. 
 
Over the last 5 years, the personal growth, developments, revelations, and changes in myself have been astronomical. I have had the profound pleasure of working and advocating in many different facets of the healthcare industry – hospital care, rehab care, palliative care, home care and alternative care. Each of these roles and perspectives provided me with a very unique skill set, matched with my leadership skills. Each time I am thrown into difficult situations I am able to thrive as being a problem-solver, ensuring the success of whatever tasks face me and those by my side. I have learned that there is not just one career choice or path you are set to take, but rather your goal should be to continue to develop, grow and evolve and to readjust the path or course as needed. 
 
In the last 2 years, I set some pretty lofty goals for myself:
1. Be your own Boss
2. Create the life you want for yourself
3. Have just the minimum requirements to live the most fulfilled life
4. Leave an impact 
5. Create change
6. Advocate for those who cannot
7. Be “successful” by my own definition of success
8. Create a network of powerful and uplifted people
9. Work abroad for the Red Cross in disaster control, Doctors without Borders, etc.
 
I took the leap into taking ownership of Plan A Kingston & Quinte because the brand, vision and people behind the scenes are some of the best in the world. When you have the opportunity to work with other owners in open collaboration with innovation at the forefront to create a for-purpose company, the “leap” is not a hard one to take. Who knew that this was the type of opportunity I had been dreaming of my whole life? We started what I would call modestly by hiring the best healthcare professionals in our communities, borrowing their talents, providing them with incredibly rewarding jobs, a liveable wage, flexibility of their work schedules, and helping them to find their perfect work-life balance. We stand by our staff like no other employer, offering open ears, a friendly face and honest communication. In return, they work hard to provide the absolute best care to our LTC and retirement partners and their residents because they deserve nothing less than the best like each and every one of us. People don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses which is why it’s such an important step for us to take the time to get to know each member of our staff for them to be able to invest in us as peopleour company, our vision and to become a part of our working familyThe A Team. 
 
When the opportunity came to launch COVIDCare Teams, I listened to what was proposed and immediately my problem-solver brain took over. I was able to identify the need of the Team Lead position. In a very short timeframe, our amazing company came together to ensure that we could create the very best COVID-Care teams for LTC homes hardest-hit by COVID-19. We announced the idea on a Friday meeting and we deployed our first COVID-Care Team to a LTC Home in need on Tuesday. From that moment to the time of writing this piece, we have deployed 3 teams with team 4 on standby, each team representing approximately 7 people of all designations — Support Services Aides, PSWs, RPNs and RNs
 
I am writing this blog after just ten days of leading these amazing COVID-Care Teams and already I have noticed the incredibly profound changes we have been able to create for each of these residents, the internal staff and the home itself. It truly is indescribable. Working in the past with elders in the community and listening to their stories of hardship, war, disease and fleeing their home counties, I would often think to myself that “I will never have stories of this magnitude or defining moments in history”. Little did I know that I would be where I am today. I am so proud to take my toolbox of skills, coupled with my incredible Plan A owners, and superstar Plan A staff to run into this fire. Keep an open heart, aim highcreate beautiful community of people who support you and you will complete some of your wildest dreams. For now I am looking on to the future with bright eyes, and wondering what each of the new tomorrows will hold.
Sarah Cadorette, Team Lead, Co-owner/Co-operator, Plan A Kingston & Quinte

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