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Safety Centered Leadership Award Recipient — Thank you Service Hospitality!

Earlier this month, we were honored by our provincial safety association as the recipient of their annual Safety Centered Leadership Award. We are beyond grateful for Service Hospitality’s continued support and guidance in assisting us in keeping our COR family safe! Read their article below:

Our 2019 Safety Centered Leadership Award Goes To…

Michael Lavis from Creative Options Regina!

“Thank you Service Hospitality! I am humbled by this recognition. People are at the heart of our organization — our approach to safety is holistic ensuring everyone feels safe and valued:  employees, people supported, families, partners, volunteers and stakeholders — everyone! Our success has and continues to be, the result of a highly committed, compassionate, creative group of people that make up the COR family. Even during these challenging times, we are growing stronger together, rallying as one and discovering innovative ways to build community while adhering to strict health and safety protocols. We are determined to challenge the status quo and demonstrate that care can be done differently. We are so grateful for the support and guidance you — Service Hospitality — provide us and look forward to continued partnership into the future. Thank you.”

This year we presented the Executive Director of Creative Options Regina, Mr. Michael Lavis, with Service Hospitality’s most prestigious award, the Safety Centered Leadership Award. Michael’s commitment to health and safety doesn’t arise out of needing to meet legislated requirements – he truly believes a healthy and safe workplace is a productive and sustainable one. While the health and safety of his staff at Creative Options is a priority, he also demonstrates a passion for the safety of all workers in Saskatchewan.

Creative Options Regina, and Michael himself, are known for starting trends – not following them. He thinks outside the box and offers various resources to his staff to support their physical and mental health. An example of this is when Michael realized, although nutrition planning was provided through their employee benefits package, it was not being utilized by staff. So instead of waiting for staff to seek out nutritionist services, he brought the nutritionist to the office so the support was easily accessible to all employees.

Michael has also shown a passion for health and safety by…

  • Being a valued member of Service Hospitality’s Mental Health Best Practice Group, where he has led in the area of psychological health and safety in Saskatchewan community organizations.

  • Not being afraid to challenge big ideas and make insightful recommendations in front of the Health & Safety community. This shows he is not a complacent bystander, but an active participator.

  • Has sat on the Service Hospitality board of directors for 3 years and advocates for what he believes in and what is right in the community and industry.

  • Being heavily involved with Youth Safety Education Day by sponsoring and attending YSED events, and joining forces with Service Hospitality for Smile Cookie Day at Leboldus High School in 2019.

Michael is passionately committed to strengthening the disability services sector in Saskatchewan and to forge out new beginnings for the province’s most vulnerable citizens. He understands that the business of caring for people starts with the wellness of its own employees.

Thank you to Michael for being a leader, setting an example, and always breaking through the glass ceiling of health and safety in our province and beyond its borders!

View the article on Service Hospitality’s website.

 

Conexus Kindness Capital Fund Recipient — THANK YOU!

COR is a proud recipient of the 2020 Conexus Kindness Capital Fund! A HUGE THANK-YOU to our entire COR family for their commitment and dedication to making a difference during these challenging times. You are all truly an inspiration and we are so incredibly grateful!

Thank you Conexus for encouraging a return on kindness by recognizing 40 individuals and businesses with $5,000 to continue their acts of kindness. You are a community champion! We are humbled by your recognition.

Learn more at: https://www.kindnesscapital.ca/

 

 

 

True Clean Solutions and COR: Partnering to Keep the COR Family Safe

How True Clean Solutions helps group homes through the COVID-19 Pandemic

Because you can never do too much for the people you care for most.

For Creative Options Regina (COR), that includes staff and residents they work with daily. In fact, they are considered family, which is why Michael Lavis, executive director at COR, took an extra step to ensure their health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With cleanliness and sanitization practices now top of mine, COR enlisted the services of True Clean Solutions to provide an additional layer of disinfection in each of the homes where caregivers and residents interact.

COR provides in-home support through gentle teaching for adults and youth with disabilities and mental health struggles.

“We felt it was important to enhance the safety, the feeling of safety and the cleaning protocols in each of our homes,” Lavis explained. “Disinfecting and sanitization are absolutely critical, particularly during the pandemic. It is our responsibility to do everything that we can to keep our employees and the people we care about safe.”

In doing so, in-home managers and residents gained a greater peace of mind.

True Clean Solutions uses a product that is approved by Health Canada. Its technicians have received thorough instruction on how to safely enter and exit a home or business and they relay that information to clients prior to product application.

“(True Clean Solutions) took the time to explain to us what this product is,” Lavis said. “They walked us through the entire process. They supported our employees by providing them with the necessary information and made sure everyone was comfortable with their work prior to commencing their work.”

Being transparent and forthcoming with information related to the disinfecting process and the products used solidified Lavis’ confidence in proceeding with the service.

“Their level of customer service in helping to ensure that people felt comfortable with the product they were going to be using in their homes was something that really stood out to me,” Lavis said.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to be more mindful of cleanliness and personal hygiene and how they affect our overall health.

Visit truecleansolutions.com to learn more about their service and to receive an online quote.

Full Article Available Here.

 

CTV Morning Show: Supporting Our Community Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Today, our COR family was thrilled to be featured on CTV Morning Live sharing how we are supporting our community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the video segment below!

https://regina.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1953313

Proud to be a 2020 Saskatchewan Top Employer!

A deep reservoir of outstanding workplace practices: ‘Saskatchewan’s Top Employers’ for 2020 are announced’

REGINA, Feb. 12, 2020 – Saskatchewan’s economic fortunes might be slowly turning the corner, but employers in the province are increasingly taking steps to improve their workplace practices and human resource policies. The best of these programs were recognized today, as Saskatchewan’s Top Employers for 2020 were announced by Mediacorp Canada Inc., organizers of the annual Canada’s Top 100 Employers project.

“We continue to see a deep reservoir of outstanding workplace practices in Saskatchewan,” says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. In good economic times and otherwise, Saskatchewan employers are a source of progressive human resource policies that the rest of Canada would do well to study. This year, our editorial team paid particular attention to initiatives that aren’t costly or expensive – but make a meaningful difference in employees’ lives. These kinds of programs raise the bar, as other employers can easily emulate and improve upon them.”

This year’s list of winners comprises 30 employers from across the province, with good representation from most areas of Saskatchewan’s economy. These employers lead their peers when it comes to programs such as: helping employees balance work with family commitments; engaging employees to make a difference in the community; developing employees’ skills and training so they are ready for tomorrow’s economy; improving employee health and wellness, particularly mental health; and helping staff prepare for the second half of their careers and life after work.

“These are challenging times as the economy regains strength in Saskatchewan and across Western Canada,” adds Kristina Leung, Senior Editor at Mediacorp. “But after 15 years, we can say with confidence that the province’s best employers take the long view, paying attention to the needs and aspirations of their employees. Saskatchewan is the place where many of the values that define Canada were formed – when it comes to progressive workplaces and forward-thinking employers, it’s no different. The province is still a quiet leader, with some of the best employers in the nation.”

Some of the initiatives noted by the editors include:

  • Along with generous vacation allowance, Saskatchewan Research Council helps employees recharge, with up to 18 additional paid ‘flex days’ per year – a portion 2 of which must be scheduled during winter holidays and up to 10 unused days may be paid out in cash at the end of the year.
  • Yorkton-based Cornerstone Credit Union provides tuition subsidies for employees who enrol in outside institutions and academic scholarships for employees’ children pursuing post-secondary studies (to $1,000).
  • Potash manufacturer Nutrien supported over 2,500 charities and community groups in the past year, focusing efforts on food solutions, youth and education, health and safety, and community building – the company encourages employees to invest their time as well, providing one paid day each year to volunteer.
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic provides maternity leave top-up payments for new mothers, new fathers and adoptive parents (to 100 per cent of salary for 17 weeks) – and the option for employees to extend paid leave into an unpaid leave of absence.
  • Regina-based property manager and developer Harvard Developments offers an IVF subsidy (to $12,000) and provides maternity leave top-up for new mothers (to 100 per cent of salary for 17 weeks).
  • Information Services Corp. / ISC, based in Regina, helps employees plan for the future with retirement planning assistance and a defined contribution pension plan – employees nearing retirement can also take advantage of phased-in work options.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Saskatchewan’s Top Employers competition, a special designation that recognizes employers in the province that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Employers were evaluated by the editors at Canada’s Top 100 Employers using the same criteria as the national competition: (1) Physical Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement. Employers are compared to other organizations in their field to determine which offer the most progressive and forward-thinking programs. The annual competition is open to any employer with its head office in Saskatchewan; employers of any size may apply, whether private- or public-sector.

Founded in 1992, Mediacorp Canada Inc. is the nation’s largest publisher of employment periodicals. Since 1999, the Toronto-based publisher has managed the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, which includes 18 regional and special-interest editorial competitions that reach over 15 million Canadians annually through a variety of magazine and newspaper partners. Mediacorp also operates Eluta.ca, one of Canada’s largest job search engines, which reaches millions of users annually and features editorial reviews from the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. Mediacorp also hosts

Canada’s largest conference for senior-level HR professionals, the Top Employer Summit. This year’s conference took place in November and featured a performance by Coeur de Pirate, one of the most popular musicians in the French-speaking world.

The full list of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers for 2020 was announced today in a special magazine published in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Regina Leader-Post. Detailed reasons for selection for each of the winners, with hundreds of stories and photos, were released by the editors today and are accessible via the competition homepage.

Further information:
Stephanie Leung, Assistant Editor, 416-964-6069 x5334

Source: Mediacorp Canada Inc. www.mediacorp.ca

 

Saskatchewan’s Top Employers 2020 Winners

3sHealth / Health Shared Services Saskatchewan, Regina
Access Communications Co-operative, Regina
Cornerstone Credit Union Financial Group, Yorkton
Creative Options Regina, Regina
Flaman Sales Ltd., Saskatoon
Fries Tallman Lumber Ltd., Regina
Group Medical Services / GMS Insurance, Regina
Harvard Developments Inc., Regina
Information Services Corp. / ISC, Regina
ISM Canada, Regina
K+S Potash Canada GP, Saskatoon
Mosaic Company, The, Regina
Nutrien, Saskatoon
Pattison Agriculture Ltd., Swift Current
Ranch Ehrlo Society, Regina
Saskatchewan Apprenticeship & Trade Certification Commission, Regina

Saskatchewan Blue Cross, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp., Melville
Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Liquor & Gaming Authority, Regina
Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Research Council, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board, Regina
Saskatoon, City of
Saskatoon Police Service
SaskPower, Regina
SaskTel, Regina
Southeast College, Weyburn
Synergy Credit Union, Lloydminster
Vaderstad Industries Inc., Langbank

Regina Leader-Post: Celebrating the Value of Every Person

On December 3rd, 2019, COR was featured in the Regina Leader-Post in celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Read the article below:

To view online, visit: https://www.pressreader.com/canada/regina-leader-post/20191203/282175062982247

Proceeds from 2019 India Night donated to 4to40

 

Read the story on the UofR website: https://www.uregina.ca/external/communications/feature-stories/current/2019/11-07.html

 

 

Our families our coming together!

Over the past several months, COR and Inclusion Regina have been working together to unite our families — consolidating our operations will enhance the programs currently available for people experiencing disability within our community.  Considered complementary to one another, the two organizations will benefit from joining forces because of the increased critical mass that will result, allowing the expansion of services and the potential to add new services.

The people served by Inclusion Regina and Creative Options Regina deserve the best opportunities we can provide. People served, their families and employees will see ‘more’ and ‘better’ as we join forces to make the best use of our resources; our funders will see greater efficiency and stronger outcomes too.

We look forward to an exciting future — building an inclusive community — together!

Visit: www.inclusionregina.ca or www.creativeoptionsregina.ca

 

 

4to40 Transit Travel Training featured on Global News Regina

Regina program helps those with disabilities transition from Paratransit to city buses

Transit Travel Training

For people with disabilities, getting around the city can be daunting. But a unique program launched last year is making a difference in helping those individuals gain freedom and independence.

The Travel Training Program started as a pilot project in 2018 and is a partnership between the city, the University of Regina and Creative Options Regina.

Independence is one of the greatest things that’s come from this program,” said Ben Morris, creative director with Creative Options Regina. “It’s helped people get out there easily and as much as they want to.

“The first person who went through with us in its trial year was actually able to find gainful employment, based on the fact that they had learned to use conventional transit.”

“You had to book [Paratransit] in advance, and sometimes, if you wanted a trip the day of, you weren’t guaranteed a trip,” Pagan said.

But that all changed last year, when the pair made the jump to city transit after graduating from the program.

“We’ve been able to get around the whole city, basically,” Paige said. “Some places that we’ve never been before; other places we are going constantly because it’s our favourite hangout place. It’s just a sense of freedom where we don’t have to rely on Paratransit all the time.”

When it comes to making the switch, it comes down to fear for many. But thanks to transit travel trainers like Dylan Morin, who also went through the program, that fear quickly goes away.

“I’ve seen growth in a lot of people and hopefully it gets the demand off of Paratransit and more on regular transit,” Morin said. “It gives you the freedom and the chance to go wherever you want, whenever you want with hands-on training.”

So far, Morris is calling the program a success, saying the demand is increasing with two people currently on the waiting list.

“We’ve had quite a few asks to come out and speak to different organizations around the city, and every time we are there, we are getting questions about accessing the program,” Morris said.

For Pagan and Paige, the program means new opportunities and a new sense of confidence.

“You can’t live in fear,” Pagan said. “How do you know if you don’t try? I’ve learned that since I moved out, I always try new things and this is one of the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

View the article on the Global News Regina website.

 

Caring for the caregivers is key for Creative Options Regina

Caring for the caregivers is key for Creative Options Regina

Employees at Creative Options Regina with a client. Supplied photo  

The job of providing supports for people with disabilities or those struggling with their mental health can take a heavy toll, though Creative Options Regina discovered when you care for the caregivers it benefits both the clients and the company.

This is their second year being named as one of Saskatchewan’s top employers. This year will mark Creative Options Regina’s 10th year in business though executive director Michael Lavis notes it was about seven years ago when the company started to refocus their efforts to create a healthier and happier work environment for their employees.

“The field of work we are in may not be physically demanding, but it’s very emotionally demanding,” he explained. “We need to ensure our employees feel supported and have the supports they need to be doing well both physically and mentally to be able to provide the quality care.”

Lavis said the key to providing this supportive work environment was to understand the needs and wants of their employees, which he credits as being the non-profit’s most valuable assets, and make sure they felt valued, respected and that their voices were being heard.

Not only do they offer their more than 200 employees flexible hours — including the opportunity to work shortened and condensed work weeks — and the option to telecommute, they also encourage the employees to share their passions — leading to the introduction of a number of sports teams, clubs and fun nights out.

“It’s about facilitating relationships both in and outside of work,” Lavis said. “When you think about the amount of time people spend in the workplace throughout their life, you would hope they have those relationships and connections with their coworkers.”

Putting these extracurricular activities in place is generally at a very minimal cost to Creative Options Regina, Lavis said. Even when there is a fee — such as the $1,000 entry fee to participate in the Regina Dragon Boat Festival — the amount of time and the number of employees who come out to support is more than worth it.

“All summer long they practice once a week, they’re engaged in this physical activity and connecting by doing something that they all love. So to me, thats $1,000 well spent,” he said. “Sometimes you just have to give it a try.”

Though Lavis notes it’s not always easy to manage the different needs of all their employees, he says this approach has also helped them retain employees longer — which in turn has helped maintain a sense of trust with their clients alongside the high quality of care they are known to provide.

“In the support services sector the turnover rate is quite, quite high and we’ve been year after year between nine and 14 per cent — which is a fraction of the provincial average,” Lavis finishes. “I believe a big part of that is because of the work environment we are cultivating and the attention we pay to our employees.”

Click here to view article on the Leader-Post site.