Shannon Thorn, operations association manager
Shepherd's Care/Aramark Canada
Nominator: Lucy Niro, senior regional marketing manager, Eastern Canada, Aramark Canada
“At the onset of the pandemic more than two years ago, Shannon Thorn was serving as a catering supervisor at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alta., Canada, when she heeded the call and took on a temporary assignment to work in housekeeping and laundry at the Saint Thomas Assisted Living community in the same city.
While Shannon had no experience in senior living operations, she proved to be a quick study and embraced her role, demonstrating a strong work ethic, positive and upbeat attitude, compassion for residents, and exemplary people management and interpersonal skills.
As a result of her efforts, in fall 2021, she was promoted to operations associate manager, overseeing environmental and food services operations at three healthcare sites with complex and long-term care, as well as independent residents and those suffering from dementia.
Her responsibilities include managing staff and their schedules, implementing menus, ordering and receiving supplies, collaborating with clinical teams, and fielding residents’ queries and responding to their needs.
Shannon has also taken it upon herself to work directly with residents toward building a personalized meal plan based on their dietary needs and preferences. She checks in on them regularly to solicit their feedback and concerns, so improvements can be made incrementally.
Saint Thomas General Manager John Sharpe said he appreciates how Shannon genuinely cares for residents and her co-workers. ‘This was particularly apparent with one resident, who was going through a difficult time and losing weight rapidly. Shannon met with her and talked about her food preferences,’ said Sharpe. ‘Together, they made a plan, and Shannon followed up with a short visit during rounds for quite some time. Our resident began to really appreciate those visits, as well as Shannon’s concern for her. Within a matter of weeks, her weight began to increase. Shannon’s work with this resident helped us strengthen the rapport.’”