NEW UNIONVILLE HOME SOCIETY – 2014 Business Excellence Accessibility Award Winner

In their mission statement, the New Unionville Home Society (UHS) emphasizes that long-term care is not just about providing a needed service to the community, but to each individual. UHS strives to promote wellness and independence, and ultimately improve quality of life for every client. It is about aging well and living better.

Living better means having access to quality facilities and compassionate care, but also ensuring that innovative developments in healthcare technology are accessible to all. UHS’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Debra Cooper Burger, believes that “to meet the needs of an aging population, we are compelled to look for transformational changes in service options and service delivery.” As such, UHS does not simply promote accessibility, but poises itself at the forefront. It aims to be a model practice in long-term care, a commitment evident in its ongoing partnership with Markham-based startup Engage Biomechanics.

UHS provided a test site for a new Engage product, which allows wireless, real-time monitoring of mobility-impaired residents in order to improve internal turn management processes and thus considerably reduce the risk of pressure ulcer development. UHS is one of two facilities in Ontario participating in the applied research and beta-testing program, as part of a worldwide study on improving healthy aging in residential facilities.

UHS has been providing services to seniors for nearly fifty years, and Cooper Burger believes that engagement with emerging technologies is essential. “Innovation is key to success,” she says simply. “We are promoting a culture of continuous quality improvement through creative partnerships, such as Engage Biomechanics, York University, and MARS Innovation, to name a few.” Cooper Burger emphasizes UHS’s ongoing commitment to embracing new opportunities, and advancing learning and accessibility. It is this commitment that allows UHS to achieve its ultimate goal. “It will help us enhance the experience of aging,” she tells me, “one person at a time.”

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