COMOX VALLEY – Award-winning Bayshore Home Health is growing yet again. Not even three months in to 2019, Bayshore has already won a Grant Thornton Business Excellence Award and expanded its services to the Comox Valley.

The innovative home care company took home top prize in the Health Care Category at the 19th Annual Grant Thornton Business Excellence Awards at the Nanaimo awards gala in January.

“We were really honored to be recognized as Health Care Company of the Year,” says Bayshore Area Director Stasia Hartley. “It was great to be recognized as a company that is doing excellent work in our communities. We feel that we are a Vancouver Island health care company, so the recognition for best health care company in the region fits with launch of our Comox Valley Services.”

Bayshore is a national private home care company with over 100 branches across Canada. The Victoria branch opened in 2008, followed by Nanaimo in 2013, Sidney in 2015, Qualicum Beach in 2017, and now Comox Valley.

“When we bring our care model to a new region, we want to focus on local leadership,” says Hartley. “Our Care Manager for the Comox Valley, Christopher Swift, grew up in the region and has returned to the Valley after working in Victoria for several years.”

At this pace, Bayshore’s Vancouver Island iteration is opening a new branch every two years. According to Hartley, this rapid growth is thanks in part to the company’s innovative care model.

A year-and-a-half ago, Bayshore created a new position called a Care Manager. These Care Managers are consultants who meet with clients, connecting them with equipment companies, specialized health care consultants, renovation specialists, and other resources that allow them to stay safely in their home.

“We want to focus on offering our clients genuine care,” says Hartley. “They initially come to us for service, but they stay because of the relationship they build with our employees.

“Our Care Managers work really hard to schedule an employee who works well with the client. The Care Manager will also meet with a client’s family and identify their needs. They might need equipment, or information, or access to government programs. Whatever the case, we want to help these families navigate an increasingly complex health care system and help them feel confident that their loved one is getting the care they need.”

Additionally, Bayshore has a clinical nurse on call 24/7 who supports both employees and clients to identify and care for immediate health care needs. Clients can also set up regular clinical check-ins with these nurses.

“A big part of being a great home care company is being a really good employer,” says Hartley. “In today’s market, health care workers are under great demand, and with an increased need for care, a great employee experience is critical. In order for a company like ours to be successful, supporting workers and giving them a positive experience needs to be a top priority.”

Bayshore’s reputation as an outstanding employer was recognized by the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce last Fall, which named the company as their Employer of the Year for 2018.

The company attracts top-tier workers by allowing for a high degree of flexibility in scheduling employees. Many of the care workers have other employers and are looking for extra hours, so Bayshore works around their employees’ pre-existing schedules whenever possible.

“Many of our part time staff are attracted by our benefits, which we offer to employees working as few as 15 hours per week,” says Hartley. “For those working 30 hours per week or more, we add dental coverage. This gives us an advantage over many other employers, and we know it’s important to people.”

Currently, Bayshore has 187 employees on Vancouver Island and is on a course to surpass 200 employees over the next year or two.