We're Growing! Introducing Qualicare Calgary

New franchise partners Lori and Derrit Daigle launched Qualicare Calgary at the beginning of October 2023. In the early phases of the business where, as Derrit said, “nothing is routine,” they already served five clients within the first month! Derrit’s professional experience as a senior manager in a number of businesses, and Lori’s experience as a registered nurse and healthcare administrator, with a master’s degree in leadership, have fused to make the new Qualicare branch “a great thing to do together,” Derrit said.  

Learn more about Lori and Derrit’s journey, and a very full first month at Qualicare in today’s blog! 

Derrit and Lori, what led you to Qualicare?

“I’ve been in healthcare for a long time. I worked in the emergency department, and then in home care for a while” Lori said. “I managed home care for a few years, and then I also worked as a director of facilities. From there, I did some consulting work for a private home care agency, and honestly, as I was doing consulting I thought, ‘why not?’ I looked around Calgary and I didn’t see any franchises for sale and put it on the back burner. And then the two of us decided, ‘maybe we can do a business together?’ I was scrolling through my computer and saw something about franchise opportunities and I saw Qualicare and clicked on it.” 

“That’s what started it, and that introduced us to Nathan Weber, and eventually that relationship led to this,” Derrit said. “My background is in business for the most part. I did senior management in telecom and retail for a number of years. I’ve always been entrepreneurial and have had a number of companies in a variety of different industries — never in healthcare. This opportunity is where my career meets her career. It seemed to be the right fit to have the right connections here in our local community to be successful in this.” 

Where do you find joy in your work? 

“I have always known that clients aging at home is really the goal and that’s what most people want,” Lori said. “They want to be happy and safe in their homes. What has brought me joy so far is that we’ve had some placements where we’ve placed caregivers with clients, and the clients are very happy. To see they’ve made a difference in their lives already in a short time really excites me. That’s really why I’m doing this — to help others.” 

“I looked at this from the business perspective from the beginning,” Derrit said. “We both lost our parents very young, but our friends are at an age where their parents need help looking after them and don’t know what to do. We don’t share those issues, and we see them from the other side, from the care side.”

Derrit said that their role on the care side is to reassure family members that it’s going to be ok, and Qualicare is there for them. Derrit told a story about an encounter that showed him the importance of Qualicare in helping families navigate difficult times. As Derrit told a long-term connection at the car dealership about Qualicare’s 360 degrees of care, the man broke down in tears, saying that he wished he’d known about Qualicare months prior, to address a tragic situation with his wife’s family.

“That’s when I realized, ‘we’re on to something here,’” Derrit said. 

In what ways do you feel supported by Qualicare's home office?

“They’ve been very supportive. We get on a call weekly with the head office and help us to navigate systems we’re struggling with,” Lori said. “Tony, the CEO, is available for help whenever we want it. He’s there for us and we know that. Other franchise partners — they have some systems in place that allow franchise partners to do some collaboration and sharing that helps everybody. So, if somebody has a big win or success, they can share that with others. To be in that kind of environment, it definitely helps us as a business, for sure.” 

“I’ve been involved in a number of franchises, and still am, and I’d say this particular franchise —  it’s small enough that everybody can have a relationship with each other,” Derrit said. “We recently came back from a conference in Niagara Falls — which was two weeks after our launch — it was good timing to build those relationships further, meeting people in person. From my experience — it’s a very real group. Everybody is on the same page and on the same team.”

What advice would you give to prospective franchise partners?

“Before we even launched, we sat down, and we wrote down all of the different connections we have, all of the different possible referral partners, and really evaluated ‘what is the business and how is it going to work for us?’” Lori said. “So we made a big list of everybody we knew involved in health — and then we said we’re going to go have coffee with every single one of these people and advertise that we’re doing Qualicare, and we did that. That would be my advice — to really look and see, what are your connections?”  

What are your goals for the future?

“There are a lot of healthcare companies out there, so we ask, ‘why will they work for us instead of them?’” Derrit said. “I think my single biggest focus is going to be ‘let’s make this the best way to work.’ Let’s look after our team, and our team will look after our clients.”

“That’s one of our big goals, and that’s something we’ve talked about — building a really good culture, “Lori said. “My big goal is to find a way to provide healthcare under the umbrella of Qualicare for the whole city. My biggest goal that it’s quality care and compassionate care. Of course, I’d like to see certain numbers, I’m more focused on “let’s make sure the care we provide is quality.” 

Interested in starting a Qualicare franchise? Check out our website & request more information today!

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