Debbie Doherty, 2017
Debbie has made significant contributions to ORCA and the sector through her leadership at Lifestyles Retirement Communities, Specialty Care Inc. and Sienna Senior Living, her involvement on the ORCA Board of Directors, and her many years as a volunteer member of ORCA committees.
In 1996, as Chair of the Standards Committee, Debbie spearheaded the introduction of the ORCA standards and guided the implementation process, during which all members of ORCA were required to obtain accreditation.
During round table discussions while the Retirement Homes Act (RHA) was in development, Debbie was a key contributor to recognizing that, with regulations approaching, ORCA must move from 254 standards to essential operating standards that all homes could meet. The standards were then streamlined to 79.
These mandatory standards were key for both ORCA and the entire sector in many ways, including:
- Enriching our knowledge and reputation as a sector;
- Earning recognition by government and an invitation to the table when developing provincial regulations;
- Preparing ORCA Members to implement and manage those regulations; and
- Creating public awareness that an ORCA certificate in the lobby is a mark of distinction.
Through the accreditation program, homes were prepared for the incoming regulations and the ORCA standards were recognized in the development of the RHA regulations.
Debbie chaired the Stakeholder Advisory Board of the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA)for a full term of 6 years and continues to work with operators to assist them with a variety of operational areas including meeting compliance, restructuring and redevelopment, risk management and operational reviews.