Bob Coss and Jim Henderson, who are both fathers of CONNECT residents, have formed a family council, of sorts, to contribute to the improvement and evolution of CONNECT.

“CONNECT does a fantastic job for people with brain injuries,” says Jim. “As parents, we only have so much time with our children. When we pass away, we have to trust CONNECT to be the sole support for our children. That’s a hefty responsibility. So if we can help CONNECT continually improve, we will rest easier when that time comes.”

The two dads, based on a few areas for improvement they identified, requested a meeting with three of CONNECT’s leaders, Janette Jackman, Leader of Our People Services, Patti Flaherty, President and COO, and Karen Tims, Director of Culture, People and Services.

“It was an incredibly positive meeting and we’ve decided to try to meet quarterly,” says Jim.

One improvement they discussed is creating a visual calendar of events for residents so all staff are aware of each resident’s individual goals each week.

“We feel this is a way to improve communication, no matter who is working on a particular day or who is on vacation.”

They say they agree with CONNECT’s approach away from the institutionalization of residents, but it requires constant effort to avoid institutionalization.

“It’s very easy to let residents watch television all day or to take the path of least resistance. But if all of us are contribution to create ideas, options and alternatives to keep residents engaged and stimulated and participating, that’s going to serve everyone better,” says Jim.

Patti Flaherty, President and COO of CONNECT, says family input like the meetings with Bob and Jim, are crucial to ensure the quality of CONNECT’s services is top notch.

“The meeting we had with the Coss’s and the Henderson’s was invaluable and so helpful and it’s very clear we’re all on the same page,” she says. “It’s a real privilege to be supporting their children and we want to do the best possible job for all of our residents at CONNECT.”

Jim is retired and Bob will be retired in March and they have committed to spend time at CONNECT, not just with their own children, but to help out where needed.

“We’ve seen very positive progress at CONNECT. We have always felt at home to give feedback to allow our children to be better and have the best chance to achieve their goals,” says Bob.

“We are willing to act as coaches, mentors, trainers, to use our life experience wherever it will be helpful at CONNECT,” says Jim. “Whether it’s making suggestions for improvements, meeting with leaders, or chatting with residents.”

“Life is really all about attitude – the glass is always half full – and the leaders of CONNECT have a great attitude,” adds Bob. “I think CONNECT is open to anything that will help improve the services available for our children and every resident working through their own journey.”