Not-for-profit means for people

Our earliest members established Alberta’s first rural nursing stations in the mid-1800s. Ever since, CHAA operators have been recognized as Alberta’s first public health care system — offering not-for-profit, mission-driven service for more than 160 years to those most in need.

How we operate

Contracted providers can be either not-for-profit or for-profit operators, and all operators must meet the same care standards.

All contracted operators receive approximately the same amount of funding from Alberta Health Services to deliver care and manage their facilities, regardless of whether they’re a for-profit operator or a not-for-profit operator. However, there may be differences in how operators use the funding they receive.


  • Staffing represents about 80% of the cost of continuing care services. There may be differences between for-profit and not-for-profit operators with respect to the wages and benefits paid to staff, or the percentage of full-time versus part-time staff.

Driving force and mission:

  • CHAA’s not-for-profit operators have a charitable, faith or mission basis for their operations. These operators have a long-range mission of service that spans decades or centuries.

  • It is uncommon for not-for-profit operators to close their care facilities, even during difficult economic times.

  • It is also uncommon for not-for-profit operators to buy and sell real estate as a business strategy to boost financial performance.

Use of surplus funds (profits):

  • Not-for-profit operators usually operate on a break-even basis. If there are retained earnings, they're legally obligated to put surplus funds into programming, services, or facility enhancements for the benefit of residents.

  • Many are charitable organizations that fundraise for the extras.

  • Not-for-profit operators don't have shareholders and can't legally distribute surplus funds to owners or representatives.

Quick stats on not-for-profit operators in continuing care

  • About half of all Canadian provinces are dependent on the services of contracted operators for continuing care service delivery.

  • In Alberta, 20% of all continuing care services are delivered by Alberta Health Services (AHS) or its subsidiary organization. The remaining 80% of continuing care services are delivered by contracted operators.

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CHAA is committed to providing care and support to those most vulnerable and least able to advocate for themselves.