By Abel Pagaling
Kris Salumbides is from Edmonton, Alberta. He is the co-founder and marketing director of Quality Sleep Care clinics, Alberta Medical Supplies, and Medicus Family Health Clinic.
Kris arrived in Canada in 2008. His wife came six months prior. “She works as LPN (Licenced Practical Nurse) here in Canada,” says Kris employed by Alberta Health Services,” said Kris.
Kris grew up in Nueva Ecija, a province in the northern Philippines. He completed his bachelor’s degree as respiratory therapist in Baguio City. After graduating, he moved to Manila to start his career. “I’m always looking for good opportunities so after two years working at a hospital in Manila, I moved to Saudi to gain more experience.”
“In Saudi, it’s very competitive,” says Kris. “It’s a high-tech environment, and I had to compete with therapists from Canada and United States. I had to pass all the exams to be able to do my practice.”
Kris liked his work in Saudi because where he dealt with critical patients. “It trained me to handle a lot of pressure and make critical decisions. I had to pass a lot of exams and do extensive training to work with critical patients.”
After two years in Saudi, he moved back to the Philippines where he worked in a training centre. He introduced what he learned in Saudi and trained student who wants to go abroad. “I helped introduce the advance life support programs. In Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, I went school to school and also in hospitals teaching nurses, respiratory therapists, and doctors the skills I learned in Saudi.” Kris was 25 years old at that time. “This built my confidence,” says Kris, “and I basically became a public speaker.”
Kris said he really liked his career in the Philippines because it paid well. Then his wife told him to come to Canada. In December 2008, he arrived. “I had no job for three months. I was depressed,” said Kris. “Manila and Edmonton are totally different. One of my wife’s friend offered me a job to work on a signage company, putting up signs for businesses. It was a tough job working outdoors in a cold weather.”
Kris admits that there were a lot of fights with his wife because he wanted to go back to the Philippines. But he decided to stay since wife became pregnant.
Kris wasn’t satisfied working in the signage company. “Signage making was a good job,” said Kris. “I learned a lot. But I wanted to be back in the health care industry. I went to school to learn how to be a hospital porter so I could get a job in a hospital.”
After completion of his training, Kris landed a job as a porter where he transported patients into the operating room. “But I still wanted to get into the respiratory field,” said Kris. “I sent out applications until I got a job as a respiratory therapist assistant at the Edmonton General Hospital. This was in 2009. It was really tough here in Canada because they don’t give credit to your education.”
One day Kris met a lady in the medical field who asked him if he wanted to try the “Sleep” health side and be a sleep technologist. “I said yes I’ll try it,” said Kris. “I applied and after a month I received a call from the owner of one of the sleep company to be a sleep clinician. I took the job and worked really hard at the company, from marketing, branding, to being a sleep clinician.”
Kris wanted to be a Sleep Technologist. After a year of self-paced review and 1000 hours of work time as a sleep clinician, he took the Sleep Technologist exam and passed. “There’s only over a 100 sleep technologist in Alberta,” said Kris, grateful that he passed his exam.
From there, Kris met his future business partner and they planned their first venture, Quality Sleep Care (www.qualitysleepcare.com). “After a year and half of planning and raising funds, we opened our first clinic,” said Kris. “We worked full-time at the clinic during the day, and I worked full-time in the evening as well to support myself. I basically worked 24 hours to support myself while running the business.”
After a night shift, Kris would take a nap from 7am to 9 am, then go to the clinic from 9am to 5pm, and then back to his 7 pm night shift. “I did this for a year and half,” said Kris. “Then early this year in 2017, I went full time managing the clinic.”
“People think business can pay you when you open your business. It doesn’t happen that way,” says Kris. “It’s hard to build a business. But I’m motivated by my family and in helping people. Out of 21 competitors in the field, no one is doing what we are doing which is why our clinic is named Quality Sleep Care. We deliver quality and exceptional service to our customers.”
In three years of operation, Kris worked with key partners who helped grow his business. “We now have 3 Quality Sleep Care clinics – 2 in Edmonton, and 1 in Calgary. We employ 27 people full-time, and have 5 part-time employees.”
Khris and his partners have also opened Alberta Medical Supplies – AMS, and Medicus Family Health Clinic and Pharmacy.
AMS carry mobility products and all medical equipment. It’s a one stop shop for medical supplies. “We’ve since been credited by the government to provide supplies for patients who qualify for government support,” said Kris. “So we are now serving the government.”
Medicus Family Health Clinic (www.medicusfamilyclinic.com) provides walk-in medical services and an on-site pharmacy.
“People tell me I’m an achiever,” said Kris. “And yes I believe I’m an achiever. I just need to surround myself with the right people. You can’t build a business without your partners.”