[Okay. Let’s do away with hand-wringing, stow the malicious barbs, postpone last rites. At least momentarily. Listen up and see if maybe Crossroads to Somewhere can’t lift the shroud of doubt and fear. At least waylay some of the wild rumors running rampant regarding the fate and future of our treasured Keiro complex.]
Based on a current reading of the situation, Keiro Senior Healthcare [consisting of Keiro Lincoln Park and South Bay Gardena Nursing Homes, Intermediate Care Facility (ICF), and Keiro Retirement Home (KRH), hereafter referred to as “Keiro”]is in serious negotiations with a for-profit entity; unnamed, for obvious reasons, only identified as being listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Conclusion: We’re talking big-time operators, which bodes both good and bad. CR2S will go out on a precarious limb and predict an agreement will be consummated within six months; most probably sooner.
Which will not call for candle-lighting and dirges.
Admittedly, Keiro is but a blip on the national healthcare screen, but it is our blip; a fifty-year-old miracle that represents everything that sets us apart from everyone else. And let’s keep in mind the inevitable sale does not mean Keiro disappears, poof, into oblivion.
As conversations were conducted with many interested buyers early on, it was made clear Keiro was not a struggling operation beset with problems. Inquirers in turn saw a unique opportunity to add to their holdings. But let’s be real: There is a vast difference between for- and non-profits. No one takes over Keiro with the intention of hands-off status quo.
Changes will be forthcoming. Whether good, bad or mochiron, future considerations will determine. But there will be no surprises. Escrow terms will keep the public apprised and informed, as there will be complete transparency (within reason) during negotiations. A good guess is that everything will remain the same – for the time being. While promises of no drastic changes will be in vogue, remember nothing is forever. Example: It is being bandied about that KRH rents and operation will remain the same. With the existing waiting list, there wouldn’t be a sudden ethnic vortex.
Whenever a concerned tenant asks CR2S what the future holds, I tell them not to worry, the sky will not suddenly fall. If pressed further, I tell them other than an inevitable raise in rent, nothing drastic will occur. “We will all be dead and gone before miso-shiru is off the menu, or it’s Yom Kippur instead of Oshogatsu. ” Maybe somewhat inelegant, but it seems to relieve the anxiety.
As far as employees are concerned, who knows? While maintaining its unique stature, black hair and brown eyes will not suddenly become blond and blue. The nursing homes will lose their exclusivity; how quickly is the question. When outliers are informed Keiro volunteers number in the thousands, they are amazed. Their unpaid support groups usually are measured by the dozen. Current Keiro endowments and donation funds remain safe, protected and intact. Future financial support and fundraising efforts will be impacted. The rumor that certain individuals will profit from the pending transaction is not worthy of comment.
Although “The *Keiro Situation” became a public concern only very recently, the subject of its sale had been under consideration for several years. Initial feelers and contacts numbered about twenty-five, reduced to ten worthy of follow-ups. Just as an individual caregiver seeking the best environment for a loved one would do, Keiro investigated, observed and evaluated. Today, Jan. 22, the field has been reduced to a single unidentified suitor. [*Nisei Gardens in Pacoima and Kokoro in San Francisco are two other JA care facilities that are currently for-profit operations.]
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Sharp-eyed readers, of which CR2S has thousands, have probably noted a lack of citation/verification. On purpose. The situation is so fluid and tenuous, I don’t think it’s fair to cite information source or authority at this time. I’ll weather the slings and arrows of doubt and challenge where I’m wrong or off-base. For those demanding official facts and substantially more than conjecture, I’m told you are welcome to contact Keiro CEO/President Shawn Miyake or any member of the three separate boards of directors, headed by Frank Kawana. Up-to-date information is also available at www.Keiro.org.
W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.