Community Advisory Board of Keiro-Pacifica Senior Care Facilities Raises Concerns About Protecting Residents from COVID

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(From the Keiro Pacifica Community Advisory Board website)

The Community Advisory Board of the Keiro Pacifica properties, which was formed by order of the California attorney general five years ago as a condition of the sale of the facilities, on Jan. 25 raised concerns about the potential transfer of patients and closure of a facility that has so far not had a single case of COVID-19.

The Community Advisory Board serves as an oversight body for four Keiro Senior Care facilities that were sold to the Pacifica Companies in February 2016. The California Office of the Attorney General requested the board be established as a requirement of the sale in order to provide the link between the operators and the community. The four facilities are Sakura Gardens Assisted Living and Sakura Intermediate Care Facility in Boyle Heights, the Kei-Ai Healthcare Center in Lincoln Heights, and the Kei-Ai South Bay Healthcare Center in Gardena.

The buyer, the Pacifica Companies, in mid-2020 filed plans with the City of Los Angeles to close the Sakura Intermediate Care Facility. The plan would require transfer of scores of patients (average age 92 years old) to other facilities. The Sakura ICF is the only licensed ICF in Los Angeles County. Located in Boyle Heights, Sakura ICF is a model of safe and quality healthcare delivery that puts patients first and goes above and beyond protocols to protect them.

This facility has not had an outbreak of COVID-19 among patients during the global pandemic. The facility also just completed the first round of immunization against COVID-19 for 100% of all patients. The Community Advisory Board is requesting the California attorney general block the Pacifica Companies proposal to close the facility.

“Sending the seniors from a COVID-19-negative site to a site having a major COVID outbreak in the middle of a pandemic is unconscionable,” said Community Advisory Board Chairman Kenneth H. Hayashida, Jr., MD. “Therefore, our board has voted to request the attorney general to stop this move.”

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