keiro:ensign logosKeiro Senior HealthCare, a not-for-profit organization that enhances the quality of senior life through four care facilities and programs to help people stay healthy at home, and The Ensign Group Inc. the parent company of the Ensign group of skilled nursing, rehabilitative care services, hospice care and assisted living companies, announce that they have entered into an agreement for the sale of Keiro’s four care facilities – Keiro Nursing Home, South Bay Keiro Nursing Home, Keiro Intermediate Care Facility, and Keiro Retirement Home.

This decision follows a long process during which Keiro leadership thoroughly reviewed its options to preserve its facilities and continue serving the Japanese American community.

“After much discussion, exploration, and soul-searching over the past couple of years, the Keiro board and leadership team have determined that the sale of the facilities to a larger, better-funded health care organization will position the facilities to serve our community for a longer period than we might have been able to sustain on our own,” said Shawn Miyake, president and Chief Executive Officer of Keiro Senior HealthCare.

“Like many health care organizations around the country, we recognize that the health care system is changing dramatically, and we believe, along with Keiro’s founders, that this decision is in the best interest of our community in the long term.

“We were in discussion with Ensign and other potential buyers and finally narrowed down the list to Ensign. We believe that this organization understands and respects our cultural approach, has a greater financial and technological ability to respond to the demands of health care reform, and intends to keep essentially all of our staff and continue operating all of our facilities as they are. This is good news for our facilities and a great opportunity to preserve access to care for our community.”

“When I toured one of Ensign’s facilities with Keiro’s CEO and one of our nursing home administrators, I was impressed with how modern and comfortable it was, and how highly it was rated,” said Frank Kawana, immediate past chairman of the board of Keiro Senior HealthCare. “I was relieved to experience that, and I hope that by joining Ensign, our facilities could become even better.”

“My family lives in Oxnard, and the long-term care facility that their friends and neighbors use is also owned by this group. I’ve heard many positive things about their care for residents and concern for staff,” added Gene Kanamori, Keiro’s director of human resources.

“We deeply admire the cultural values that Keiro represents and are honored to be entrusted with this stewardship and tradition of caring,” said Christopher Christensen, Ensign’s president and chief executive officer. “We are dedicated to continuing and advancing the exceptional work that Keiro has been doing in this community for many years and are excited to build on their legacy. Our unique, locally driven approach to health care will allow us to customize our services to meet and exceed the personalized needs of each resident, staff member, and family.”

At this time, Keiro and Ensign have signed an asset purchase agreement and will keep moving forward in a measured, thoughtful manner. A transfer of existing operations would not occur immediately but would follow licensing and other regulatory clearances.

Even after the transition, Keiro will continue to provide a number of programs to residents in the facilities and will continue serving the larger part of the community – the 96 percent of people 65 and older who are aging at home – through expanded wellness and health promotion services it has developed over the past 10 years. These services will include health-related research; conferences, training, referrals, and consultations for caregivers; lifelong learning courses on memory, fall prevention, diabetes, chronic disease management, and healthier living; online resources; wellness-focused events; and more to continue enhancing the quality of senior life in the community.

“While the decision to sell our facilities has been personally difficult for many of us, the Keiro board and leadership take seriously their responsibility to be wise stewards of our community resources,” said Miyake. “With their extensive professional experience and personal familiarity with Japan and Japanese culture, we are very pleased that Ensign has stepped forward to carry on Keiro’s legacy of care for our community.”

About Keiro Senior HealthCare

For over 50 years, Keiro Senior HealthCare (Keiro), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, has been a trusted senior resource, providing culturally sensitive care options, wellness information, and programs that transform the well-being of individuals, families, and the community. The name Keiro (“respect for our elders”) reflects the values of the Japanese American community and Keiro’s commitment to enhance the quality of senior life in the Japanese community.

In 1961, eight community leaders established Keiro to provide compassionate, quality health care in a culturally sensitive environment for the Issei pioneers. Since that time,

Keiro has been developing and offering new programs and services in response to the changing needs in the community. For over a decade, this has included a variety of community-based education programs like its caregiver’s conferences and the establishment of programs to support people to age in place at home, while preventing and managing chronic health conditions.

More information is available at

About Ensign

The Ensign Group Inc.’s independent operating subsidiaries provide a broad spectrum of skilled nursing and assisted living services, physical, occupational and speech therapies, home health and hospice services, urgent care services and other rehabilitative and health care services at 126 facilities, eight hospice companies, ten home health businesses and eleven urgent care clinics in California, Arizona, Texas, Washington, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Nebraska, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

More information is available at

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