Dr. Keiko Ikeda (right) with Rep. Judy Chu at a press conference held by the Ad Hoc Committee to Save Keiro in January. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)
Mr. Shawn Miyake’s decision to retire from his position as the president and CEO of Keiro opens the door for a change of leadership, one that would embody community values and visions for the future.
Countless number of people in the community signed petitions requesting that Keiro and the California Attorney General’s Office stop the sale of the four Keiro facilities, but Mr. Miyake and the board turned a deaf ear to the community. They, in fact, requested that the attorney general waive all public hearings, when the community had the right to be heard. Their condescending response was always the same, and that was to refer to their website for answers to questions that the community was raising.
If Mr. Miyake had stepped down earlier or had been forced out by the board and a new leadership was given a chance to continue the mission of our forefathers, the suffering of many residents and staff, who were basically forced into leaving the facilities to seek refuge elsewhere, could have been avoided.
Our hope is that not only Mr. Miyake, but also that the entire board would step down since the current Keiro without the retirement home, the nursing homes, and the intermediate care facility to operate, has lost its purpose of existence. Keiro needs a new leadership that would collaborate with the community to rebuild the facilities, which were icons of the community prior to the sale.
Keiro’s re-emergence as an institution in our community that would provide dignified and culturally sensitive healthcare services again would not only heal the schism in the community that has been created in the recent months, but would also reassure our seniors that they have a rightful place to go, should they require care in their later years.
It is crucial that the selection of the new leadership be an impartial process in which input from the community is taken very seriously.
Keiko Ikeda, Ph.D., Vice President, Koreisha Senior Care & Advocacy