Neawanna by the Sea senior living community in Seaside has recently undergone a management transition. LaVida Communities, an operator and manager of "value-oriented" senior living communities throughout the U.S., has taken over the living community's management responsibilities.

LaVida, a member of the Senior Resources Group family of companies, took control of Neawanna's operation from Sunwest Management on Jan. 15.

Sunwest is a Salem, Ore., based company that currently manages over 200 senior living communities nationwide. The company filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on Dec. 31 and sold 45 of its affiliated senior living communities, 15 of which were in Oregon.

"There are good and bad things about all of these companies," said Carol Gallagher, executive director of Neawanna by the Sea. "Our residents never suffered under Sunwest, but it did become a distraction to them when Sunwest's financial woes were made public in the Oregonian."

LaVida Communities currently manages over 40 locations nationwide. 17 of its locations are in Oregon and Washington.

"Our anticipation is that this will be a very positive transition," she said. "La-Vida has been in the business for over 20 years and seems to have a good operation and be very care oriented."

Although there aren't any changes planned for the facilities, there will be some internal improvements. These include transferring records to an electronic database and implementing a residents/family members' survey that is updated every six months.

"The best measure of our performance, and the one of which we're most proud, is the consistently high satisfaction scores we receive from residents who live in the communities we operate," said Kayda Johnson, chief operating officer of LaVida Communities. "This vote of confidence from those we serve validates our promise to provide the best service, amenities and care possible."

All of the changes will work towards accomplishing LaVida's goal of having Neawanna by the Sea accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities by 2010. CARF is an independent accreditation body of senior living communities; the organization awards its coveted accreditation to those senior living communities that have superior staff, management practices, activity choices, physical environment and overall services.

"We're still going to be the same Neawanna by the Sea," said Dave Moore, marketing director for Neawanna by the Sea. "We will have the same name, buildings, care, and community involvement."

For more information on LaVida Communities, contact its headquarters at (858) 792-9300 or visit its Web site at

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