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To: Family Members, Friends & Supporters of Nikkei Seniors Health Care & Housing Society

2020 has been a very unusual year due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has occurred.  As a Society that provides care to residents at Robert Nimi Nikkei Home (RNNH), New Sakura-so (NSS), and offering Outreach Programs, we along with everyone throughout the world have not been immune to the impact that this pandemic has brought.  You have been kept abreast of the restrictions brought to our residences and programs through Cathy Makihara’s regular notices.  We are grateful for your understanding for all the adjustments you have had to make in your relationship with your family member.  Despite the restrictions, your support for your loved one has helped them cope with the isolation that this disease has brought.  Also, your encouragement to the staff, who have worked under very difficult and changing circumstances has been appreciated very much.

Moving into the coming months, there will be personnel changes that will affect the seniors and you as family members, friends or supporters.

Firstly, Cathy Makihara is retiring from the position of Executive Director effective February 28, 2021.  She has devoted over 25 years to Nikkei Place and to Nikkei Seniors Health Care & Housing Society, its residences and programs.  Under her guidance and with staff involvement our approach to the care of seniors, the programs and activities provided have become models for Fraser Health Authority and further afield.  Cathy has guided our programs through undertaking research, surveys, involvement of partners, consultations with other organizations and building a team who feel valued and involved.  She has strongly supported the values of respect, dignity, independence, choice and privacy in caring for the seniors in our residences and programs.  She has built a strong team that supports these values.  There are no words that can describe the debt we owe her for all she has contributed.

Secondly, while Cathy is retiring, we would like to let you know that her successor will be Jay Haraga who will begin in this role on November 2, 2020.  Jay has been a Board member of Nikkei Seniors for 4 years and steps into this position with detailed knowledge of the work of our Society.  He embraces the values that we as a Society advocate.  He brings with him a broad background in management and belief in the importance of continuing to build and support a strong team of staff in caring for our seniors.  He is an outgoing, friendly, approachable,  person who has a deep commitment and passion for working with a population of seniors.  He is appreciative of the Japanese cultural values, but he acknowledges the need to be sensitive to the diversity of the seniors and staff in our residences and programs.  We are pleased to introduce you to Jay Haraga and hope you will welcome him as he resumes his new role shortly.

While Jay will be stepping into the role of Executive Director on November 2, 2020, there will be a transition period where Cathy will be orienting him to his role, transitioning out by February 28, 2021.

Thank you for your ongoing support for our seniors, staff and programs.  Our hope is that you will all continue to be healthy and well in the coming days.

With much appreciation,  

Ruth Coles, President

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