‘New era’ as The Kenney finalizes Heritage Ministries affiliation

May 13, 2015 12:36 am
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 |   The Kenney | West Seattle news

Six months after we reported on the plan for The Kenney (WSB sponsor) to affiliate with Heritage Ministries and halve its debt, it’s final, according to this announcement:

The Kenney senior living community of West Seattle has cleared all of the necessary hurdles to complete its affiliation with Heritage Ministries, a New York nonprofit, faith-based organization. As a result of the completed affiliation, the amount of The Kenney’s outstanding secured debt will be reduced almost in half from $21.3 million to $10.7 million, a reality that greatly improves The Kenney’s financial position, assuring The Kenney’s ongoing mission to serve seniors in West Seattle.

Heritage Ministries has roots in the Free Methodist Church with sister organizations, such as Seattle Pacific University, in the Seattle area. The legal affiliation of the two organizations has been accomplished by way of Board control. Governance documents of The Kenney have been modified to reflect that Heritage Ministries is now responsible for the appointment of members to The Kenney Board of Directors. The Kenney will remain a nonprofit organization and will continue to have a board of volunteer directors with at least 1/3 of the directors required to be residents of the State of Washington. Resident agreements will be honored and the benevolent care fund for residents will continue.

The Kenney has been operating under an administrative services agreement with Heritage since December of 2014.

Through this agreement, Heritage provides such services as financial accounting, accounts payable processing, resident billing, and human resources support, as well as other strategic planning and operational oversight. Heritage President and CEO David Smeltzer will also serve as the President and CEO of The Kenney, with Larry Foss, current Executive Director of The Kenney, continuing to provide the day-to-day, on-site management of The Kenney operations.

The affiliation between The Kenney and Heritage is not an uncommon occurrence these days. With ever-decreasing reimbursement streams, rising costs of overhead and employee benefits, and increasing requirements for government compliance; it is becoming more difficult for smaller, stand-alone organizations to survive without affiliating in some fashion with a larger system. President Smeltzer says, “Heritage was already ranked as the 134th-largest, not-for-profit provider of senior care and housing, according to a publication from the investment banking firm Ziegler. With the affiliation of The Kenney, Heritage would now be ranked in the top 100.” But he is also quick to point out that, “It’s not about growing Heritage so much as it is about assuring the ongoing, faith-based ministry of The Kenney and others like them.”

An event (on Tuesday) at The Kenney honored outgoing Board Members, recognized new and returning Board Members, and formally recognized the Heritage affiliation. Executive Director Larry Foss says, “We are excited about being part of the Heritage system. They are well respected in the communities they serve, and because they are a larger organization, they are able to bring expertise and experience to The Kenney that will assist us in moving forward. Residents and staff alike have expressed their excitement about this new era for The Kenney.”

The Kenney, located at 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, offers retirement housing options for seniors who are still independent as well as assisted living, memory care, and rehab and skilled nursing. For more information about The Kenney call 206-937-2800 or visit their website at thekenney.org.

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