We want to provide a balanced perspective to the assertions related to the Pearl at Kruse Way which appeared in a Lake Oswego Review story on Jan. 25. First is the acknowledgement of the family's pain over the loss of a loved one which occurred last summer. We extend our heartfelt sympathy.

The public must be aware that several facts reported related to the care and services residents received don't coincide with the facts we have at this time. Patient confidentiality and family privacy prohibit extended explanation of our findings.

Further, the public must be aware that we take issue with how the Pearl was portrayed. Journalists have limited knowledge or insight into the complex maze of how senior care facilities operate, how they interface with hospitals and how regulatory systems function. However, it must be clearly understood we actively address any allegation or concern related to the care that we provide.

To our staff, we want to recognize your hard work, what you accomplish daily and the outcomes you achieve at the Pearl for those who are entrusted in your care.

We're committed to the seniors and families of Lake Oswego. We've invested over seven years of time and extensive company resources to provide an innovative care solution for this community which matches the high level of integrity for which we're recognized.

We have served over 500 residents since opening the Pearl over a year ago, and 4,000 residents a year throughout our other facilities. We consistently receive favorable feedback from residents and families expressing satisfaction for their quality of care. It is true that in every moment of every day, in this type of care setting our staff deal with the sickest of the sick and the frailest of the frail. We care for people with complex medical conditions.

When we become aware of not achieving standards, we proactively implement improvements in our systems, hiring and training process, and all operational practices. In the specific case of Lake Oswego we've also made offers to work with city officials such as the police department to provide education and training relative to how and when circumstances would require our joint cooperation to best manage an overly agitated Alzheimer's resident who is at risk of harming themselves or others.

Equally important is the ongoing dialog we encourage with the families we serve. We ask for direct input from our patients and their loved ones to gain a clear, constant reflection of how we're doing. A key to providing the kind of care seniors expect and deserve comes from remaining open and accessible to scrutiny that's both factual and fair.

Rick Miller, CEO of Avamere Health Services, Inc. Avamere is based in Wilsonville.

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