June 23, 2009
By Stacie N. Galang
What’s in a name?
That’s a question the Jewish Rehabilitation Centers for Living is answering as the nonprofit embraces a new identity as Aviv, which means spring or rebirth in Hebrew.
The board of directors of the Swampscott-based elder care service company adopted the name Aviv Centers for Living to reflect the business better while keeping its roots.
President and CEO Stephen H. Neff said the board formed a marketing committee, composed of board members and managers, to come up with a name that reflected the changing face of the company. The proposal of Aviv and its floral logo resonated with everyone.
“It had such a wow factor,” the CEO said. “We are protecting both the symbol and the name.”
Neff said the 64-year-old nonprofit is the parent organization of its Jewish Rehabilitation Center and the Shapiro-Rudolph Adult Day Center, both in Swampscott, Woodbridge Assisted Living in Peabody and Aviv Home Care.
“(Aviv) speaks to our Jewish tradition and Jewish heritage,” Neff said. “It brands us as an elder care system to all.”
When they formed their parent company under the previous name in 2007, board members and managers realized the name created confusion because of its similarity to its Jewish Rehabilitation Center in Swampscott.
Neff said the Aviv name change has been widely embraced by its board, staff, customers and community at large.
“This had been unanimous,” he said. “Everybody loves this.”
The CEO said Aviv Centers for Living is better poised to meet the needs of a generation that’s growing older, sicker and frailer.
The nonprofit has grown 30 percent in the last two years, and it’s a trend bound to continue, said Neff, who started with the company nearly three years ago. Aviv went from $20 million in total income in 2007 to $27 million, the CEO said.
He believes the “immature” nursing care industry will follow a path similar to that of the health care industry.
“As any market matures, there are fewer, stronger players,” he said.
Aviv expects to be one of those players.
The company plans to build an additional health care facility in Peabody and build up its home care division. In the next five to 10 years, there will be an unlimited need for affordable housing, in which Aviv hopes to be a player, Neff said.
The CEO said the company will take the next year to transition its literature and uniforms to the new name.
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