All posts by Chris Chapman


Summer Hill Welcomes New Director of Sales & Marketing

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (Sept. 9, 2021) – Summer Hill, a senior living community in Oak Harbor, Wash., welcomes new director of sales & marketing, Karen Ray.

“We are so excited to welcome Karen to the Summer Hill team,” said Executive Director Jack Hamilton. “I know her skills, talent and experience will continue to help our community grow and develop into the future.”

Karen has experience working in advertising, marketing, and public relations, and partnered with a variety of businesses, such as Swinomish Casino & Lodge and the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce. Karen was also a publisher for the Whidbey Hometown Values Savings Magazine from 2016 to 2019. Most recently working as the Community Relations Director at a community in Burlington, Wash., she found her true calling in caring for seniors after caring for her own mother.

Karen is looking forward to returning to her passion of working with seniors and their families by taking on this new role at Summer Hill. She and Executive Director Jack Hamilton have been friends and professional colleagues since 1999, and she was thrilled by the opportunity to work alongside him. Karen said, “Jack’s passion to care for our seniors is inspiring and I couldn’t ask for a better team to work with!” Karen’s encouraging can-do attitude and passion for her work will make her an excellent addition to the team at Summer Hill.

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Summer Hill Receives 2018 Best of Assisted Living Award from

OAK HARBOR, Wash., (Jan. 2, 2018)Summer Hill is proud to announce that they have been selected as one of the 2018 Best of Assisted Living Award Winners on, the largest ratings and reviews site for senior care and services in North America and Canada. is in their fifth year of hosting the Best of Senior Living Awards.’s Best of 2018 Award winners represent the best of the best of in-home care, assisted living, and other senior living providers, based on the online reviews written by seniors and their families. This exclusive designation honors the top one percent of senior care providers across the United States and Canada.

The annual Best of Awards tabulates over 150,000 family created reviews to find the highest quality care providers for this honor. Of the nearly 45,000 communities currently listed on, just over 1,600 were recognized with this prestigious award.

Summer Hill is the only winner in Oak Harbor, Wash., and regularly receives exceptionally positive reviews from their senior customers and their families.

“As’s ‘Best of Senior Living’ awards enters its fifth year of honoring the top family rated communities and care providers, we are proud to say that the bar has been raised.” said Eric Seifert, President and COO of “In order to ensure only the best communities and care providers win, we decided to make the criteria harder than ever and we saw over 1600 winners rise to the occasion. Each year we are more and more impressed with the quality of winners and look forward to spreading the word about these award winning organizations.”

To qualify for inclusion in the Best of 2018 Awards, care providers must have maintained an average overall rating of at least 4.5 stars while receiving four or more new reviews in 2017. Additional details and a complete list of award winners can be found on

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Summer Hill Assisted Living Recognized for Outstanding Workforce Satisfaction

Excellence in Action award recognizes exemplary commitment to quality

 OAK HARBOR, Wash. (July 6, 2017) — Summer Hill today announced that, for the second consecutive year, it is the only Oak Harbor senior living community to receive the 2017 Excellence in Action award from National Research Corporation Health (NRC). Summer Hill was recognized specifically for its exemplary workforce satisfaction in assisted living. This honor, awarded exclusively to NRC clients, recognizes post-acute care communities that achieve the highest overall resident or employee satisfaction scores. The database is the largest source of long-term care and senior living satisfaction metrics in the nation.

“We are very proud to be recognized a second consecutive year for reaching the top 10 percentile in the areas of willingness to recommend as a place to receive care, and appreciate our employees’ dedication to providing exceptional Platinum Service® for our residents,” said Leslie Burns, executive director of Summer Hill. “The Excellence in Action Award reflects our ongoing commitment to our residents, their families, and our employees, and provides another valuable evaluation for families to use to select a senior living and health care community for their loved one.”

Qualifying skilled nursing, assisted living, and independent living communities must have completed a customer or workforce satisfaction survey in 2017. Winners must also have received a minimum of 10 responses (achieving a response rate of at least 30 percent). Their overall responses must have scored the organization within the top 10 percent of qualifying assisted living and independent living facilities and the top 20 percent of qualifying skilled nursing on either the question, “What is your recommendation of this facility to others?” or the question, “What is your recommendation of this facility as a place to work?”

“The Excellence in Action award remains a true testament to the overall quality being provided in today’s long-term care and senior living organizations,” said Rich Kortum, Director of Strategic Partnerships at NRC Health. “The recipients of this award continue to show the importance of focusing on what matters most to their residents, families, and employees. We are honored to partner with such high-performing organizations, and wish them continued success.”

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Summer Hill Resident Enriches the Lives of Students at Oak Harbor High School

Article written by Nancy Diamond, Oak Harbor High School

Kevin Davis, a resident of Summer Hill Assisted Living, is no stranger to Oak Harbor High School. For nine years, Davis worked in the Special Education Transitions department, assisting post-high school special education students. One of his duties was to drive students in the school van to their job sites. “He was well liked by staff and students. His daughter Holly was in the Transitions program,” said Jessica Mansikka, Davis’ co-worker starting in 2009.

Photos credit: Nancy Diamond, Oak Harbor High School

Unfortunately, Davis experienced a stroke a few years ago, making him unable to continue his work at the high school. But that didn’t dissuade him from wanting to be at school with students and a part of the community. In September 2016, Davis began volunteering once a week as a lunchroom greeter. Mr. Davis volunteers every Tuesday during both lunch periods. He welcomes students to the cafeteria, and is always available for a conversation. Mansikka, a student, said, “I was so excited for him to volunteer at the high school. I’m glad he’s here and I miss him in the classroom,” said Mansikka.

“I like being around people and greeting them with a smile,” said Davis, a Navy veteran. “I like to lift their spirits. I like the interaction, the fellowship. It makes me feel good inside.”

Davis is rarely seen without a baseball cap on, and is never without his signature smile. Principal Dwight Lundstrom said, “Mr. Davis is a kind man and he’s good with kids. He likes to share kindness.” Principal Lundstrom appreciates the value Davis brings as a volunteer.

Students enjoy the positive interaction with Davis. “I’m glad when he says ‘hello’ to me. I notice when he’s gone,” said Brooke Whelpley, an 11th grader. Kyle Torres, a 10th grader, said, “He’s pretty nice, always smiling. It would be weird if he wasn’t around.” Caleb Torio, a 10th grader, said, “He always says ‘Hello, have a great day.’ I respect him.” Mr. Davis visits the DECA store every Tuesday to buy a smoothie from 12th grader Maya Krantz. “He likes to tell stories, like about how he used to work here and how he likes to volunteer,” said Krantz.

When asked if he had advice for other high school volunteers, Davis said, “Be there for the students. Be someone they can talk to. Have your listening ears open.”

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Partnership with Oak Harbor High School Program to Help Special Needs Students Transition to Adulthood

At Summer Hill, we have partnered with Oak Harbor High School to pair special needs students with job opportunities and teach them life skills. Currently, twenty-one students participated in the program.

Mikhaila Reed, one of our Dietary team members, started as a volunteer through Oak Harbor’s Transition Program. We then had the pleasure of hiring her full-time once she had completed the program. Mikhaila is a wonderful staff member and is very detail oriented. She brightens the day of the residents and staff here at Summer Hill!

Click image below to watch video!

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