Last month, Arizona Baptist Retirement Centers — known locally for its Baptist Village campus at 113th and Peoria avenues in Youngtown — changed its name to LifeStream Complete Senior Living, a move president and CEO Dave Ellis said will widen its audience and attract more residents.
“It really boils down to a very simple reason,” he said. “We wanted to better communicate who we are as an organization.”
Ellis said LifeStream has not been a Baptist-affiliated business for the past 12 years and so, when the board of directors began discussing a change 18 months ago, they decided having “Baptist” in their name was potentially turning some people away.
“Having the name ‘Baptist’ implied a couple of things,” he said. “One, we’re part of a Baptist organization, or two, you have to be Baptist to live here. So we felt like even after 35 years of history in this community we were missing the opportunity to meet some people who decided to look somewhere else when they saw that word.”
Ellis said the new name is aiming to convey the attitude LifeStream has had all along, which is that people of all faiths are welcome.
“We’re still the same organization we’ve always been,” he said. “It’s simply a name change to reach more people.”
There have been no changes to the business itself. Aside from a new name and new branding, Ellis said very little will be different. “If you were going to measure on a scale of how much people are affected by this I think our current residents would probably be the least affected,” he said. “They’re getting the same services, the people working here are the same. Our mission has not changed, nor have our services.”
While the name change was made official Jan. 20 it will take some time to fully complete. Ellis said coming up with a new identity took 18 months and changing the signage at the campus and on all the vehicles will probably take another year. Meantime, Ellis said he hopes the LifeStream name will have the desired effect.
“In meeting with staff and residents about this, we heard some people say they chose us because of the ‘Baptist’ name, and some in spite of it. What we were never able to determine for sure is how many people never even called to inquire because of it. We feel like we were limiting ourselves in the past and this new name will change that.”
Jeff Dempsey may be reached at 623-876-2531 or firstname.lastname@example.org.