Four Statewide Awards Bestowed Upon Perry Lutheran Homes

Perry Lutheran Homes receives four prestigious industry awards from LeadingAge Iowa, an association representing not-for-profit aging services providers. Perry Lutheran Homes Project Deliver the Love was chosen for the 2021 Public Trust award. Perry Lutheran Homes Chief Operating Officer and Administrator, Melissa Gannon, was chosen for the 2021 Excellence in Leadership award. Perry Lutheran Homes StepUp Career Advancement Program was chosen for the 2021 Excellence in the Workplace award. Last, Inge Smothers, Certified Medication Aide (CMA) at Perry Lutheran Homes was chosen for the 2021 Caregiver of the Year award.

The Public Trust award is given to an organization that goes beyond its health service or housing role to advance public trust and confidence by supporting and/or improving the greater community demonstrating the organization’s commitment to mission and social responsibility. Perry Lutheran Homes won the award for helping community members find and form lasting connections with “invisible elders” in the community through their unique creation, Project Deliver the Love. To watch the Project Deliver the Love video, head to:

“Project Deliver the Love is truly an award for the community of Perry. Because of people, congregations, businesses and service organizations in our community stepping up to volunteer, donate and deliver the love, this project was an incredibly successful and impactful; even more than we could have ever imagined,” shares Mollie Clark, Marketing Director for Perry Lutheran Homes. “So many people were positively impacted by this project, and it really shines a light on the elderly people in our community to celebrate and serve and do everything we can to bring more joy into their lives.”

public trust award

Shannon Strickler, CEO of LeadingAge Iowa presents the Public Trust award for Project Deliver the Love to Perry Lutheran Homes' Marketing Director, Mollie Clark.

The Excellence in Leadership award is given to an individual in a significant leadership position who demonstrates leadership actions that enrich and enhance the lives of older adults, is a strong motivator and mentor for others, and has done specific actions that create a supportive team culture. Melissa Gannon, COO and Administrator for Perry Lutheran Homes, won the Excellence in Leadership award based on her dedication to successfully leading Perry Lutheran Homes simultaneously through a pandemic, derecho, and acquisition of a senior living community. To watch the Excellence in Leadership award video, head to:

“I was both shocked and honored to receive this incredible award; it means the world. Senior Living Community leaders across the country have faced so many challenges throughout the past couple of years,” said Melissa Gannon. “More than just myself, the Perry Lutheran Homes team has stepped up to rise above the challenges of the pandemic, to take in 13 displaced CCDI memory care residents in one day due to the derecho, and to successfully acquire a new senior living community. I’m surrounded by some of the most talented and compassionate people. It’s been a challenging journey, but I know that we are better because of it.”

Excellence in Leadership award

Melissa Gannon, COO and Administrator for Perry Lutheran Homes receives Excellence in Leadership award presented by Shannon Strickler, CEO of LeadingAge Iowa.

The Excellence in the Workplace award is given to a program that demonstrates in policy and practice that investing in the staff and workplace environment are critical to the delivery of quality care and services. The winner shall demonstrate innovation in workforce development policies and practices and ensures that all levels of staff obtain training. Perry Lutheran Homes’ StepUp Career Advancement Program won the award for providing a pathway for employees of Perry Lutheran Homes working in any career field or position to earn certifications and degrees through promotion, higher education, and tuition reimbursement.

The StepUp Career Advancement Program was launched to build a stable, direct care workforce of highly trained, qualified, and committed nurses, nurse aides, and other long-term care staff at Perry Lutheran Homes, ensuring that every older adult in need of care receives the best care possible. In creating this program, goals include reducing turnover, improving culture and morale, improving resident satisfaction and quality of life, among varied other benefits to staff, residents, and the community. To watch the StepUp Career Advancement video, head to:

Perry Lutheran Homes' StepUp Career Advancement Program receives Excellence in the Workplace Award from LeadingAge Iowa. Pictured is LeadingAge Iowa CEO, Shannon Strickler and Perry Lutheran Homes' Marketing Director, Mollie Clark.

The Caregiver of the Year award is given to an individual who demonstrated skills, both professional and interpersonal, that exceeded expectations. The award winner has positively affected the quality of life of those served, significantly improved a service or program, and demonstrated a strong and rare commitment to the organization and those served. Inge Smothers, Certified Medication Aide (CMA) for Perry Lutheran Homes, won the Caregiver of the Year Award for her compassion and joy in going above and beyond meeting residents’ needs. To watch the Caregiver of the Year video, head to:

“Inge is truly amazing at what she does and is so deserving of this award. Not only is she an excellent CMA with great skill and exceptional care, but she is a beloved friend to our residents and their families,” expresses Melissa Gannon. “Inge pays attention to the details that matter and goes above and beyond bringing love and joy into our residents’ lives.”

Caregiver of the year award

Inge Smothers, CMA at Perry Lutheran Homes receives the Caregiver of the Year award presented by Shannon Strickler, CEO of LeadingAge Iowa.

Community members, family and friends are invited to join in celebrating these awards with a delicious yogurt parfait breakfast bar on Wednesday, October 27 at 9:00AM. The event will take place at Perry Lutheran Homes Eden Acres Campus located at 1300 28th Street, Perry, IA. Attendees will be screened and masks are required.

About Perry Lutheran Homes

Perry Lutheran Homes is your locally owned and managed, Christian Caring Community serving Perry and surrounding communities for 65 years. Perry Lutheran Homes offers innovative, personalized, Christ-centered living and care at three campuses in Perry, IA – Spring Valley Campus, King’s Gardens Campus and Eden Acres Campus. Services include independent and assisted living, award-winning memory carein-home carerespite careskilled nursing carerehabilitative therapy, intermediate and long-term care, end-of-life care and meals on wheels.

About LeadingAge Iowa

LeadingAge Iowa’s mission is the voice, support, connector for non-profit members and the people they serve; its vision is to be the champion for advancement and innovation in aging services. LeadingAge Iowa represents a spectrum of non-profit providers including skilled nursing, assisted and independent living, home health, adult day care, respite, hospice and home-delivered meals.