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Using Social Media and Networking

December 16, 2009

December 16, 2009

Landis Homes is blessed to be a strong Christian community, one in which there are many blessed ties that bind our hearts in Christian love.

At the same time, we may also have many family members and friends who live at a distance, or who we don’t get to see often, and over the years we’ve kept in touch by letters, by phone, and more recently by e-mail.

Recently I was asked to do a television interview for AAHSA TV at the AAHSA (American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging) Annual Conference in Chicago about new ways to keep in touch with family and friends, called social media and networking. The internet has created new tools like Facebook and Twitter, and for some, these create new opportunities to keep up with family and friends. The brief interview is on You Tube.

Both organizations and individuals are using social networking websites. In addition to our website at www.landishomes.org, Landis Homes has a presence on Facebook and on Twitter. If you have interest, you can check out both of the above without actually joining the sites and creating your own Facebook or Twitter accounts.

In recent months, we’ve been working with Ted Houser, of Ninja Fast Consulting, and formerly employed with Mennonite Disaster Service and Glick’s Audio, to help us make the best use of these tools. We believe that a successful aging services organization depends on trust between caregivers, residents, family members and partners in the community. Social networking sites provide opportunity to strengthen these relationships through personal interactions that build trust and understanding between these groups of individuals.

Individuals can also use these social networking sites to keep up with their families and friends. While I don’t likely know all of the Landis Homes residents who are using Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends, those who I have spoken with have found it a helpful way to learn what grandchildren and other family members are doing. Some may also connect with friends who are living in other states and in other countries around the world.

We hope to hold a class on some of these social media sites such as Facebook in 2010 as part of the Pathways Institute for Lifelong Learning at Landis Homes. If you have interest in learning more, and perhaps even joining Facebook to start your own journey in social networking, this will be a great opportunity to learn along with others!

If you are already on Facebook or on Twitter, a special welcome to join the Landis Homes communities on these sites! It will be a way to keep up with the latest as I, along with other team members, continue to use the Landis Homes Facebook and Twitter sites as one way of a number of ways to support communication.

Larry Zook

AAHSA Interview with Larry Zook

January 19, 2010

Watch an AAHSA Interview with Larry Zook at the 2009 AAHSA Conference in Chicago on the topic: Impact of Social Media


My soul smiles

November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009

Dear Friends,

My soul smiles with gratitude when I hear stories, like the one of Esther and Rhoda on the reverse side of this letter. It is a story of serving one another with Christ-like love at Landis Homes-a community that includes residents, family members, team members, volunteers, supporting congregations, businesses and YOU. Yes, you are part of this community which seeks to honor and enrich the lives of aging adults and their families as we serve together.

It is for this reason that I’m writing today and inviting you to give a year-end gift which assists residents who can no longer afford the full cost of their care. Through no fault of their own and often because of an extended healthcare stay, 71 residents outlived their financial resources in the past 12 months. Even with governmental assistance such as Medicaid, there is a $110 gap between the reimbursement for healthcare and the cost for each day for each resident in need. This past year over 2.5 million dollars of benevolent care was provided by Landis Homes.

“What” you may ask, “is Landis Homes doing to address this gap?” First, let me say that the gap is not unique to Landis Homes. Many continuing care retirement providers committed to providing seamless care are having similar experiences. In response, we are:

-Providing education to potential residents and families on financially planning for future care,

-Supporting residents who choose to “age in place” with services provided in their home and at Adult Day Services.

-Working efficiently to contain costs without compromising quality of care,

-Sharing this need with you, our friends, family and partners of Landis Homes.

As we approach this Christmas season, join me in celebrating 45 years of serving together with a gift to a Landis Homes Caring Fund of choice. Your generous gift helps those in need of financial assistance receive the care they deserve. You give peace of mind at a time in life when high anxieties about finances can negatively affect their wellbeing.

With a gift, you honor and enrich those who have lived productive lives with vibrant faith. They have raised families, worked, served in congregations and their communities and still have life to live-people-like Rhoda, like your mother, your father, another loved one, or even yourself.

Thank you for caring-may your soul smile too!

Larry J. Zook,

President/CEO of Landis Homes

Loving Unconditionally

A story

Rhoda and Esther

May I introduce you to Esther Kachel, a Landis Homes Team Member who was overheard exclaiming how much she loves her work at Landis Homes. Esther consented to share with all of us, her passion for residents, Landis Homes and being a part of a community that honors and enriches one another–Rhoda’s family agreed that the story be told.

“I can truly say that I love what I do at Landis Homes. I am a third-shift certified nurse’s assistant in Lititz House, a community for those with memory loss. My interaction with the residents occurs mostly when someone can’t sleep, or has some sort of need during the night. I treasure those moments!

One resident, Rhoda has captured my heart, but then again, they all do. Rhoda’s total

vocabulary is now just five phrases and yet she communicates so much. She has regular sleepless times during the night. I hear her slowly making her nightly trek down the hall and I wait for her to peek around the corner. She gives me a little smile of recognition. As we slowly make our way back to her room, she puts her soft hand into mine and smiles up at me. “I love you too,” she whispers. My soul smiles.

There are sixteen residents here in this house — each with their own personality. Though experiencing late stage dementia, they have lives to live. I am here to help them get a good, safe night’s sleep and they teach me how to reach into my heart and love unconditionally–the way Jesus does. And so I ask you, how can I not love what I do?”




November 24, 2009


Glen D. Moffett

Devotion for Landis Homes Board of Directors Meeting


I am in a “season of change.”

My oldest daughter Rachel recently became engaged, thankfully to a great Christian guy who really cares for her. Several of you may have already experienced something similar, but it’s new to me!

Also, my other daughter Hannah recently came home on her Thanksgiving break from college and brought along a young man for us to meet, the first time she has been really serious about a boyfriend.

Yet more change will come next year when our son Seth will graduate from LMH and head off to college, leaving my wife and me as “empty-nesters” for the first time in 24 years.

I am also facing change in my workplace, as my employer is considering a merger with another health system in Harrisburg, bringing potential new work responsibilities and challenges.

Do you want to know a secret? I really don’t like change. In fact, there are times when I downright resist it. When I was recently in London for a week, my wife used it as an opportunity to peel wallpaper, paint walls, and rearrange furniture, because she knew that if I was there I would have said that I liked things just the way they were.

We are also in a “season of change” at Landis Homes, aren’t we? We have the exciting expansion construction project, are trying to encourage interest in the innovative hybrid homes design, are considering possible partnership opportunities, and are evaluating potential new service opportunities downtown and elsewhere.

At times like this, I often ponder: why do I resist change? Is it fear of what the future holds? Complacency with the status quo? Lack of trust in what God might have in mind for me?

I have had to acknowledge that, like it or not, change is an inevitable and constant feature of life. So, if I am wise, I should not only expect change, but also embrace it. At times of change, I have often sought to challenge myself with a quote from President John F. Kennedy: “Change is the law of life. Those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”

I also remind myself that God is in the “change business.” Although we may come to him “just as I am” (as the song goes), once we call him Lord and Savior he desires that each of us be transformed in our hearts and minds, and he enables that change through his Holy Spirit.

What did Paul write to the church in Corinth, in 2nd Corinthians 5:17? “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away, the new things have come.”

And as Christians we believe that there is a future day coming when all will be changed. In 1st Corinthians, Paul wrote, “Behold I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall all be changed.”

How about you? Do you resist change? Or, do you embrace change, especially the renewing, transforming kind of change that God’s Spirit can accomplish in us?

If you, like me, are sometimes fearful of the rapid pace of change, and the uncertainty about what change can bring, let me remind you that in the midst of change all around us, we have the assurance that God never changes. We can rely upon his love, his comfort, and his presence to be with us and guide us always.

As we sing in the familiar hymn: “Great is thy faithfulness, O God my father! There is no shadow of turning with thee. Thou changest not, they compassions they fail not. As thou hast been, thou forever wilt be.”


Letter from CEO & Board President

November 23, 2009

Larry Zook & John Eby

Following is the letter from Larry and the Landis Homes board of directors president, John Eby, which appears in the newly published Annual Report 2009.

“God has given each of you a gift from the great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” 1 Peter 4:10.

Forty-five years ago, on February 18, 1964 George and Grace Leaman, Superintendent and Matron, welcomed Landis Homes’ first residents, and a new community was born. This community has grown over the years, rooted in the willingness of many residents, family members, staff, volunteers, board members, and many others to share their spiritual gifts in serving one another.

This year also marked a number of other anniversaries:

  • 5th year – Children’s Learning Center and Summer Adventure Day Camp
  • 10th year – Auction at Fellowship Day to benefit the Caring Fund
  • 15th year – Caring Fund, to help toward the cost of uncompensated care provided to those who have exhausted their financial resources
  • 20th year – Adult Day Services – Eden West center opened
  • 40th year – Healthcare

As we look back over the past 45 years, we are very grateful for the many women and men who looked to God as the giver of all good gifts, and then used these gifts to serve others well. We seek to live out our values of Joy, Compassion, Integrity, Stewardship and Community.

Landis Homes continues to grow in our mission of honoring and enriching the lives of aging adults and their families in a community of Christ-like love. Pathways Institute for Lifelong Learning began offering adult classes on campus this year. Another new venture is the planning for an expansion of residential living, including hybrid homes and cottage homes.

As we look ahead to the future, we are grateful for God’s leading in recent planning work by the Board of Directors and Management. This planning seeks to help us fulfill our Vision of being Leaders in SERVING by focusing on four strategic areas:

  • Retirement Community – Keeping it Strong and Vital
  • Affordable Living
  • Services at Home
  • Creative Partnerships – in support of the above

Throughout this Annual Report you will find glimpses of many aspects of serving one another in community life. God has gifted each one from the great variety of spiritual gifts. What a privilege it is to use these gifts well in serving one another!

John W. Eby

Board Chairperson

Larry J Zook






A Time for Everything

November 16, 2009

November 16, 2009

One of the privileges of serving in an organization governed by a strong Board of Directors is that as CEO I receive regular feedback and an annual evaluation by the Board. This is a good communication opportunity, and helps me to focus my time and energy, as well as my reporting to the Board, in the year to come.

September 2009 was the time for this evaluation, and in the weeks following I valued conversing with Board Chair John Eby about goals that will give focus to my efforts this next year. These goals include several themes, such as:

  • Continue to maintain a strong and vital Landis Homes Community
  • Continue to build a strong fund raising program to strengthen the endowment and continue growth in annual contributions.
  • Continue to explore a range of partnership possibilities which will strengthen Landis Homes and make our expertise available to other programs.
  • Continue to maintain a strong financial performance for Landis Homes.
  • Continue to explore strategies to keep living at Landis Homes “affordable” for our primary constituency and other opportunities to provide affordable housing.
  • Continue to strengthen church relations.

In November 2008, the Landis Homes Board adopted a Strategic Plan that focused on the following four areas, and which guided the formation of the above, as well as informed the work of planning throughout Landis Homes in the coming years:

  • Retirement Community – keeping it strong and vital (includes residential living expansion as well as continued focus on Honoring Lives of those we serve)
  • Affordable Living
  • Services at Home
  • Creative Partnerships – in support of the above

These goals show interest in continuing to pursue direction set in 2008 as part of the Landis Homes Board’s work on Strategic Planning, and represent much team effort by many others on the Landis Homes staff team, to whom I am deeply grateful.

Landis Homes is blessed by many who contribute to our mission in many ways, and it is a privilege to partner together in this mission to serve aging adults and their families by honoring and enriching their lives in a community of Christ-like love!

Larry Zook


Plowing in Hope

September 22, 2009

Welcome and Introductory Comments

by Larry on September 22, 2009

On behalf of the Landis Homes Board of Directors and the leadership team of Landis Homes, we welcome you to this “Plowing in Hope” service of blessing for our residential living expansion. As we break ground today, we “Plow God’s earth in Hope”, recognizing that our hope is in the Lord, and that we desire to bring God honor and glory as we build and strengthen community at Landis Homes through building new cottage and hybrid homes.

The addition of cottage and hybrid homes is one part of a four part strategic plan that the Landis Homes Board adopted a year ago. Before the Board developed the plan, Board Members and Management Team reached out and listened to over 150 stakeholders in an appreciative inquiry process. What we heard was appreciation for the good service and compassionate care that Landis Homes’ team members and volunteers have provided since we opened 45 years ago in 1964. Stakeholders also encouraged Landis Homes to be innovative and creative in seeking out new opportunities and meeting new needs, while maintaining the strengths of good service and care.

With the support of Rick Stiffney and Lee Schmucker of Mennonite Health Services Alliance, the Landis Homes Board then affirmed pursuing four strategic focus areas:

Keeping the existing retirement community strong and vital – including adding hybrid and cottage homes

Affordable Living – seeking new ways of making senior living affordable to more persons

Services at Home – strengthening our efforts at providing service to persons in their homes

Creative Partnerships – partnering with congregations, other senior living organizations, and others in finding new ways to achieve these strategic focus areas.

Many of you gathered here today participated in the Appreciative Inquiry phase last year, and we are grateful to you for your interest and support of the mission of Landis Homes, which is to serve aging adults and their families by honoring and enriching their lives in a community of Christ-like love. We believe that good planning begins with careful listening, and we value your on-going engagement, prayer and support in our shared future as we plow in hope today and build in hope tomorrow.

It is a privilege to introduce two long-time friends of Landis Homes, Dr. Richard and Ruth Weaver. Richard has been a physician/surgeon, has served as a Pastor, and more recently has served as a Spiritual Director with Kairos School of Spiritual Formation.

Ruth has been an active Board member with a number of organizations including Landis Home (from 1982 – 1994), and more recently Bridge of Hope National Board and Kairos, where she also serves as a Spiritual Director. Ruth also gave much time and support to the Women in Leadership task force of Lancaster Mennonite Conference over the years. Ruth Both Richard and Ruth served as missionaries in Tanzania, and they are members of Akron Mennonite Church. They are parents of three married children and grandparents of eight.

The 30 Year History of Landis Homes written in 1994 by resident A. Grace Wenger shares an interesting story from 22 years ago when Ruth, who was a member of the Board, participated in helping to select the interior decorations and furniture of the newly built Building J, known as Westview today. Westview was important to strengthening community life at Landis Homes in that it included space for a swimming pool and other fitness activities, as well as allowed us to reach out to the broader Lancaster Community in providing space for our first Adult Day Services program. At that time, Ruth and the Landis Homes Board also selected Benchmark Construction as the General Contractor for that project in 1987, and we again are working with Benchmark as we build new hybrid and cottage homes.

Today we seek to strengthen community by paying special attention to being good stewards of God’s creation. One of Landis Homes’ Guiding Values is Stewardship, where we devote ourselves to faithful and responsible use of resources entrusted to our care. Richard will be sharing thoughts on Spirituality & Creation Care, after which Ruth will be leading us in a litany.

Closing Comments

by Larry Zook

Thank you very much, Gregg. More than forty-five years ago, Frank Enck, chair of the newly formed Landis Homes Program Development Committee, encouraged Landis Homes founders to keep in mind “a vision of creating a community” of Christ-like love, rather than “the traditional old people’s home facility”. I believe along with you, Gregg, and along with Richard and Ruth, that this vision of creating community continues today at Landis Homes in many ways, including through the new Hybrid Homes which provide a new housing option that combines the best of both worlds: cottage and apartment living.

I believe that choosing one of the Hybrid Homes to be one’s home is making a significant statement in support of Stewardship and Creation Care. The Hybrid Homes, for example, make better use of available land through a building density that is three times greater than cottages. We’ve deliberately made this commitment to living out our Guiding Value of Stewardship, as we devote ourselves to faithful and responsible use of resources entrusted to our care.

In addition to 23 Cottage Homes, 25 Hybrid Homes will be available in the first phase and ready for occupancy in Summer of 2010. We will continue to build out phase 2 and 3 over the next two years as supported by demand. If you have interest in learning more of the Hybrid Homes or Cottage Homes, please be in touch with Donna Shank, Director of Residency Planning, who will be happy to speak with you.

A special thanks also to Linford Good, to Donna Shank, and to each of the partners who Linford introduced, as well as to the many Landis Homes team members who are supporting the residential living expansion. Without each of our business partners and your staff teams and other businesses that you work with, this collaborative endeavor would not be possible.

And a very special thanks to each of you who have signed on for a new Hybrid Home or Cottage Home. It is for you that we labor, and this is a labor of love. We count it a privilege to serve you, and to serve others who will be joining you in signing up for hybrid and cottage homes in the weeks and months ahead.

We will soon be breaking ground! We will be “plowing in hope!” Our hope is that this vision both for being good stewards of God’s creation and for strengthening community at Landis Homes will bring honor and glory to God. Our hope is built on nothing less than Christ the solid rock. Our hope is built on God’s unchanging grace. Our hope is in Christ, who is our Hope and Stay, for we know that all other ground is sinking sand. Charles Longenecker will lead us in singing, “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”.


Living One Day at a Time

August 6, 2009

Ada Miller, who is celebrating her 101st birthday,
is hugged by her daughter, Jean Weaver, at Landis Homes.

Message to team members from Larry:
“It is great seeing the attached article honoring the life of 101-year old resident Ada Miller in today’s Lancaster Newspaper . Thanks for all you do to honor and enrich the lives of residents/clients and their families each day here at Landis Homes!”

August 6, 2009
Lancaster Intelligencer Journal-New Era

Living One Day at a Time

By Lori Van Ingen, Staff Writer

Contracting polio as a young girl didn’t keep Ada McMichael Miller down.

It just made her more determined.

That determination — along with her faith, family, friends, positive attitude and sense of humor — helped Miller along her life’s journey of 101 years. Miller said she never thought she’d reach the milestone.

“I took it one day at a time,” she said.

Her daughter, Jean Weaver, said, “Mother taught us how to live and how to face the end of life. She never complains.”

Born Aug. 6, 1908, in Herrville, Pequea Township, she was the seventh of 10 children of Edward Herman and Martha Groff McMichael. Her four brothers and five sisters are deceased. Her mother died when Miller was 13.

She recalled, as a child, her family drove a horse and buggy to Willow Street and then took the bus into Lancaster to attend East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church.

Miller attended the one-room Herrville School in Pequea Township through 8th grade. She said her favorite subjects were reading, spelling and math.

She wanted to become a teacher, but that dream didn’t materialize.

Instead, she had a part-time job making firecrackers in Pequea Valley before she married H. Claude Miller.

She met her future husband at a fire near her home. “I saw him there and he asked me out,” she said.

They dated three years before marrying on June 30, 1930. She remembered they honeymooned in Canada, along with her sister and her husband — who sat in the rumble seat of the Millers’ Ford Roadster.

Miller said while they were in Kitchener, Ontario, they visited a girl she had corresponded with for 10 years through Words of Cheer, a Mennonite youth paper.

The Millers were married almost 65 years when Claude died in 1995. The couple had five children, Darlene, wife of Lloyd Herr; Donald, husband of Ruth Weaver Miller; Jean, wife of the late Harry E. Weaver; the late Darwin “Sam,” husband of Gladys Swinehart Miller; and the late Jane Glick, wife of the late Jacob Glick Jr. They also had 14 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

The Millers farmed in Strasburg Township and were standholders for at least 10 years at the former Southern Market in Lancaster, where they sold vegetables in season, as well as chickens.

Miller is the oldest living member of Strasburg Mennonite Church and is a member of its sewing circle.

She also belongs to Refton and Lampeter Ladies Auxiliary and Farm Women No. 13.
She volunteered at Ambassadors for Christ and Lancaster Blind Association, helping with mailings and other volunteer work.

Miller is a charter member and had served as secretary of Willow Street Senior Citizens.
She moved to Landis Homes Retirement Community in Lititz in 1995. “They have taken wonderful, wonderful care of her,” Weaver said.

“We have fun,” said licensed practical nurse Eileen Vest.

“She helps me with all four verses of hymns by memory. She loves Bible verses and spelling. She has a good mind for these things.”

She loves to play bingo and always has to have “good chocolate and cheese,” she said.

Miller also gives all the nurses advice on their love lives and how to take care of children and a husband.

“She’d have us all married off,” Vest said. Miller tells them to keep a husband happy you must be happy yourself, she said.




Good Planning Begins with Good Listening

August 2, 2009

July 2009

A year ago the Landis Homes Board launched its six-month strategic planning process with an Appreciative Inquiry phase that focused on strengths and growth opportunities. Each board member and members of management contacted 5 to 10 stakeholders who care about the mission of Landis Homes, so that in total more than 150 persons were involved in sharing ideas about our future.

Each one was asked to answer the following questions:

  1. What do you see as core strengths of Landis Homes services, culture, staff?
    2. What unique opportunities for enriching Landis Homes services do you see?
    3. What might be new opportunities or unmet needs in the larger community that Landis Homes should consider?
    4. As you think about your future as an older adult, are there ways we should explore that would serve you as a consumer

Arising out of these contacts seven themes were identified by the Board:

  1. Affordable Services
    2. Partnership
    3. Virtual Continuing Care Retirement Community
    4. Process of Aging – Education/Support Groups, etc.
    5. Urban Site (i.e. Lancaster city)/Other Locations
    6. Expand Active Living
    7. Increase Diversity

These were themes that we heard from the current and prospective residents, business partners and healthcare consultants, donors, church leaders, geriatric practitioners, pharmacist, elder law attorneys, and local office of aging staff, as well as other friends of Landis Homes.

As strategic planning work continued into the fall of 2008, the Board arrived at thesefour strategic focus areas which we are beginning to explore and implement. Many of the seven themes listed above are incorporated in various ways in these areas:

  1. Retirement Community – keeping it strong and vital, including through the planned residential living expansion over the coming three years of adding 72 hybrid homes and 70 cottage homes.
  2. Affordable Living – including exploring HUD or Low Income Housing Tax Credit financing, possibly in Lancaster City, and as part of a mixed-income community.
  3. Services at Home – building on our existing Landis at Home and Adult Day Services programs which support persons in remaining in their homes. This can also at times address concerns of affordability, and we are seeing increased potential for funding growth at the State level for in-home services.
  4. Creative Partnerships – to support achieving the above. Some of the partnership opportunities that have already been put into place in the past year arose out of appreciative inquiry conversations with the CEOs and Executive Directors of eight other senior service or related organizations.

We welcome your prayer, counsel and support of these new strategic focus areas that are beginning to take shape as we move into the coming years. Feel free to speak with any of the Landis Homes Board or Management Team about any of the above areas.

I particularly would welcome hearing any creative ideas or needs that you feel Landis Homes might address within our mission of serving aging adults and their families by honoring and enriching their lives in communities of Christ-like love!

Larry Zook, President/CEO – lzook@landishomes.org or phone (717) 381-3561.



Honoring Those Who Serve

June 8, 2009
By Larry Zook, President

June 30, 2009

Panpha, an association of nonprofit aging services in Pennsylvania, awarded two Distinguised Service Awards to members of the Landis Homes community on June 25 at its annual conference in Hershey, PA. Dr J. Kenneth Brubaker received the Paul P. Haas Lifetime Achievement Award, and was nominated for his 18 years of service on the Landis Homes Board of Directors as well as his role as Medical Director at Masonic Village in Elizabethtown, PA. Nancy Pawling also received the Caregiver of the Year Award in recognition of her thirty-five years of service at Landis Homes, which continue in her current work with Landis at Home. Also receiving a Caregiver of the Year Award was Sheila Hill-Crosson of The 58th Street Presbyterian Home in Philadelphia.

According to the award booklet distributed at a brunch honoring the award recipients, the PANPHA Distinguished Service Awards were created to honor those special individual and group efforts that exceed the already high standard of commitment and service that is common among PANPHA members. These exceptional individuals give their time, talents, and abundant energy to their facilities, and the field of aging in a way that visibly shows the commitment and dedication alive in their hearts.

The award booklet include the following descriptions:

Paul P. Haas Lifetime Achievement Award – J. Kenneth Brubaker, MD

As a person who gives his heart and soul to his passion for caring for the older patient, Dr. Kenneth Brubaker epitomized the best in geriatric care. Throughout the course of his 35-year career he has been a tireless, compassionate and humble leader in many settings – serving as medical director for Masonic Village and numerous other Lancaster area facilities; as a board member at Landis Homes; and as a highly effective mentor and educator inspiring up and coming physicians with a love and understanding for the senior patient. As an active and creative leader in advancing programs and services for the aging, Ken’s gift for inspiring others to do their best performance has blazed a trail for dedication and excellence that many have followed. In addition to co-founding Norlanco Family Health Center in the early 70s, Ken has also served as a visionary in the founding of the Anabaptist Providers Group; as President of the Board for the Pennsylvania Medical Directors Association, and on the Pennsylvania Attorney General Advisory Board for Elder Abuse. Most recently, he received national recognition as the American Medical Directors Association’s Medical Director of the Year and was also recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence for outstanding service to the citizens of Pennsylvania. In honor of his unparalleled dedication, service and leadership, PANPHA is pleased to name Dr. Kenneth Brubaker as recipient of this year’s Paul P. Haas Lifetime Achievement Award. His lifelong commitment to seniors will be felt for many years to come.

Caregiver of the Year Award – Nancy Pawling

Nancy Pawling’s story consists not only of a few specific instances of exemplary care, but of a lifetime filled with honoring and serving others. Throughout the course of her thirty-five year tenure at Landis Homes, she has shone as an example of the community’s core values of integrity and compassion, and as a role model in raising the bar for the provision of superior quality care to seniors. Starting initially in the early 70’s as a Certified Nursing Assistant in the small healthcare center at Landis Homes, Nancy “officially” retired a few years ago, and now works in the community’s new health services program, Landis at Home, providing the supportive assistance to residents on campus as well as older persons in the surrounding community. Her calm and gentle manner instantly puts people at ease and her uncanny gift for anticipating others needs before they recognize them themselves makes everyone she comes into contact with feel special. Ever-present with a smile and helpful hand, Nancy never hesitates to take time out of her busy schedule in order to assist a fellow employee or resident in need. Always open for an adventure and refusing to slow down, one recent endeavor took her high into the sky on a plane ride over Lancaster County to make a patient’s dream come true! In recognition of her exemplary work and continued service to others, PANPHA is honored to name Nancy Pawling as Nursing Caregiver of the Year.

Find out more about Panpha at:





Nothing is Lost

April 20, 2009

April 20, 2009

This meditation was given at the Directors and Supervisors meeting on April 16, 2009

by Deborah Laws-Landis
Director of Community Relations

In past two weeks I have been aware of three local families who have experienced the tragedy of car accidents; one involved a 50-year old, another was with two 82-year olds and the third was an 18-year old high school senior. Only the youngest one, the teenager (who had potentially the most of life ahead of him) died as a result. All three vehicles were totaled. The 50-year old father of 4 walked away unharmed and the older couple has injuries that will limit them at least for a while.

In our own community we have seen the deaths of an unusually high number of residents this past winter and also the deaths this past year of two team members.

These are reminders to me that not everything in our experiences or understandings gets tied up neatly and resolved. Part of the human reality involves lives that are broken down or cut short, by illness, death, broken relationships, addictions, accidents, violence and many other experiences of living.

I believe that this is part of the mystery of God.

However, I also believe God’s plan is worked out in us in spite of, or often by means of the very things we see as human frailties. As one singer/songwriter puts it, “Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything, that’s how the Light gets in.”

It is part of God’s plan of redemption and transformation. This is what Jesus has provided for each of us. It is truly miracle.

An illustration I once heard that has stayed with me is the image of God’s love and presence in the world being like a river running through all of life and all of history. In a human life, which is short by comparison, we may only see one small piece of that river. But that river runs no matter what we humans do, we cannot damn up the kingdom and power of God. It is on an eternal journey.

Everyday with our families, with co-workers, with residents and others, we have the opportunity to participate in God’s larger plan. As workers in a retirement community we journey with residents as they age. And eventually, we become as some have said, “midwives for the end of life” and for the transition of persons “being born” into the next life.

On a daily basis the small acts we and our co-workers might perform include practical things like cleaning, bathing, answering the phone, writing a report, attending a meeting. We probably also spend time listening, sometimes touching, caring for, praying for or just being present with another person.

Our choice each day and in each relationship, and even in each moment is to be part of God’s plan, God’s kingdom, God’s River of Life.

When difficult things happen and we feel shaken, even hopeless, that is OK; that is a normal part of the human experience. At those times may we remember that God is our Hope, Christ is our Light, no matter how dark the time we may be walking through. We are not alone. This is true for us and it is true for the residents, team members and others we interact with each day.

Followed by prayer and group singing.
“Nothing is Lost on the Breath of God” (Words and Music by Colin Gibson, 1994).


Resident Demographics

March 5, 2009

March 5, 2009

Landis Homes has been blessed to have had a Resident’s Association and Resident’s Council for nearly 30 years. In June 1979 residents formed the Landis Homes Resident’s Association, and since then the elected Resident’s Council has met ten times a year to discuss resident suggestions, concerns and to hear reports from leadership staff.

Recently a new member of Resident’s Council asked some good questions about the resident community at Landis Homes. Who are we in terms of gender, marital status, church affiliation, age and other demographic statistics?

At a Resident Town Meeting on March 4, the following statistics were shared in graph format:

  • Gender
  • Marital Status
  • Church Affiliation
  • Age
  • Location of Prior Home
  • Resident Population – since 1964
  • Length of Stay

To view the graphs, please click the image below

If you as a current or prospective resident, family member, staff or volunteer team member, or other friend of Landis Homes would find other statistics helpful to you in gaining a better feel for the community at Landis Homes, please let me know. We’ll be happy to research the statistics and add them to the above if available.

You can reach me at 717-569-3271 or by Email

– Larry Zook, President/CEO


Coping with Stress

February 19, 2009

Through the Example of Christ
Meditation for Directors and Supervisors meeting February 19, 2009

by Beth Rohrer
Director of Residential Living

  1. – T. – R. – E. – S. – S.

I was reminded several months ago at a Welcome Breakfast for new residents of what we are to model as supervisors and team members at Landis Homes. One of the residents asked how is it that Landis Homes has employees of love and concern everywhere within our community. And how it is that we find persons of this caliber to work in every area of Landis Homes?

Larry shared that our Guiding Values of Joy – Compassion – Integrity – Stewardship and Community can also relay the concept of Jesus Christ In Street Clothes – intending to remind us to model the life of Christ. And it is by His example that we are to serve and lead.

I have reflected on Larry’s reminder numerous times and in considering a meditation for our meeting, wanted to reflect on thoughts to help us model Christ in our work. But as I did I kept thinking of the stress that surrounds us. While I am forever aware of Christ knowing and meeting our every need I wondered how He would respond to stress like we are experiencing.

In regard to Stress – it seems there’s no need to debate or discuss if there is an element of stress in our lives. In conversations we have had with one another recently we mention stress – or words that would indicate some element of stress – we use -intense – busy – hectic – crazy – nuts! – like I’ve never seen it before – or out of control.

And there is recognition of our stress – The Employee Well-ness Commission program – Stress Management Series – went flying out of HR within a few days as 85 employees signed up for that program. An interesting side note in my own experience is that I’ve been too stressed to start it………no time……….just stressing!!

So in needing to take a look at the stress in my own life and thinking it may be helpful here,
I broke down the word – and took each letter to help me look at stress – as we have looked at our Guiding Values to model Jesus Christ In Street Clothes.

S – considering the first “S” I looked to where one finds help with anything in life – Scripture. Scripture needs to be the first place to look in working through anything – and it is
not only filled with stories of stress but ways to cope. Scripture’s greatest lessons come
in the teachings and life of Christ – and it was in His example that I found ways to deal
with stress. There were also reminders of other writers where …..

Psalm 119: 105 reminds us that “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet.. and a light unto my path” The illumination from God’s Word helps us within the darkness of stress

Hebrews 4:12 reminds us that “the Word of God is alive and powerful” Reading here that the scriptures are not simply words but they reflect God’s power to strengthen us …….His power that is acted out in our daily lives of stress.

T – the letter “T” reminds us of Christ’s need for Team – teamwork – and team members
The first thing Christ did in His ministry was to select and create a team. He didn’t lease
office space or select the right black berry or develop an advertising plan – He built a team. A team of people.

He recognized that He would need others to carry out His ministry and work.
And even though Christ was all knowing and all powerful – He often called on His team
to help to get the work done.

But He also empowered them and equipped them in their work as we are to do in leadership – developing individuals within a team to work through obstacles, face frustrations and carry out ministry.

We can often feel alone in our work and some of the tasks before us but we are not alone. We are blessed to be a part of an incredible team that has been selected and developed in service together.

– the “R” in stress reflects a conflicting approach that Christ often took. It’s the concept of rest. Both by His example and in His words of wisdom He recognized the need for rest. His example of resting within stressful times was difficult for His disciples when in Mark 4 we read about Jesus asleep in the boat while fierce gale winds, high seas and stress surrounded the disciples. But as they stressed out – Christ reminded them that fear in the midst of stress will only prevent a faith filled mind.

Asking “why are you so timid, how is it you have no faith?” He teaches within stress that we are to have faith in Him. We are to lean into the strong wind praying and trusting in Him.

When we are stressed rest may not be a natural thing to do but Christ reminds us where we are to rest. We are to rest in Him. He desires to free us from burdens reminding us in Matt 11:28 “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest.”

E – provides the reminder of encouragement that we can find in both the team we work with and the renewal from rest in Christ. Encouragement comes from rest but it comes from community as well. The social elements of the gospels were strong with numerous reminders of Christ gathering with others, enjoying fellowship and feasting that created comradery and community while providing encouragement.

Encouragement comes to me in numerous ways from many team members in serving here at Landis Homes. There is a sense of community and comradery here and we can find encouragement from one another and provide encouragement to one another as we continue to serve together.

S – second “S” is but a second reminder of what Christ desires for us in solitude. His example was one of seeking times of solitude. Often He would escape the crowds – In Mark 1:35 He was “found in an isolated place where He went to pray” In Mark 6: 31 He recognized the need for renewal within solitude when He told the disciples “let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile”. Prayer and solitude were a priority for Christ and need to be for us as well.

He often frustrated the disciples when He prayed in solitude while there was so much ministry to be done. And we might advise him in the crazy rat race of today’s world …….”you’ve only got three years to change the world – you need to use your time more wisely -don’t just go off and pray – be busy with teaching and healing!”

But the example of solitude in Christ’s life teaches us that it needs to be priority in our lives
– seeking the Lord before our schedule gets crazy
– withdrawing from the noise and demands to focus on God
– determined to find times of prayer and solitude within our daily schedule.

S – the last “S” in stress is what I would hope to be the outcome of our looking to Christ’s example in coping with stress. It is strength. The Strength that we need within stress-filled lives and the strength can find when we look to the example we have in Christ to cope with our stress.

So let us remember that when we;



Recognize the value of



Rest in Christ


Encouragement from one another

Set aside time for


We can find


And that is my prayer today……. that there would be strength for the stressed
hope for the weary……. as we look to the teachings and example of Christ
in coping with stress.
Let us pray……………


Landis Homes Celebrates 45 Years of Serving

February 18, 2009

Message for the anniversary of Landis Homes first day of operation.

Anniversaries provide a wonderful opportunity to look back with gratitude for God’s presence with us in the journey of life. On February 18, 2009 Landis Homes celebrates our 45th anniversary of welcoming our first residents. We are very grateful for God’s direction over the years. We deeply appreciate the vision of our founders. We value the passion for Christ-centered community that has been expressed by the residents, family, staff, volunteers and congregations.

During this 45th Anniversary Year, we also can reflect over our history and see other mileposts along the way that have contributed significantly to who we are today. Below is a list of other anniversaries that we are observing this year. For example, 40 years ago in March, 1969, we opened Dogwood as Healthcare. Thirty years ago in June, 1979 the decision was made to form a Resident’s Association and Council. Twenty years ago in August, 1989, we opened our first Adult Day Services center. Fifteen years ago the Caring Fund was established with encouragement of residents Francis and Elsie Harvey to help fund the cost of benevolent care. Five years ago we opened the Children’s Learning Center in November, 2004, and the energy and laughter of children continue to bless the community life at Landis Homes.

~Larry Zook

Chronology of Events

Significant Anniversaries in 2009

40 Years
March 10, 1969 – Dogwood opened as healthcare

30 Years
June 7, 1979 – Decision to form Resident’s Association and Council
September 29, 1979 – Grandview opened as residential living

20 Years
June 13, 1989 – Forney tract purchased
August 1, 1989 – Eden West Adult Day Services opened

15 Years
January 1994 – Caring Fund established to help fund cost of benevolent care
July 1994 – Accredited by Continuing Care Accreditation Commission

10 Years
1999 – Cedar Renovation and conversion to Personal Care

5 Years
March 2004 РRenovated Dogwood Commons open, including caf̩, gift shop and hair salon
November 1, 2004 – Children’s Learning Center opens
December 2004- Person centered care Initiative begun

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