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Distinguished Service Awards for 2018 were presented at the LeadingAge PA annual conference in Hershey, PA, on June 21. Dorcas Benner received the award for Caregiver of the Year for her work with Landis at Home, and a Landis Homes resident group, Friends of the Woods and Wetlands, tied for the Volunteer of the Year award.

LeadingAge PA is a trade association representing Pennsylvania’s not-for-profit organizations that provide housing, healthcare and community services primarily to seniors.  Since 1963, the association has acted as the primary source for advocacy, networking and education for not-for-profit providers of services for older adults.  

The Volunteer of the Year Award is given to a group or individual who has “enhanced the quality of life of seniors through volunteer work for the benefit of the residents, member organization and/or the greater community.” The Friends of the Woods and Wetlands stay well-informed of environmental issues and make suggestions regarding campus policies and practices, consistent with good stewardship of the natural surroundings.

This group of residents was recognized for volunteering time, talent and expertise on behalf of the flora and fauna on the110-acre senior living campus. They were lauded as environmental education resources to both Landis Homes residents as well as those in the larger community.  They tied for this honor with Midge Coker, a longtime volunteer at Phoebe Allentown Health Care Center in Allentown, PA.

 The Caregiver of the Year Award is presented to an individual “who provides excellent clinical care…while demonstrating leadership and a commitment to the field” of aging.

Dorcas Benner, RN, of Willow Street, has 47 years’ experience as a nurse, with 19 of those years serving at Landis Homes and with Landis at Home. For the past 5 years, she has worked as the home care supervisor for Landis at Home, a home care service affiliate of Landis Communities, with offices on the campus of Landis Homes.  

Benner and eight individuals representing the Friends of the Woods and Wetlands group along with friends, family and colleagues were hosted at an evening gala attended by other distinguished award winners who won in other categories.  

“I feel privileged to receive this award for doing what I love to do,” said Benner. “By helping seniors maintain dignity in their lives, I am part of a great team of people in caring for others.”  

Established in 1964, Landis Homes is a not-for-profit retirement community which is home to more than 800 persons living in cottages, apartments, hybrid homes, suites, personal care and healthcare. Another 100 persons are served on a weekly basis in one of the two adult day centers. It is an affiliate of Landis Communities.


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