Phoebe Ministries Wins Three LeadingAge PA Distinguished Service Awards

Garry Pezzano, president & CEO, LeadingAge PA; Renny Magill, vice president of development, Brethren Village, and chair of the awards’ Selection Taskforce; Linda Plunkett, administrative assistant for Phoebe Allentown; and Margaret Yu, director of client experience, RLPS Architects, sponsor of the awards.

Phoebe Ministries, based in Allentown, Pa., recently was recognized by LeadingAge PA with three awards. Spirit Alive™, Phoebe’s proprietary spiritual care program for individuals with dementia, is the winner of LeadingAge PA’s 2023 Distinguished Service Award for Innovation of the Year. Linda Plunkett, administrative assistant for Phoebe Allentown (Pa.), received LeadingAge PA’s 2023 Distinguished Service Award for Staff Member of the Year. Michelle Posch, regional manager — staff development for Phoebe Ministries — received LeadingAge PA’s 2023 Distinguished Service Award for Manager of the Year.

The Distinguished Service Awards Program of LeadingAge PA — an association representing more than 370 aging services providers in Pennsylvania — is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. LeadingAge PA encourages its members to nominate individuals, programs, and organizations that enhance the field of aging services through their involvement, innovation, leadership, advocacy, and personal and organizational generosity. 

As a member of LeadingAge PA, Phoebe Ministries proudly recognizes the dedicated efforts of their staff.

Spirit Alive™ is a hands-on experiential spiritual program developed and led by the Rev. Dr. Scott Brooks-Cope, director of pastoral care for Phoebe Ministries. The program draws on the real cognitive effects of dementia, pastoral care practices, and spiritual direction theory to create an interactive, small-group spirituality experience. It utilizes sensory experiences, creative arts, interpersonal spiritual direction, and familiar stories to facilitate expression among individuals with dementia. Spirit Alive™ is recognized as a program that serves as a model of innovation and excellence, contributing significantly to the quality of life for older adults.

Phoebe staff turned out for the awards presentation.

Plunkett has been a dedicated and kind-hearted employee at Phoebe Allentown for more than 25 years. During this time, she has been instrumental in many successful projects, including the Allentown Basket Social, which has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars that goes directly to programs benefiting seniors of Phoebe Allentown. Plunkett also led efforts to create lifesaving equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a volunteer effort to cut and sew thousands of masks and hundreds of gowns for her team members. She is recognized as an individual who has exhibited excellence within her role and enhanced Phoebe Allentown through exceptional service to staff, residents, and families.

Posch, a hands-on leader who enthusiastically tries new initiatives, organized a program to creatively train existing employees and recruit potential employees to become temporary nurse aides during staffing issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Posch took on the management of Phoebe’s Temporary Nurse Aide (TNA) program without hesitation. Additionally, she supervises a team that instructs more than 300 nurses, nurse aides, and many other front-line employees across four eastern Pennsylvania counties. She also plays a significant role in new employee orientation. Posch is recognized as an outstanding manager who has coached, counseled, and encouraged others in personal and professional development.

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