St. John’s Community Care’s Berry Honored as Woman of Distinction by YWCA

Nancy Berry of St. John’s Community Care.

Nancy Berry, executive director of St. John’s Community Care in Collinsville, Ill., has been nominated and selected as one of YWCA of Alton (Ill.)’s Women of Distinction. Berry was part of the class of 2020 honorees who were celebrated along with the 2021 selections at the end of August.

Berry’s journey with St. John’s Community Care began in 1984 when, as a member of St. John UCC in Collinsville, she volunteered to help care for the community’s older adults in the program that became St. John’s Community Care. She became executive director in 1988.

Working with the Collinsville Area Ministerial Association, Berry helped form Collinsville Faith in Action (CFIA) — an interfaith volunteer caregiver program — in 1998. Collinsville Faith in Action provides free transportation to older adults and people with disabilities who live in the Collinsville School District.  CFIA also offers free assistance to enroll in Medicare and other benefits.

Berry’s ongoing work for St. John’s Community Care includes improving the lives of individuals and families challenged by aging and disability. As executive director, she developed the only Adult Day Centers in Madison County, Ill. The centers care for individuals with dementia every week day. St. John’s also sponsors support groups and training for family caregivers. Berry also has advocated at the state level for adult day services, and works to educate the community on dementia issues.

“Establishing and developing St. John’s Community Care and Collinsville Faith in Action are my biggest professional accomplishments,” Berry said. “I am deeply grateful to know that many local seniors and families have benefited through the services provided through these two organizations.”

Berry is still actively involved in St. John United Church of Christ, was a past Cub Scout den leader, and president of her son’s grade school Parent Teacher Association. She also was active in the League of Women Voters in Collinsville for more than 30 years, supporting the establishment of the Madison County Health Department.

Berry said that her biggest personal accomplishment has been raising her two “wonderful sons,” who now have their own families, as well as careers that focus on helping others.

Berry Holds a B.A. degree in English from Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., and a Master of Health Care Administration (M.H.A.) degree from St. Louis University. Berry is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Millikin University Alumni Award, Alzheimer’s Association St. Louis Volunteer of the Year, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Kimmel Leadership Award; Focus St. Louis’ What’s Right with the Region Award and Outstanding Social Service Agency Award for Collinsville Faith in Action from the SIUE Department of Social Work in 2010; and Excellence in Service Mission Champion recognition by Memory Care Home Solutions in 2020.

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CHHSM Board and Staff are grieved to learn of the death of our friend and colleague, Greg Watson, who died in October 2022. Greg was vice president of operations for Embrace Living Communities, based in Oak Brook, Ill.Greg was a graduate of CHHSM’s Nollau Leadership Institute, class of 2018-2019, and was consecrated as a Diakonal Minister during our 2019 Annual Gathering in Chicago. In an article about his class in June 2018 — not long after the group’s first retreat — Greg said, “The best part is not only beginning the process of clarifying your calling; but also, understanding and accepting one’s personal strength. Recognition of one’s ‘true' self enables us to serve from a place of wholeness.”Greg also served on the CHHSM Board of Directors, and was a beloved friend and colleague to many in the CHHSM family. Embrace Living stated on its website, “Greg was an outstanding servant leader for 17 years at Embrace Living Communities. He will be greatly missed.”CHHSM sends its prayers and love to Greg’s friends, family, and Embrace Living colleagues. ... See MoreSee Less
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