Mindi Baker, CEO with 22 years of service to the Eventide Community, was formally presented with the Francis Lackner Award of Honor by LeadingAge Iowa during its recent Fall Conference. LeadingAge Iowa, a statewide organization of non-profit aging services providers, selected Baker from a large statewide pool of nominees.
“We’re recognizing Iowa’s above-and-beyond heroes like Mindi Baker — not-for-profit caregivers whose energy, creativity, and love during challenging times give older Iowans the high-quality care they deserve,” said Shannon Strickler, President, and CEO LeadingAge Iowa.
The Award of Honor recognizes excellence in providing home care services for older adults, overcoming workforce challenges, and making an outstanding contribution to the field of aging services as a representative of a LeadingAge Iowa and as a recognized leader within their community, the state, and national level.
“As a board member of the Eventide Senior Living Community, I have witnessed Mindi’s dedication to the aging population as well as her team. I would say that her service to the aging population is filled with passion and love,” said Tonya Eller. “Mindi has great tenure with our organization, and during that time has continued to strengthen the care, financials and staffing at our facility.”
This top honor was awarded to Baker for her leadership and dedication. Baker continues to look at ways to hire the best and develop the current staff. Working around the clock to search for funding and to manage construction, she successfully oversaw the replacement nursing facility, Gracewell. She is currently managing a cosmetic update to Silveridge Assisted Living. Baker’s dedication elevates care for those with dementia by continually teaching staff, family, and the community more about the disease.
Doing all of the above in the midst of an unprecedented workforce crisis, the rising costs of inflation, and the growing gap between reimbursement rates and cost of care.
In addition to this honor, Baker received the award for 2022 Businesswomen of the Year in Crawford County, is a graduate of the LeadingAge Iowa Leadership Academy in 2017, was awarded Denison’s Leading Women in Business Award in 2016, was awarded Iowa Administrator of the year in 2015, and is currently serving her seventh year on the LeadingAge Iowa Board of Directors. In 2023, Gracewell received the Innovator’s Award by the Crawford County Chamber & Development Council in addition to the Iowa Governor’s Award for Quality of Care.
In response to receiving the award, Baker said, “When I found out about this award, my thoughts immediately went to thanking the outstanding team on the Eventide Campus. I have been blessed to work alongside some very dedicated, empowering, supportive, compassionate, and fun team members over the years. They have contributed so much to make the Eventide Community a better place to live and work.”
“My thoughts also go to our colleagues within LeadingAge Iowa – these individuals have truly been difference makers in our industry. We need more leaders willing to step up above and beyond our day-to-day operations. I strongly encourage individuals to advocate for change when needed, support each other by way of being a resource, share ideas, learn from each other, learn from mistakes, understand other views, be a mentor, do not be afraid to take the path less traveled, be innovative, take chances, find out the ‘why’ and ask yourself ‘why not’– be a challenger, and just keep moving… and realize growth is not always pretty. No matter what your title is or how long you have been in this field, your opinion and voice matters and can make a positive impact.”
“We work in an extremely challenging field and it is showing no signs of slowing down. Together, we can and will make a difference. The rewards of those we serve are too great. I often describe working in our field relates to the old Peace Corp slogan… it is “the toughest job you’ll ever love.” Those are some strong words once you truly think about it. We need more people who do not let the hard days win but rather let the good days triumph.”
“Thank you to all those who made this award possible and for allowing me to continue doing what I love.”