LSS Blog

Mason Pointe Senior Living Executive Chef shares a recipe from their fall menu

Make This Recipe Today!

shrimp-skewers-ck-226796-xMason Pointe Senior Living Executive Chef, Christian Gullet, shares one of his team’s latest recipes for their fall menu, which residents already are giving rave reviews. And now you can make it too! As featured on KFUO.

Orange Ginger Shrimp

4 servings


  • 16 Ounce Raw Shrimp 21-40 Ct
  • 2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Minced Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ Cup Sherry Cooking Wine
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • ¼ Cup Orange Juice
  • 2 Tablespoon Bulk unsweetened Pineapple Juice


  • Clean, devein, and peel shrimp. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • To make sauce, heat one tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a saucepan. Add minced garlic, ginger, curry, and pepper.
  • Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add sherry and cook until reduced by half. Add rest of ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • Heat the second tablespoon of vegetable oil in the saucepan. Add shrimp and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until shrimp is cooked.
  • Serve 1/2 cup sauce with 6 to 7 shrimp per portion.



About our Culinary Team

Leading the innovative culinary team at Lutheran Senior Services at Mason Pointe is Executive Chef Christian Gullet. With his dynamic team at Mason Pointe, they create phenomenal culinary execution and training. Chef Gullet is a seasoned talent with all-encompassing experience in the culinary arena, and committed to ensuring a fantastic food experience for all residents and guests.



Dunn Road Manor Expansion Begins!

Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) broke ground today on the $5.8 million construction of 36 new affordable housing apartments at its 62-unit Dunn Road Manor affordable living community at 3399 Dunn Road in Florissant. The new apartments will be located in a new wing added to the existing building that provides direct access to a variety of health-related and social services including a shared commercial kitchen, computer lab with internet access, library, parish nurse, chaplaincy services, multipurpose room and a unique tele-health kiosk already enjoyed by current Dunn Road Manor residents. When completed, Dunn Road Manor will provide independent living for 98 residents with an average age of 78 and average annual income of $11,000.


The project will utilize the Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) offered by the Missouri Housing Development Commission. In 2012, LSS opened its first LIHTC project at the Village at Mackenzie Place in Affton. LSS currently provides decent, safe and affordable housing to nearly 800 very low income older adults in the St. Louis area as part of its mission to help older adults live life to the fullest.

“LSS is able to provide more than the bricks and mortar of housing, but also a family-like atmosphere where low income residents have an opportunity to successfully age in place, remaining at home where they wish to stay,” said Susan Hutchinson, Executive Director of Affordable Housing at LSS. “Dunn Road Manor has experienced a significant waiting list since it first opened, and this new addition will help provide a service enriched environment that meets the marketplace demand.”

Paric is providing general contracting services, and St. Louis Design Alliance in the project architect. Construction is scheduled for completion in Fall 2017.

Lenoir Woods Edgewood Apartments Construction Making Progress

Construction for the Edgewood Apartments at Lenoir Woods Senior Living Community in Columbia, Missouri, is quickly coming together. This new independent living building made up of 79 apartments, broke ground June 2016 and is on track for its Summer 2017 completion date. “We are progressing well,” said Mark Schoedel, LSS Vice President of Construction and IT. “Our foundation is complete and we are starting to go up vertically.”



With beautiful living spaces, the Edgewood apartments were built in direct response to a need of additional independent living apartments as the landscape of senior living grows and changes.

Current and future residents have enjoyed seeing the progress, in person and by webcam. “The live web camera is an excellent way for future residents to monitor the progress,” said Mark, referencing the camera that PARIC has installed so anyone can watch the progress. “We continue on schedule for a fall occupancy for the 49 residents who have selected units to date.”

Interested in learning more? Join us for lunch…

See for yourself all the progress. View the live construction camera here!

We'd love to hear from you! Located in Columbia, MO 65201, Lenoir Woods senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, and skilled nursing. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

LSS Receives Signature Healthcare Foundation 2016 Senator Paul Simon Award

The Signature Healthcare Foundation has presented its 2016 Senator Paul Simon Award to Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) in recognition of the significant cost savings achieved through LSS’ participation in the federal Center For Medicare & Medicaid Services Model 3 Bundled Payment for Care Improvement Pilot Program (BPCI) and the changes implemented through the BPCI and LSS’ REACH (Rehabilitation through Achievement) program. These changes focused on care coordination along the continuum of care and resulted in reductions in length of stay, readmission rates and costs, providing a model for effective and efficient patient care.


“Since expanding our presence in the short stay, post acute care rehabilitation market through REACH, we have successfully lowered the cost of these services to payers by re-designing the way we deliver and provide these care services and the way we work with our health system partners to support their goals,” said Gary Anderson, LSS Vice President Clinical Effectiveness. “We expanded in this market as a result of our decision to participate in the Model 3 Post-Acute Care bundled payments program and pursue its goal of reduced total cost of Post-Acute Care services. “

The entire LSS organization – clinical, finance, administration, communities and more – is driving functional performance improvement every day through a broad range of therapy and nursing interventions. Over the past 18 months, the average length of a REACH stay has been reduced by over seven days – from 25-27 days to 18-20 days, while the hospital readmission rate has dropped from the 20-25% range to the low teens and even single digits. At the same time, the REACH guest satisfaction rate is in the 95+ percent range.

“Our most recent quarterly data show that our efforts saved Medicare approximately $400,000,” Anderson added. “This is a measurable program that helps preserve Medicare for the future and increases the percentage of REACH guests who are able to return to their previous living destination as a result of our services.”

The Senator Paul Simon Award was instituted to honor Senator Simon’s service to Signature Healthcare Foundation as a member of its Board of Directors. The award is intended to encourage and reward cost effective strategies in healthcare. Signature Healthcare Foundation was formed in 2002 with a mission to utilize physician leadership to improve healthcare quality, efficiency and affordability.

Laclede Groves Zip Line Adventure

Laclede Groves residents and staff recently went on a zip line adventure! Check out the video below:

The 8th Annual Prayer Breakfast

The 8th Annual Prayer Breakfast was help on October 12, 2016. This annual event is an opportunity to reaffirm faith and celebrate fellowship; joining together in prayer and proclamation of God’s grace through Christ.

This year’s Prayer Breakfast featured Rev. Walter Wangerin, Jr., sharing a message to all in the room on peace and the Lutheran High School North choral group Concentus’.

Thank you to those who attended as sponsor’s for the prayer breakfast, friends and supporters of these organizations, and special guests:

  • Christian Friends of New Americans
  • Concordia Publishing House
  • Concordia Seminary, St. Louis
  • Grace Place Wellness Ministries
  • Humanitri
  • Lutheran Association for Special Education
  • Lutheran Elementary School Association
  • Lutheran Family & Children’s Services of Missouri
  • Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis
  • Lutheran Hour Ministries
  • Lutheran High School Association
  • Lutheran Senior Services
  • The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, National Missions
  • The Missouri District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Please plan to join us again next year!
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Orlando Events & Conference Center

Serve St. Louis

What started with a few churches reaching out into their community, has grown into thousands of individuals representing local churches and organizations. Together, we’re uniting to make a difference in the St. Louis area. Serve St. Louis’ vision is to honor the name of Jesus Christ by meeting needs in the community, ultimately making St. Louis a better place to live!

Serve St. Louis took place this past weekend, October 8 and 9, as Christ-followers from various denominations served throughout the community. From yard work to stocking food pantries, individuals and groups could go online and sign up for a project that fit their time commitment and group size. Christians spent time preparing their hearts for service by reading daily devotions the week before the event. Groups were also asked to get together before their service project began, for a final devotion and prayer.

Lutheran Senior Services has been a host for Serve St. Louis since its inception, opening the doors of our communities to Christians in our region for their service to our seniors. Just this weekend, four LSS communities welcomed groups to do various projects such as pumpkin decorating contests with care center residents and cleaning some of our affordable housing apartments. Most importantly, people from the St. Louis area were connecting one on one with our seniors, sharing the love of Jesus Christ, and making a true difference in their lives. This goes hand in hand with the scripture theme for this year’s Serve St. Louis weekend, Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16.

LSS is thankful for the many volunteers who shared their good works over the weekend with us. LSS was not only a proud host site for Serve St. Louis, but for the first time, LSS also put together its own team of servants, organized by Kristy Bull, the Director of Volunteers. The team was comprised of employees, their family members, and others from the community, including five middle school students from Immanuel Lutheran in St. Charles. This is just one example of the many initiatives going on at LSS to promote volunteerism and the sharing of the love of Jesus Christ to others, both inside and outside of LSS!

See what serving as a part of team was like! Want to try it out for yourself? Contact Kristy Bull at 314.262.8206.

Free Resource! Preparing for Short Stay Rehabilitation Checklist

My team sees one of two scenarios. One scenario is we’ll have someone come to us who is getting ready for a surgery that will be followed by rehab. This could be anything from a hip replacement surgery to knee surgery. The other scenario is an unexpected emergency has occurred and now they need to play catch up. For each, we recommend the following checklist. Whether planned or unplanned rehab is needed, it will give you a starting point for what needs to be done at home so you can focus on recovering, rather than on whether the mail is piling up.






Ben and his team of clinical liaisons in the St Louis metro area coordinate the admission of guests to LSS REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation locations. And while navigating the transition from the hospital to rehabilitation can be tricky, with specialized knowledge in all things post-acute care, they are a great resource when preparing or recovering from a qualified hospital stay.



Lutheran Senior Services details $50 million Town & Country Community

(Reprinted with permission from the St. Louis Business Journal. Alteration or further reproduction is strictly prohibited. ©2016 St. Louis Business Journal, 815 Olive Street, Suite 100, St. Louis, MO 63101. View original here.)


Lutheran Senior Services is planning to build a 140-unit independent living apartment facility on its Mason Pointe campus, a key part of its plan to turnaround the former The Cedars at Town & Country facility, which LSS bought and rebranded earlier this year.

LSS is in the initial planning stages for the apartment building, which Chief Financial Officer Paul Ogier said could have a price tag “somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million,” and does not plan to break ground until 2018. The senior services provider is targeting a 2020 completion date for the facility.
LSS plans to build a 140-unit independent living facility at its Mason Pointe campus.

A current $97.7 million bond offering from LSS includes about $3.5 million in funding earmarked for the initial development process of the planned apartment building, as well as funds for ongoing renovations to the existing Mason Pointe facilities.




The majority of the money from the new bond offering — more than $60 million — will be used to refinance existing debt, according to the bond document filing with the Health and Educational Facilities Authority of the State of Missouri. Besides the money pegged for the Mason Pointe project, the rest of the $36 million from the bond sale will be used to fund ongoing improvements at LSS’s Lenoir Woods senior community in Columbia, Missouri. LSS is constructing 79 independent living apartments on the campus, with an expected completion date of June 2017. LSS also is planning to build the second phase of a replacement care center on the campus that would include a 32-bed short-stay rehab unit, 32 skilled nursing beds, 24 assisted living memory care apartments and additional common space. Construction on that project is expected to begin in November.

Ogier said he expects to price the bonds and get commitments by the last week of September.

LSS purchased the 230-bed The Cedars senior living community, now Mason Pointe, from Cedars Properties LLC in February. Local nonprofit Jewish Center for Aged developed the $60 million Cedars facility as The Cedars at the JCA in 2003, but defaulted on its mortgage. Lehman Brothers Holdings bought the debt from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2007, and a Lehman affiliate took ownership of the facility in 2010 and then sold it to Cedars Properties LLC in 2012.

Following its acquisition of the property, LSS moved the rehabilitation services it previously operated on the Mercy St. Louis hospital campus to Mason Pointe, which is located at 13190 S. Outer 40 Road.

LSS has since been working to turn around operations at the struggling facility, which, under the previous owner, had been operating at significantly less than its operating capacity with 55 percent of its beds occupied by Medicaid residents, according to the bond documents. LSS is projecting a combined operating loss of about $8 million in 2016 for both the Mason Pointe facility and the former rehab facility it operated at Mercy, but the organization is hoping to reduce the facility’s operating loss to $1.2 million by 2019 through steps such as the recent opening of a 30-bed private pay skilled nursing wing, increasing its short-stay rehab occupancy and a planned expansion of the assisted living area from 10 to 20 apartments. LSS also hopes to decrease the percentage of Medicaid residents at the facility, although Ogier emphasized that no current residents would be asked to leave.

The planned construction of the independent apartment facility is “expected to have the greatest impact on the financial performance” of Mason Pointe, and the campus is expected to operate without a loss by 2020, according to the bond document.

Lutheran Senior Services celebrates the life and legacy of Rev. Vern Gundermann

vernLutheran Senior Services celebrates the life and legacy of Rev. Vern Gundermann. He fearlessly carried the love of Christ in his heart, but yet so freely gave it out to those around him. During his time as Administrator of Pastoral Care, he brought his many gifts to the mission of Older Adults Living Life to the Fullest. We are immeasurably thankful for the time in which we were able to partner with Rev. Gundermann, sharing the love of Christ. He was a blessing to us all.

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
– 1 Corinthians 15:55–57

Vernon Dale Gundermann was the firstborn son of Adolph and Mildred (Dierks) Gundermann, born on October 8, 1937 on the family farm, just southwest of Fulda, Minnesota. He was baptized on Reformation Day, October 31,1937. He renewed those baptismal vows through the rite of confirmation on March 18, 1951.
Pastor Gundermann’s preparation for the pastoral ministry began at Concordia Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota (1955), continued at Concordia College in St. Paul (1957), Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Indiana (1959), and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri (1963).

Vern and Betty (Lorenz) were married on June 25, 1961. The Gundermann family includes Peter Gundermann (Christopher and Daria) and Rikke Davis (Kirk and Joy), Mary and her husband Michael Williams (Elizabeth and fiancé Evan Johnson, Nicholas, and Jackson), Sarah and her husband Michael McCarthy (Hannah, Andrew, and Elena), and Thomas and his wife Amy (Kayla, Noah, and Eva).

During Pastor Gundermann’s years of parish ministry he served:

  • Zion Lutheran Church, Arcadia, Iowa (1963-1967)
  • Calvary Lutheran Chapel and Student Center, Madison, Wisconsin (1967-1973)
  • Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, New Hope, Minnesota (1973-1990)
  • Concordia Lutheran Church, Kirkwood, Missouri (1990- 2006)

Following retirement from parish ministry Pastor Gundermann served as the chaplain at the International Center of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, and as Coordinator of Chaplaincy for Lutheran Senior Services.

Throughout his ministry Pastor Gundermann served the Church in many different capacities. Pastor Gundermann served as a speaker at Youth Gatherings, at conferences for the Lutheran Education Association, and at numerous conferences for pastors and teachers throughout the Synod. He has published articles in The Lutheran Witness, devotional writings in Portals of Prayer and HOPE-FULL LIVING, and sermons, liturgies and contributions for various publications. In addition Vern served as a member of the District Mission Boards, Synods’ Low Income Housing Committee and cofounded both the Academy for Christian Stewardship and Pastoral Leadership Institute. Pastor Gundermann served the mission field in Poland, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, and China, as well as his surrounding community.

Vern loved sports. He was a star athlete as a young person, playing baseball, basketball, football and running track. He was heavily recruited as a baseball player and had an opportunity to sign a major league baseball contract with the Chicago White Socks. He chose, however, a life of ministry as a pastor. He loved to play tennis and had several tennis groups throughout his life, largely consisting of his fellow pastors. His love for sports, specifically the St. Louis Cardinals and Green Bay Packers, continued until his final days, often watching a game on television while listening to a different game on the radio.

Vern was a beloved grandfather to his eleven grandchildren. He was always willing to join them in board games, card games, or rounding up teams for touch football or tennis. He cherished opportunities to cheer on his grandchildren in their musical, academic and athletic endeavors.

Pastor Gundermann loved serving the Lord Jesus through the ministry of the Church, and was recognized by many as being a “pastor to pastors.” Vern and Betty were honored to receive several awards in these past years for his service. Among these are the Distinguished Alumni Award and Aeterna Moliri Award from Concordia University, Saint Paul, and the Charis Award from Grace Place Wellness.

On September 9, 2015 Vern was diagnosed with ALS. His faithfulness, determination, and continued service during this past year has been an inspiration to many. The illness, however, was aggressive. Nearly every week Vern was presented with new changes and challenges. On Friday evening, September 16, Vern passed into the loving arms of his Savior, Jesus, surrounded by Betty, his four children, and a few dear friends. He opened his eyes and mouthed the words as his family sang the words to a favorite hymn, “Beautiful Savior.”