Whisper Woods of Smithtown Associate Receives Benchmark’s Annual Compassionate Caregiver Award

Luis Condezo, CNA Honored for Transforming Lives Through Human Connection at Long Island Senior Assisted Living Community

Benchmark, the largest senior living provider in New England, today announced that Luis Condezo of Brentwood, N.Y., lead aide at Whisper Woods of Smithtown, a Benchmark assisted living with memory care community, has received the Benchmark 2023 Compassionate Caregiver Award, the company’s highest honor.

At Benchmark’s 21st Annual Awards Gala held on March 7, 2024, Condezo was selected out of over 6,700 associates for best fulfilling the company’s mission of meeting individuals where they are and connecting them to the people, passions and things that matter most to them. He was recognized by residents and fellow associates for not only providing excellent care, but for going above and beyond to get to know residents and providing the personalized attention they need to feel at home.

“Luis lends tremendous heart and soul to our community,” said Desiree Krajnyak-Baker, executive director of Whisper Woods of Smithtown. “His passion for people has transformed the lives of many residents at our community and we feel so fortunate to have him as part of our team.”

Each year, Benchmark asks their residents and families to nominate a caregiver to be honored. Over 300 nominations were submitted this year, including from Susan Henderson, whose mother is a resident at Whisper Woods.

“Luis has taken the time to get to know all of us who come to spend time with my mom, and we think of him as extension of our family,” said Henderson. “He has been a source of strength and joy. He isn’t just staff, he’s the heart that makes it feel like home. What a gift.  My mom, at 85, is truly living her best life.”

Condezo has been a Whisper Woods associate for over three years. Born and raised in Peru, he previously served in the Peruvian Air Force before moving to the United States.

“The compassion and care our associates exhibit daily is truly inspiring,” said Tom Grape, founder, chairman and CEO of Benchmark. “Our annual awards gala is a time when we all can come together to celebrate the good work that the associates at our 65 communities do every day to transform lives through human connection. I couldn’t be more proud of this year’s winners and all they’ve accomplished.”

Whisper Woods was also the recent recipient of the Kings Park Chamber of Commerce’s annual Humanitarian of the Year award. Last year, they were the only senior living community in the greater Smithtown area to earn U.S. News & World Report’s Best Assisted Living excellence award for their care and experiences, which spans independent assisted living to specialized memory care assisted living.

Whisper Woods of Smithtown