September 2022
News and announcements about events, best practices, funding opportunities, and resources for the Lutheran Services in America national network.
Are You Future-Ready? CEO Summit Registration is Open!
The countdown to CEO Summit 2023 is officially underway! Register to join your peers in our trusted environment January 22–25 at The Wigwam near Phoenix. Together, we’ll examine how future-ready CEOs stay on top of promising new trends, assess disruptive forces in our sector and build boards of directors that are equipped for what the future holds.

CEO Summit 2023 will bring together our network’s faith-based leaders in person for the first time in three years! It’s a significant opportunity to reunite with peers who share experiences and understand the challenges we face together.

We’ll host thought-provoking speakers:
  • Paul Osterman of the MIT Sloan School of Management will explore the solutions you need to succeed in an environment challenged by a shrinking workforce, stiffer competition and a fluctuating economic outlook.
  • FutureGood’s Trista Harris will share how leaders are using tools to develop focused strategies, target the disruptions of today and prepare their organizations to meet the evolving needs of the future.
  • Accord Limited’s Pam Knecht will explore how CEOs future-proof their boards.
  • PHI’s Jodi Sturgeon will examine cutting edge research on the direct care workforce and what needs to happen to ensure that human service organizations provide quality human services into the future.
Plus, we’ll have a full slate of panels featuring your Lutheran Services in America colleagues. Register now to receive our special limited-time-only discounted registration rate!
Join Your Senior Services Peers at our LeadingAge Reception
Traveling to Denver for the 2022 LeadingAge Annual Meeting + Expo? Join us on Sunday, October 16, anytime between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., for a reception to connect with your fellow Lutheran Services in America senior services leaders. Our event is an excellent opportunity to meet and network with your colleagues at Lutheran social ministry organizations across the country—colleagues who share your mission and values and are not competitors. Bring your team and board members with you!
Lutheran Services in America Partnerships Elevate Support for Older Adults in Affordable Housing
We’re partnering with The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and our member Family Health Centers at NYU Langone to empower older adults in affordable housing in Brooklyn, New York, to remain living independently. Together, we are building on our work through our Connect-Home Collaborative to support older adults during their transition home after hospitalization. The new funding strengthens the capacity of staff to identify older adults most at risk of hospitalization, develop strategies to meet their needs and enable low-income older adults to successfully age independently at home.

We’re also teaming up with the Consumer Technology Association Foundation for the third consecutive year to provide funding for our members to expand their technology initiatives. With the association’s support, we’re increasing access to telehealth, cognitive tools and virtual visits with family and friends for low-income older adults with mobility and physical impairments. The new funding aims to support low-income older adults in 17 affordable housing facilities managed by our member Graceworks Lutheran Services.
Bill Kallestad to Lead Lutheran Services in America-Disability Network
We are pleased to welcome Bill Kallestad, our new Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the Lutheran Services in America-Disability Network! Bill is a long-time advocate for people with disabilities and previously served as convener for the network during his time at our member Lutheran Services in Iowa, where he worked to advance important issues such as increased funding and the ongoing workforce shortage. He is known for his extensive leadership of programs for people with disabilities and advocacy efforts. Plus, he’s an accomplished Ironman triathlon athlete!
Nutrition Security Webinar Coming in October
Join us for our next Strength & Service Series webinar on October 7 at 2 p.m. ET as the USDA’s Dr. Sara Bleich challenges us to examine nutrition security and how it relates to health equity. Deepen your understanding of nutrition as a key social determinant of health.

Dr. Bleich will be joined by several Lutheran Services in America members to discuss how their efforts are strengthening food and nutrition security in their communities:
  • Derrick Felder, COO at Lutheran Social Services of Nevada
  • Jennifer Fralic, Director of Food Pantry Services at Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio
  • Tiffany Mitchell, Psy.D., EVP and COO at Lutheran Social Services of Southern California
Save the Date for the LFMA Conference
Do you manage your organization’s finances? The Lutheran Financial Managers Association (LFMA) conference is your opportunity to network with your peers and learn from experts on how to respond effectively to our current environment. The conference will focus on a diverse set of themes including technology trends for nonprofits, nonprofit accounting updates and understanding the impact of benefits for Lutheran social ministry. Join the LFMA November 9–11 in Orlando for their 43rd annual conference, which is designed to be participatory, encouraging questions of the presenters and stimulating dialogue amongst the attendees.
Mount Olivet Rolling Acres Brings Back Annual Training Conference
After a COVID-related hiatus, Mount Olivet Rolling Acres will host its annual training conference, “Adapting to Adulthood with Disabilities: Tools for Transitions, Challenges and Change.” The October 27 conference will feature a panel of experts who will provide information, tools and resources that can help young adults navigate through their transition from childhood to adulthood more safely. This one-day conference will inform and empower individuals, families, social workers and others within disability services. Register by September 30 for a discount!
ELPNA to Hold Webinar on Spiritual Care of Older Adults
The Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association, a Lutheran Services in America associate member, will hold a webinar on September 27 about the spiritual care of older adults and those living with dementia. The webinar will seek to get into the “hearts and minds” of older adults, explore what influences their thoughts and actions and discuss how we can best walk with them during the final phase of their life’s journey.
IN2L to Spotlight Engagement Technology in Senior Living Communities
Join our partner iN2L and LifeLoop for a webinar on September 27 that will focus on using engagement technology to enhance the therapy department in your senior living community. This high-level webinar will examine features, content and general-use cases designed for all therapy disciplines using images, video and verbal instruction.

Register today and be the first to find out about future webinars in this series such as “How to Integrate iN2L into Your Therapy Department and Restorative Team” and “Using iN2L Content Creatively.”
Our Calendar at a Glance
Here’s a look at upcoming events to keep on your radar.  
CMS Launches Study on Minimum Staffing Requirement, Lutheran Services in America Urges Action
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new staffing study to inform its development of a minimum staffing standard for skilled nursing facilities, which is expected to be issued in Spring 2023. The study comes as part of an extensive nursing home initiative announced in February by the Biden Administration. The initiative does not provide any funding for additional staff which may be required.

As part of our efforts to ensure that changes to the skilled nursing facility regulatory landscape truly benefit older adults, we met with CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure in May. We outlined our strong concerns that this initiative will mean fewer older adults will be able to access the care that they need and the closure of nursing homes. During a recent stakeholder listening session held by the agency, we reiterated that this issue is already a crisis with providers reducing occupancy and not meeting existing community needs.

We invite you to join us to provide feedback to the CMS Administrator and your lawmakers. We will continue our efforts to ensure the voice of our national network is heard throughout this process and will submit further comments to CMS once the minimum staffing standard is issued.
“Make Your Voice Heard” with the CMS Office of Burden Reduction
Lutheran Services in America and several of our members recently met with Mary Greene, director of the CMS Office of Burden Reduction & Health Informatics (OBRHI), to discuss problems related to hospital discharge referral fees and challenges in sharing data with other healthcare providers, among other issues. OBRHI just published an RFI titled “Make Your Voice Heard,” which seeks to identify potential opportunities to increase efficiencies, reduce burden and advance equity across CMS programs. Topic areas include accessing healthcare and related challenges, understanding provider experiences, advancing health equity, and the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) waivers and flexibilities.

As we prepare comments to submit before the November 4 deadline, we invite you to share your feedback with us on any of the topic areas and related examples.
Montana Nursing Homes Navigate Staff Shortage and Funding Deficit
Seven nursing homes have closed across Montana this year alone, with reduced beds in remaining homes equal to the closing of another dozen. “We’re living in a totally different time,” David Trost, president and CEO of our member St. John’s United, told the Montana Television Network. Hear from David on how the combined challenges of limited staff and insufficient Medicaid reimbursements are putting pressure on facilities and what the state must do to address the situation.
Alligators and Lutheran Social Ministry
The Washington Post recently ran a news article about a Pennsylvania man who kept an alligator as an emotional support animal. The man takes WallyGator, as the reptile is known, all around the community, including senior living facilities. Our member SpiriTrust Lutheran hosted WallyGator, where residents bravely welcomed it with open arms.

SpiriTrust’s welcoming of WallyGator into its facilities is an example of the extraordinary efforts Lutheran social ministry organizations make to care for people and ensure they live a full and abundant life, writes Charlotte Haberaecker. It is actions such as this that makes a meaningful difference in the lives of one in 50 people in America.
Portico Benefit Services
Portico Benefit Services, a nonprofit ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), was established in 1987 to serve ELCA-affiliated ministries and ELCA social ministry organizations. Portico strives to offer quality, affordable employee benefits—including access to products and services not typically available to smaller organizations, along with comprehensive administrative services and engagement support—all designed specifically to help those it serves strengthen their overall well-being and live into their passion to serve.

Learn how leveraging the collective buying power of Portico’s community provides access to innovative products, helps maintain stable rates and offers potential cost savings to employers.
Find the latest information on grant opportunities and deadlines, as well as job listings from across the Lutheran Services in America network.
Career Opportunities
Our Personnel Bulletin offers members the chance to share their career opportunities more broadly across our national network to reach more potential candidates. Listings are available to all Lutheran social ministry organizations.

Find all employment opportunities on our website. If you would like to advertise a new job opening, please review the guidelines and contact Christopher Findlay.
Funding Opportunities
Our grants and funding newsletter provides a weekly issue of GrantStation Insider. The newsletter, provided in partnership with GrantStation, offers national and regional opportunities, as well as those specific to the U.S. government and other resources.
Stay in the Loop!
Sign up for the Personnel Bulletin, GrantStation and our other newsletters to get regular updates on these opportunities and much more.
Comments, feedback or suggestions for future issues of LSA Together? Please let us know.
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