On October 7, Lutheran Services in America Disability Network (LSA-DN) presented Senator Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA) with a plaque in recognition of his work on behalf of the disability community and his efforts to pass the historic ABLE legislation, an important step to providing more financial independence for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Just ask Jodi Harpstead, Chief Executive Officer of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS). Jodi says that the question she is most frequently asked during an interview, "How can an organization celebrating its 150th anniversary be relevant and innovative in 2015?" is also her favorite question to answer. For Jodi and LSS, it is part of their DNA and what makes them the strong organization they are today.
Forty representatives from 20+ LSA-DN member organizations gathered in Chicago at the ELCA headquarters for the Summer 2015 meeting on August 6 & 7. Network members learned from each other and several expert speakers about emerging trends in supports for people with disabilities. The network also celebrated the upcoming retirements of both Cindy Schroeder from Mosaic and Bill Nolan from KenCrest. Bill and Cindy have been the backbone of LSA-DN for many years and will be truly missed!
On July 23, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) announced the launch of a new report, "At the Crossroads for Unaccompanied Migrant Children: Policy, Practice & Protection." More than 40 people attended the standing-room-only event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., which featured remarks from Linda Hartke, LIRS President and CEO and a panel discussion with experts on immigration and refugee resettlement.
On July 17, 17 providers of services to seniors, all members of the LSA network, met in Washington, D.C. to talk about senior wellness and how care to improve the lives of older Americans is being redefined by social ministry organizations. As the largest faith-based non-profit group serving older adults in the United States, representing close to 200 Lutheran social ministry organizations that offer senior care, the LSA network has provided a broad range of care and support for seniors from all walks of life in all types of communities for decades.
On July 13, Lutheran Services in America (LSA) President and CEO Charlotte Haberaecker represented the LSA network at the 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA). This invitation only, once-a-decade forum took place at the White House, and brought together nearly 200 aging policy experts, thought leaders, Administration officials, and Members of Congress to discuss the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans over the next ten years. LSA is the largest faith-based group serving older adults in the United States, representing close to 200 Lutheran social ministry organizations that provide care for seniors.
Are we measuring the right things? Are we asking the right questions? How do we use data to improve our programs? These and more were the questions 15 members of the LSA Children, Youth and Family Community of Practice asked as they came together in partnership on June 25 at the LSA headquarters in Washington, DC. The group convened with the purpose of achieving positive outcomes for the children and families they support.
In April, during the LSA Annual Conference in San Antonio, 12 LSA member organizations began a journey with The Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Provider Exchange® on a program to foster an outcomes focused organizational culture and improve the lives of at-risk children and families.
Earlier in 2015, the White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) launched a series of regional forums to provide input and ideas for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, which will take place on July 13 in Washington, DC. The forums, which are by invitation only, are designed to engage with leaders in the field of aging, older adults, their families, caregivers, and others on key issues affecting older Americans.
During the 2015 Annual Meeting of the membership in San Antonio, members elected two new Class A Board members. Their terms will begin July 1, 2015 and run through June 30, 2018.