With more than 100 LSA members serving children, youth and families in 33 states across the country, the LSA network has a dominant national child welfare presence. LSA members provide a broad range of services from foster care and adoption to counseling, housing, health care, mental health care, early childhood education, charter schools, alternatives to detention, Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) foster care programs, and programs for youth aging out of foster care. In the past year the LSA Children, Youth and Family (CYF) Working Group was formed to focus on youth aging out of the foster care system and how we can work collectively as a network to address the challenges and opportunities inherent with this issue.
Wendy Goldstein, President and CEO of Lutheran HealthCare, was honored as one of Brooklyn’s Women of Distinction at a special event on May 21. This annual award recognizes women who have displayed exemplary leadership in the borough. In the article titled, “Hospital Boss Heals Ailing Institution,” Ms. Goldstein is commended for her remarkable revival of the Lutheran Medical Center; she reinvigorated the institution's Lutheran roots and created an open and accepting environment for treatment.
LSA congratulates Community Family Life Services (CFLS) on being named the 2014 Nonprofit Organization of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce. According to the DC Chamber of Commerce website, CFLS is being recognized for their outstanding achievements in support of those suffering from homelessness and poverty.
In a few weeks, Lutheran Services in America members and our social ministry community will celebrate the strength of our network at the LSA Annual Conference, to be held in San Antonio, Texas, April 20-23.
Our theme for this year's conference is "Farther Together: Stronger Tomorrow" – which speaks to our collective journey to strengthen Lutheran social ministry and our network.
We're looking forward to convening our LSA network during the Annual Conference, April 20-23 to enjoy fellowship, renew friendships and build relationships within our Lutheran social ministry community. While at the conference, there are a variety of opportunities to connect, network and celebrate, including longer breaks to allow you more time to connect; networking meals; multiple social events and multiple gatherings for our communities of practice and working groups. This year, we've also added a tour on Thursday afternoon for those who wish to explore more of San Antonio's rich history.
Extend your Annual Conference experience for an afternoon and explore the picturesque San Antonio Missions and Market Square shops for traditional Mexican handicrafts. The San Antonio area is renowned for its natural and cultural history. In addition to the Alamo, there are multiple historic missions that provide an opportunity to explore the heritage of our nation’s Spanish Colonial past and the lives of the mission communities and the indigenous people who inhabited the area.
The Post-Acute Care working group was established in response to the unprecedented changes underway affecting senior services. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act, technological innovations, changing reimbursement methods, changing relationships with hospitals, new partnerships, and new emerging players in the industry are causing dramatic changes in payment models and care models for post-acute care providers. Formed earlier this year, the working group brings members providing post-acute care together to identify strategies and to collectively to respond to the emerging trends in the post-acute care market.
Rebecca Young, VP, Human Resources at Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries (ALSM), has been working with her organization to champion healthcare by refocusing on their residents and clinical outcomes. ALSM has introduced more client centered programs and services to better meet the needs of individuals residing in their facilities. They have taken on major advances in technology across their organization - from electronic medical records to employee self service - with a goal of completely digitizing their systems. Recently, ALSM has been working to distinguish the impacts of the Affordable Care Act and how it will alter current benefit plans and future offerings. ALSM continues to expand their services in an effort to provide a complete continuum of care to residents and clients that span the generations - from child day care to home healthcare and continuing care retirement communities. ALSM employs over 500 team members and serves more than 2500 clients each year.
Rev. Kathie Bender Schwich is the Senior Vice President of Mission and Spiritual Care at Advocate Health Care, an LSA member that serves three million patients annually through its healthcare system. Kathie is responsible for overseeing the Spiritual Care Services, Clinical Pastoral Education, Music Therapy, Clinical Ethics and Volunteer Services. Advocate Health Care has been a member of LSA since its inception and has been in the news lately – they've just announced their merger with NorthShore University HealthSystem. The new entity, Advocate NorthShore Health Partners, will be the largest integrated health care delivery system in Illinois and the 11th largest not-for-profit health care system in the US. Kathie is excited about the opportunities resulting from the new partnership. “Partnering with Northshore will help us provide quality care at a lower cost with higher efficiency.” she said.
Coming from a long career with Lutheran social ministry organizations, Julie Swanson, President and CEO of Lutheran Family Services of Virginia (LFSVA), has been involved in the Lutheran system since before the founding of LSA. For Julie, getting involved in the LSA network was an easy decision. "It's the other LSA member agencies, and the staff that work for them, that are your best allies and sources of information," she said in an interview with LSA this fall.