The Catalyst

Senior Services News
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Lutheran Services in America “Strength & Service Series”

Impact of COVID-19 on Health Care Costs and Trends
Date: July 23, 2020
Time: Noon to 1:00 pm EDT

Jeff Thiemann, president & CEO of Portico Benefit Services, will host this third interactive session in Lutheran Services in America’s Strength & Service Series. Jon Nilson, market leader in the health and benefits consulting line of business for global advisory firm, Willis Towers Watson, will share an in-depth look at the impact of COVID-19 on short and long-term employer healthcare cost trends. Jon will use his industry knowledge and insights, based on responses from nearly 550 organizations (representing 5.3 million employees) in the U.S., to highlight employers intensified focus on safety, enhancing wellbeing programs (including programs to align with remote working), and providing flexibility in areas ranging from paid leave to accommodations for at-risk employees.

This session is designed for CEOs, HR leaders, CFOs and others responsible for healthcare decisions for your organization. Register Here

The Path to Becoming More Racially Aware Leaders – Foundational Elements for the Journey
Date: July 28, 2020
Time: 1:00-3:00 pm EDT

Note: Registration is limited to Lutheran Services in America member organizations. Capacity is limited to 100 attendees.

In this two-hour, interactive workshop hosted by certified professional diversity coach Marion Hodges Biglan, participants will learn and reflect on their connection to some foundational concepts about racism that will be essential on their journey to become more racially aware — and therefore more impactful — social service leaders. Note that while this session is open to people of all racial identities, it will be most useful for people who identify as white and/or people of color who do not identify as black. Register Here

Allyship - Fostering Relationships, Lifting Up Voices, Joining In Struggles
Date: August 25, 2020
Time: 1:00–2:30 p.m. EDT

Host: Corey Flournoy, Principal at Creative Outreach Consulting, LLC and Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Groupon 

The goal of allyship is to create a relationship in which marginalized people feel valued, supported, and heard. Being an ally is not a label - it is a verb.

Leaders from throughout the Lutheran Services in America network are invited to join an engaging, guided conversation about an important relationship needed for success. Though sometimes difficult to achieve, allyship can be a dynamic and powerful learning and relationship-building tool. By building meaningful two-way relationships imbued with empathy, allies offer and give each other support and commit to lean on and learn from each other.  Allyship can strengthen and change the Lutheran Services in America network for the better across cultural lines. This interactive, 90-minute virtual session will be led by Corey Flournoy, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Groupon and founding partner of Creative Outreach Consulting in Chicago. Register here



CMS Updates


Advocacy Update

Work Continues Toward Next Expected Emergency Relief Legislative Package

With the Senate scheduled to come back into session this coming week, lawmakers from both parties, as well as Administration officials, have continued work on the next expected package of emergency relief legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has indicated that he may make public as soon as this weekend a draft version of the legislation, which both he and Administration officials have said they want to cost less than $1 trillion.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has pushed back on this dollar figure, saying a larger amount would better meet current needs. Lutheran Services in America will be closely monitoring ongoing Hill dialogue, meetings, and legislation during this critical time, continually pushing our network’s collective key priorities.

LSA Advocacy Infographic Available:  Lutheran Services in America member organizations are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing critical services in more than 1,400 communities nationwide. These services cannot continue without specific provisions enacted by Congress. In an effort to spur action to support our collective work, Lutheran Services in America released a new infographic outlining several key measures that are needed by health and human service organizations in this time of crisis. Together with our outreach to Congress, we are pushing for vital resources and funding for improving the lives of some of our country’s most vulnerable populations, including seniors.

We encourage you to download the infographic on seniors, which calls for specific actions we need Congress to take in the coming days, and post it to your website and social media pages. You can find the infographic here.

The purpose of this digest is to provide current news and resources to Lutheran Senior Services organizations. The Catalyst is disseminated every other week and includes relevant reports, educational opportunities, policy updates and other announcements. To add colleagues to the distribution list or to unsubscribe from the Catalyst, send an email to