The Catalyst

Senior Services News
Tuesday, June 29, 2021



Join us—in person—for our exclusive forum for CEOs with a shared mission: the Lutheran Services in America CEO Summit 2022, in Tampa, Florida, January 23-26.

Tap into the power of our strong network to gain actionable insights, share learnings and innovative ideas, and build meaningful connections, all within a trusted environment.

We’ll explore how leaders are reimagining the health and human services sector and guiding their organizations, partners, and key stakeholders in the post-pandemic world. You’ll learn from leading experts, as well as your peers, about:

  • Expanding leadership capacities to adapt to the new environment,
  • Sparking innovative partnerships and business models to maintain competitiveness, and
  • Partnering with your board to create a more skilled, diverse, and inclusive board of directors.

Stay tuned to your email for more details about the event, including speakers and registration information, in the coming months.

For more information, please visit our website here.

Against the Odds: A Remarkable Story of Strength & Resilience

During a year of trial and tribulation, Lutheran social ministry met the enormous challenge of the pandemic head-on, sustained by our faith and commitment to our shared mission and hope for the future. We thank and acknowledge our friends, members and partners for their generous support and commitment in 2020. Lutheran Services in America is sharing its story about the strength and resilience that defined our network last year with the release of our 2020 Annual Report.

The report highlights achievements in key areas, including our advocacy campaigns, Frontline Hero stories, the launch of bold new initiatives that empower families and close gaps in care for older adults, our push to advance innovative new models of care through the Lasting Change Campaign, and much more.

Experience the story of Lutheran social ministry in our interactive 2020 Annual Report.

Strength & Service Series

Cyber Attacks – Are you at Risk?

Date July 15th, 1:00-2:00pmET

It is predicted that a business is being hit by ransomware every 11 seconds in 2021, and that it results on average 16-19 days of downtime. Join this session to learn about Cyber Risk management, the latest trends, including the role and important considerations around cyber insurance coverage and top cybersecurity best practices you should be implementing.


  • Rafael Haciski, Vice President at Johnson Kendall Johnson
  • Alexandra Bretschneider, Cyber Practice Leader Johnson Kendall Johnson

Register here 

Innovations Looking Forward: What Worked & What Is Here to Stay in Senior Services

Date:  July 21st, 1:00-2:00pmET

Senior living providers embraced new strategies and tools to keep residents, their families, and the workforce safe, healthy, and happy during the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many new engagement technology, communication strategies, and workforce strategies evolved out of necessity and have become the “new normal” in day-to-day senior living operations. While the feeling of crisis mode has begun to subside or slow down, what do senior living leaders think are the tools & strategies that are here to stay beyond the pandemic? How will leaders continue to think differently and more strategically – what considerations should be made moving forward?

During this webinar, Dave Gehm, President and CEO of Wellspring Lutheran, and Sloan Bentley, President and CEO, Lutheran Life Communities will discuss with Jack York, President and Cofounder of IN2L, the innovative strategies that their teams adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic and what they think will remain part of the norm of senior services in the future.

Register here



Funding Opportunity

  • National Community Care Corps Local Models Program
    Grants for innovative local models in which volunteers assist family caregivers, older adults, and adults with disabilities to help individuals maintain their independence and age in place.
    Application Deadline: July 9, 2021
    Sponsor: Administration for Community Living, N4A, Caregiver Action Network, The Oasis Institute, & HHS


Advocacy Update

Bipartisan infrastructure package gains support of President Biden, separate HCBS bill introduced

President Joe Biden on Thursday endorsed the bipartisan infrastructure bill drafted by a group of 10 Republican and Democratic senators. The bipartisan framework includes close to $600 billion in new spending on roads, bridges, and other traditional infrastructure projects.  Biden’s support marks significant progress for the package, but passage through Congress still faces a difficult trajectory.  While both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have announced their support for the bill, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has not.  Pelosi has further said the House will not pass the bipartisan bill until after the Senate sends them legislation including the rest of Biden’s broader proposal, which would have to pass under budget reconciliation.  That procedural track would require the support of all 50 Democratic senators, and the votes of moderates like Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are not guaranteed.  Following his announcement of his endorsement for the bipartisan package, President Biden subsequently clarified his position that while he supported that package “without reservation or hesitation” and would certainly sign it into law, he still planned to work “in tandem” to pass the second, broader package encompassing the remainder of his American Jobs Plan proposal. Likely to be included in that second package, among other “human infrastructure” priorities like child care, paid leave, and housing funding is newly introduced legislation enacting the $400 billion in home and community-based supports (HCBS) that the President included in his original proposal.  Under the terms of that bill (the Better Care Better Jobs Act, S. 2210/H.R. 4131), states would get a permanent 10% FMAP bump to deliver HCBS.  To earn it, they would have to address HCBS payment rates to promote recruitment and retention of staff and demonstrate a strong maintenance of effort so that the new money actually goes to HCBS. 

Lutheran Services in America has been advocating in support of key provisions of the American Jobs Plan, particularly the $400 billion HCBS investment and a provision for $213 billion for affordable housing and homelessness services, and is urging the inclusion of the WORK NOW Act legislation (S. 740) to provide nonprofit health and human services organizations funding to pay wages, salaries, and benefits to retain staff and meet services’ demand.  Please join us in this effort through our advocacy alert calling for inclusion of these key initiatives in the package.



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