LSA-DN Weekly Update

Disability Network News
Friday, August 21, 2020


Registration for CEO Summit Series: 2020–2021 Now Open

CEO Summit is going virtual this year, and while we will miss seeing you in person, our new format offers the opportunity for additional CEOs to participate nationwide, and for us to engage an even broader, strong lineup of thought leaders. With your direct feedback, we’ve developed a series of four virtual leadership seminars designed to strengthen, inspire and enrich leaders across our network with a focus on emerging stronger.

Renowned corporate strategist and advisor to Fortune 500 executives David Morey returns this year to kick off the series on September 24 to discuss how CEOs can lead effectively through crises. Then on November 10, Dr. Garth Graham, vice president and chief community health officer at CVS Health, will guide us through some of the most innovative partnerships in the health and human services sector. In 2021, Carolyn Cawley, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, will examine the broader trends of the workforce and its recovery. Carolyn will be followed shortly thereafter by Advocate Aurora Health president and CEO Jim Skogsbergh and others to share their visions for 2022 and beyond.

Join us in crafting the answers to the biggest questions now facing our entire network. Register for this timely series today!

The Lutheran Services in America Strength & Service Series

Upcoming Series Webinars

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 for marginalized employees, 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.

A Conversation About the Future of Our Not-for-Profit Senior Living & Care Sector
Date: Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Time: 1:00-2:00 EDT
Hosts: Dan Hermann, President and CEO of Ziegler, Lisa McCracken, Director of Senior Living Research of Ziegler

Ziegler, a longtime sponsor of LSA, will outline the key considerations for not-for-profit senior living providers to help balance the demands of the pandemic while staying focused on the big-picture/strategic direction of an organization. In addition, member CEO’s David Trost of St. John’s United and Larry Bradshaw of National Lutheran Communities & Services, will be present to respond to key discussion points as well as detail how their organizations are positioning for future, long-term viability in spite of COVID-19.   This session is designed for CEOs, CFOs, COOs and Board Members. Register here.

Provider Relief Fund Money Still Available

HHS Provider Relief Fund Phase 2 General Distribution Now Accepting Additional Applicants

On July 31, 2020, HHS announced that certain Medicare providers would be given another opportunity to receive additional Provider Relief Fund payments. These are providers who previously missed the June 3, 2020 deadline to apply for additional funding equal to 2 percent of their total patient care revenue from the $20 billion portion of the $50 billion Phase 1 General Distribution, including many Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and dental providers with low Medicare revenues. In addition, certain providers who experienced a change in ownership, making them previously ineligible for Phase 1 funding, will also be given an opportunity to apply for financial relief.  As of August 10th, these eligible providers may now submit their application for possible funds by August 28, 2020. This deadline aligns with the extended deadline for other eligible Phase 2 providers, such as Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, CHIP, and dental providers.

Honoring Our Front Line Heros

Lutheran Services in America is proud to honor the incredibly brave front line workers serving during this historic time in our national network. This week we are launching a new digital booklet that offers every inspiring entry to date in our Front Line Heroes series. Our Summer 2020 issue highlights the courageous efforts of our members dating back to March, and is just the first collection in what will be a continuing campaign to lift up the impact our members are making on their communities across the country. You can find the summer issue and an overview video on our new Front Line Heroes page. Please feel free to share these resources on your own social media pages, and to email Caitlyn Gudmundsen ( with stories from your organization you would like to see included in our upcoming issues.

Advocacy Update

COVID-19 Relief Legislation Still on Hold: Having failed to reach agreement on COVID-19 relief legislation before senators left Washington DC, Democrats and Republicans are focusing on their respective national conventions to nominate their candidates for the U.S. presidency.  On Tuesday Senate Republicans offered a pared down version of their relief response legislation, the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act, to provide emergency U.S. Postal Service (USPS) funding, supplemental unemployment relief, liability protections for pandemic providers, funding for education and testing, and limited additional relief under the Paycheck Protection Program.  The Senate is not expected to vote on this “skinny” version of their bill, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday cancelled plans for the House to address pandemic relief over the weekend. Anticipating Congress coming back to work in earnest in September, we continue to urge that the Senate bill address needs most important to health and human services nonprofits or our country’s most vulnerable people as outlined in our key priorities, including forgivable loans for nonprofits of all sizes and additional targeted financial resources for nonprofit front line health and human services providers.  We ask that you continue to make our voices heard as negotiations continue.  Please join us in sending a message to your Senators by clicking here to use our advocacy tool.

Coronavirus Resources

Lutheran Services in America has compiled a list of COVID-19 news and resources that is regularly updated. In particular, we are tracking philanthropic and federal funding opportunities and requirements for our members and compiling a list of upcoming webinars, meetings, and events. Be sure to check out these pages and feel free to reach out to or with any related questions you have.


Citing COVID-19, Advocates Want Medicaid Caregiver Check-In Mandate Delayed

Federal officials are being asked to pause the rollout of a new requirement that care providers electronically check in when assisting people with disabilities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Medicaid mandate known as electronic visit verification, or EVV, took effect in January 2020, but many states were granted a one-year good faith extension giving them until January 2021 to come into compliance.

More from Disability Scoop

COVID-19 Taking A Toll On Direct Support Professionals

The coronavirus is rocking the already unstable workforce of direct support professionals assisting people with developmental disabilities, with a new survey finding nearly half know someone who’s left the profession due to the pandemic.

The survey of nearly 9,000 direct support workers across the nation finds that 34 percent are working more hours since COVID-19 emerged and a quarter say they are more often short-staffed. Only 24 percent reported receiving extra pay related to the increased risks associated with the virus, often another $1 or $2 added to an average wage of $13.63 per hour.

More from Disability Scoop

FDA creates first-ever medical supply shortage list including masks, swabs and ventilators

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Friday that it has created its first list of medical supplies that are facing a shortage just hours after President Trump touted the administration's production of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other devices.

In an effort to prevent stockpiling or hoarding of supplies, the list does not reveal the product manufacturers, but lists that ventilators, respirators, masks, surgical gowns, gloves and sterile swabs are on short supply. 

More from The Hill

Next Steps on Coronavirus Stimulus Package Divide Both Parties

Lawmakers from both parties are growing increasingly worried by the stalemate over a coronavirus aid package, but internal divisions on each side are complicating their efforts to propose new measures. In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) was facing pressure from an assortment of Democrats to consider alternatives to her approach of pushing Republicans to accept a deal similar in content to a package that the House passed in May.  In the Senate, some Republicans are hoping to vote on a cheaper, pared-down version of the aid bill they unveiled last month, although some GOP aides said they saw early signs that it wouldn’t be able to muster a Senate majority.

More from The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)


Oklahoma withdraws block grant proposal following Medicaid expansion vote

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority has withdrawn plans to revamp part of the state’s Medicaid program under a block grant model.

On Aug. 11, agency director Kevin Corbett rescinded the authority's request for a waiver to charge premiums and impose work requirements on some Medicaid recipients.

“The Oklahoma Health Care Authority has withdrawn the state’s application for the Healthy Adult Opportunity demonstration waiver,” said agency spokeswoman Katelynn Burns. “Due to the passage of State Question 802, the waiver application is no longer applicable to the Oklahoma Medicaid program.”

More from The Oklahoman

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights Resolves Complaint with Utah After it Revised Crisis Standards of Care to Protect Against Age and Disability Discrimination

On Thursday, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is announced that it has reached an early case resolution with the state of Utah after it revised its crisis standards of care ("CSC") guidelines to ensure that such criteria do not discriminate against persons on the basis of age and disability. This is OCR's seventh resolution with a state regarding discrimination concerns during COVID-19.

More from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Civil Rights

NJ group home residents with disabilities have been isolated too long, advocates say

Group home residents with disabilities continue to be isolated after five months of very little contact with the outside world, as most recreation programs and outings have been canceled or held virtually.

While advocates agree that isolation has been important to protect the health of the residents, they worry about the psychological health of a vulnerable population. More from

Western states working together on telehealth services

A group of governors from western states are "working together" to identify the best telehealth practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued a joint statement announcing the "coordinated and principle-driven approach" to telehealth this month. "Our states have significant individual and collective experience with telehealth," the governors said. "To ensure that the nation benefits from our knowledge as changes to federal regulations are contemplated, to support continued application and availability of telehealth in our states, and to ensure that we address the inequities faced in particular by tribal communities and communities of color, we are announcing that Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington have agreed to work together to identify best practices that support telehealth services for residents of our states."

More from Kiowa County Press

Research & Reports

Examining the impact of COVID‐19 in ethnically diverse families with young children with intellectual and developmental disabilities

A study examines the impact of COVID‐19 in 77 ethnically, linguistically and socioeconomically diverse families with young children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) in California and Oregon, who were participating in larger intervention studies. Parents responded to five interview questions about the impact of the pandemic, services for their child, silver linings or positive aspects, coping and their concerns about the long‐term impact of the pandemic.

More from Journal of Intellectual Disability Research

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

Medicaid expansion is the shot in the arm America needs

Amid the deadliest pandemic to afflict America in a century and surging unemployment, Medicaid expansion is having a moment. In recent months, two deeply conservative states— Oklahoma and Missouri — voted to expand Medicaid despite opposition from Republican state leaders. 

With the majority of voters in both political parties recognizing the value of Medicaid expansion, now is the time for the remaining 12 states to take this action.

More from The Hill

How Red America learned to love Medicaid expansion

Missouri recently became the fifth straight red state to approve Medicaid expansion by referendum, joining Idaho, Nebraska, Utah and Oklahoma. Does that surprise you? Not me.

As a U.S. senator from Minnesota, I saw how passionate folks in the rural areas of our state are about Medicaid expansion. Why? Because Medicaid expansion has been an enormous boon to rural counties. And now, in this time of COVID-19, folks in rural America need it more than ever.

More from Star Tribune

Upcoming Events

LSA-DN 2021 Winter Meeting
February 2021
Details TBD


For more information on our topic specific work groups, please email Doug Walter at

  • Policy & Advocacy Team
  • Culture and Engagement Workgroup
  • Administrative Cost Survey Working Group

Keep in Touch

Lisa Morgan
DN Convener
Chief Operating Officer, Lutheran Family Services of Virginia

Mary Mulliet
DN Treasurer
Vice President of Community Services, Samaritas

Doug Walter
Director of Policy and Advocacy, Disability Network, Lutheran Services in America