The Catalyst

Senior Services News
Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Don't Miss Our Annual Meeting

Annual Membership Meeting & Award Ceremony

Date: March 24, 2021
Time: 3:00–3:45 p.m. EDT

Lutheran Services in America will hold its Annual Membership Meeting and a NEW awards ceremony on March 24 at 3 p.m. EDT. Member CEOs will cast votes for two member CEOs for the Lutheran Services in America Board of Directors and approve the FY 2022 budget and dues schedule. 

Winners of the first Lutheran Services in America annual awards will be announced at the Annual Membership Meeting:

  • The Innovator Award recognizes a member organization that is pioneering new solutions, technology or business practices to solve complex issues. This member is forward-thinking and extending beyond its own mission to strengthen the Lutheran social ministry network across the country. Ultimately, their breakthrough solutions are designed to lift up the nation’s most vulnerable people and help ensure that all Americans can live abundant lives.
  • The Micah Award recognizes a member organization that is leading the way in its work in addressing justice, mercy and equity. This member’s leadership in race equity, inclusion and diversity is truly inspirational and best exemplifies the spirit of Micah 6:8, “Act justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”

Register here to attend and to submit your award entries for your own organization or a peer Lutheran social ministry organization by by March 12, 2021.

Upcoming Strength & Service Series Webinar


Reading the Tea Leaves — Fortune-telling an Uncertain Future for Senior Services

Date: Wednesday March 10, 2021
Time: 1:00-2:00pm EST 

The senior services landscape is rapidly shifting. Changes to federal and state funding and regulations, priorities for health insurance companies, new clinical care needs, low skilled nursing occupancy rates, and preferences for home care are just some of the forces causing providers to rethink their overall structure and delivery models. Join us as Andy Edeburn, Principal with Premier, Inc. gives an overview of current market trends and offers methods for thinking about the future. Register here.  

COVID-19 and Poverty in the U.S.

Date: March 25, 2021
Time: 1:00 -2:00 p.m. EDT

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed attention to vast income disparities that exist in our country. Health and human service organizations across the U.S. are seeing increased demand for services as they care for vulnerable populations reeling from the spread of the virus and economic crisis. Please join us for this presentation from The University of Notre Dame Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), who will share results from their groundbreaking study assessing the impact of COVID-19 on poverty in the U.S. and how they can support your programs to address poverty at the local level. Register here.

Understanding the Impact of Systemic Racism on Black Families

Date: April 16th, 2021
Time: 1:00 -2:00 p.m. EDT

We know children thrive when they are raised in loving, stable families. Yet throughout American history there have been many forces that have actively destabilized black and brown families.  Slavery, mass incarceration, the school to prison pipeline, and poverty are some of the many examples of policies and practices that have actively separated children from their families. Please join us for this captivating, original presentation by Dr. Harry Singleton, theologian, author, and one of the most passionate and informed voices on race and religion in America as he elevates the historical and cyclical impact that systemic racism has on children, families, and communities of color, and the considerations we as faith-based organizations must make if we are to disrupt its cycle. Register here.

Partner Spotlight


Ziegler Presents: Women’s History Month

Date: Thursday March 18, 2021

In recognition of Women’s History Month, Ziegler will host its first Women in Senior Living Leadership Forum on Thursday, March 18 tocelebrate the women leaders in our sector. The event will host a series of compelling guest speakers and panelists and will allow time at the end for meaningful networking among peers. If you are interested in attending, please contact Lisa McCracken, Director of Senior Living Research and Development at Ziegler, Thank you to all the women who contribute to our field every day with their dedication and passion for serving older adults!



CMS Updates



Advocacy Update

Senate Passes President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, Final Passage in House expected later today

Following passage of the next COVID relief bill, known as the American Rescue Plan Act, by a narrow margin in the House of Representatives on February 27, the Senate passed the bill on a party-line vote on Saturday, March 6.  Congressional leaders currently aim to pass a final bill in the House today and have it signed into law by March 14.

The legislation narrowly expands the Paycheck Protection Program to allow organizations with more than 500 employees to be eligible for PPP as long as employees are spread across multiple locations with no single location having more than 500 employees. Self-funded unemployment reimbursement has been increased from 50 to 75 percent.  After an amendment to the Senate bill, Home and Community-Based Services will see dedicated funding in the form of an enhanced 10% FMAP (up from 7.35% in the House bill) for states that engage in certain activities to enhance the services.  In addition, the bill includes an extension of temporary unemployment benefits and enhanced weekly benefits.  The House version included a phased increase of the minimum wage, but this provision was removed during Senate consideration and is extremely unlikely to be included in the final law.  More information on the package can be found here in our detailed summary.

Meanwhile, the Senate health committees have completed their consideration of President Biden's choice of Xavier Becerra to be the next Health and Human Services Secretary, but his Senate confirmation vote has yet to be scheduled.

Join us here in urging lawmakers to retain the elements of this package that help nonprofit front line providers and continue to work toward addressing all our remaining needs.


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