LSA-DN Weekly Update

Disability Network News
Friday, September 4, 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!

Provider Relief Fund Money Still Available With Deadline Extended to September 13th

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 September 13th. This deadline aligns with the extended deadline for other eligible Phase 2 providers, such as Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, CHIP, and dental providers.

The Lutheran Services in America Strength & Service Series

Upcoming Series Webinars

Becoming an Antiracist Organization
Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Time: 1:00-2:00 EDT

Hear from three peer leaders as they continue addressing their organization’s role in systemic racism, explore efforts to engage community partners to dismantle racism, and discuss the importance in recognizing and naming the pain that racism causes.  Join Damyn Kelly, President and CEO, Lutheran Social Services of New York, Michael Bertrand, President and CEO & Beverly Jones, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois and Paulo Pina, Pediatric Medical Director, Assistant Clinical Professor, NYU Robert I. Grossman School of Medicine, Family Health Centers at NYU Langone.  For more information and to register click here.

Engagement Technology — What Happens When You Pair Technology and Creative Leadership
Date: Thursday, October 29, 2020
Time: 1–2 p.m. EDT

The COVID-19 crisis has brought to the forefront the importance of staying connected, and the consequences of being isolated. Come see how the pairing of technology and creative leadership can lead to successful outcomes and improve the quality of life for everyone involved. Hosted by Jack York, President and CEO of iN2L, Dave Gehm, President and CEO of Wellspring Lutheran Services, and Kevin McFeely, President and CEO of Tacoma Lutheran, will share their own experiences and expertise on creative ways they have kept their residents, families and staff connected and engaged through the pandemic. For more information and to register click here.

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.

Millions of Individuals Have Yet to Claim Their CARES Act Stimulus Payments

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), many people have not yet received their stimulus payment (Economic Impact Payment or EIP) available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the COVID-19 legislation Congress enacted in March.  Millions of individuals who do not normally file income taxes are entitled to this payment, and to receive it they must enter their information into the IRS Non-Filers Tool by October 15, 2020.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just released the guide Helping Consumers Claim the Economic Impact Payment: A guide for intermediary organizations. The guide is free and contains step-by-step information for direct service and community organizations frontline staff on how to: discuss the EIP with clients, determine if clients need to take action, and support clients with what to expect and how to troubleshoot common issues or address scenarios such as not having a permanent address.

More information is available through CFPB's blog, and CFPB will offer two webinars, walking through the guide and answering questions from attendees. Register now for the date that works best for you:

Thursday, September 3, 2020, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EST. Register here:

Thursday, September 8, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EST. Register here:

If you have questions about the guide, contact

Advocacy Update

U.S. Senate May Vote on a Pared-Down COVID-19 Relief Bill As Early As Next Week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has told his Republican caucus and the Trump administration that he intends to bring a new, pared-down COVID-19 relief bill to the Senate floor when the Senate reconvenes after Labor Day from its August recess. The bill is expected to provide additional unemployment and small business relief and will be far more modest than the $3 trillion relief bill passed by the House of Representatives in May. The Senate measure is unlikely to garner enough Democratic support for the 60 votes needed for passage, and McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have signaled this week that Republican and Democrat leadership remain at an impasse in negotiations to move relief legislation forward. We continue to urge that the legislation 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.


Fad or future? Telehealth expansion eyed beyond pandemic

Telehealth is a bit of American ingenuity that seems to have paid off in the coronavirus pandemic. Medicare temporarily waived restrictions predating the smartphone era and now there’s a push to make telemedicine widely available in the future.

Consultations via tablets, laptops and phones linked patients and doctors when society shut down in early spring. Telehealth visits dropped with the reopening, but they’re still far more common than before.

Permanently expanding access will involve striking a balance between costs and quality, dealing with privacy concerns and potential fraud, and figuring out how telehealth can reach marginalized patients, including people with mental health problems.

More from AP News

Rural People with Disabilities Fight to Retain Independence during Pandemic

From mental health strain caused by social isolation to life threatening circumstances, people with disabilities living in rural America are exposed to higher-than-average risks during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re a population of higher risk individuals,” said Sierra Royster, the youth coordinator for the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living, or APRIL. “So you don’t want to be infected because you’re definitely one of those people that can end up on the ventilator that isn’t provided.” 

But some of the risks faced by populations with disabilities go beyond the danger of contracting the virus. Royster recalled a disabled friend who required a ventilator and recently passed away due to medical complications not related to Covid. 

More from The Daily Yonder

Ending Census Early Could Impact Disability Programs For Years

Plans to end the census a month ahead of schedule may mean fewer people are counted and less funding is available over the next decade for disability services, advocates warn.

The U.S. Census Bureau was expected to collect responses from people across the nation through the end of October after making adjustments to its plan earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. But this month, the agency announced that it would instead halt all collection activities Sept. 30.

More from Disability Scoop

Shutdown politics set to collide with coronavirus aid

The odds are rising that any deal on a fifth coronavirus relief package will be tied to legislation to prevent a government shutdown.

After weeks of stalemated talks, the timeline for the two fights have all but merged: The House is set to leave until after the election by Oct. 2, giving lawmakers only a matter of weeks to get a deal on another coronavirus bill. And government agencies cannot run when the next fiscal year begins on Oct. 1 without new funding from Congress. 

More from The Hill


OKDHS to now help developmentally disabled Oklahomans who’ve waited for state help over 12 years

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services now has the funds to help community members who have been on the state’s Developmental Disabilities waiting list for over 12 years.

The Oklahoma Legislature directed an additional $1.9 million to be invested in the waiting list through Senate Bill 1932, according to an OKDHS news release issued on Wednesday.

OKDHS can now provide services to 270 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities currently on the waiting list.

More from Oklahoma's News 4

Developmentally disabled hit hard with pandemic job losses in Michigan

When COVID-19 hit Michigan, one segment of the workforce was hit especially hard: people with developmental disabilities.

Employment advocates in Michigan and across the country are working to overcome challenges amid the pandemic to keep their clients engaged in training and employed. They’re balancing the availability of jobs with the safety of their clients and the comfort levels of their families.

More from The Detroit News

Ohio Medicaid wants to make telehealth service expansion permanent

The explosion of telehealth following the coronavirus outbreak may be here to stay. The Ohio Department of Medicaid announced on Tuesday it is seeking to permanently expand telehealth options for the more than 3 million poor and disabled residents insured through the tax-funded program.

More from The Columbus Dispatch

Kansas disability services were supposed to get a boost, but the pandemic changed that

Cottonwood Incorporated in Lawrence helps about 75 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with jobs, assembling things like cargo straps for the federal government and medical kits.  Cottonwood has more than 200 staff members, and there’s a help wanted sign outside of their building. The state was prepared to give organizations that provide in-home care and disability services a $9 million funding increase this year to help boost workers’ pay.

Cottonwood CEO Sharon Spratt said that could have translated to about $1 or more per hour. Right now, she said, the pay is often between $10 to $12 an hour, making it hard to attract staff.

But Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly eliminated the $9 million increase when the state’s revenue forecast plummeted by more than $1 billion after the coronavirus closed businesses and led to massive layoffs. As part of her $700 million plan to balance the budget, Kelly wants to delay payments, take out a loan from a state investment pool and trim money for many services — including disability care and juvenile justice.

More from KAKE

Research & Reports

National Institutes of Health Cites Report on Impact of the Pandemic on People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs), write the directors of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRC) Network, a nationwide group funded by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The article was written by John Constantino, M.D., director of the IDDRC at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, along with fellow IDDRC directors and leaders of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. The article appears in the American Journal of Psychiatry. 

More from National Institutes of Health

Rideshare Transportation to Health Care: Evidence From a Medicaid Implementation

This study suggests that rideshare to health care programs can meet similar goals of quality compared with traditional NEMT services but may have implications for health care access for Medicaid enrollees. Future evaluations need to include the perspectives of enrollees and explore potential differences among different Medicaid subpopulations.

More from AJMC

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

How Foundational Moments In Medicaid’s History Reinforced Rather Than Eliminated Racial Health Disparities

The past months have laid bare the inextricable connection between two pandemics in the United States: COVID-19, which is disproportionately affecting Black Americans, and systemic racism, which has set the foundation for the stark health disparities we see today. Black people are, for instance, twice as likely to die of heart disease and are 50 percent more likely to have high blood pressure at younger ages than White peers. Yet, missing from the conversation is an analysis of structural racism within the Medicaid program, and how Medicaid policies have failed to resolve racial health disparities throughout the program’s history. 

More from Health Affairs

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