LSA-DN Weekly Update

Disability Network News
Friday, January 22, 2021


CEO Summit Series to Tackle Workforce Challenges in Two-part Seminar January 26

CEO Summit Series: 2020–2021 continues January 26 with an examination of one of our field’s most pressing concerns: the state of our workforce. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Carolyn Cawley will provide insights during our two-part “Workforce: Reimagining Your Most Trusted Assets” seminar about exploring the critical steps CEOs should take now to meet current and future workforce needs, the workforce patterns that are emerging and lessons learned for CEOs in times of extreme global stress, and innovative ways to invest resources based on changing workforce trends. Ms. Cawley will be joined by half a dozen of your peers with first-hand knowledge and experience on how to transform your workforce. Then on February 23, we conclude this year’s series with a thought-provoking look ahead at the post-pandemic landscape and the realities and opportunities that await. Renowned corporate strategist David Morey returns alongside Advocate Aurora Health president and CEO Jim Skogsbergh for “Looking Forward: Post-pandemic Realities and Opportunities” to review which market forces are here to stay, which innovations we need to adopt, and how adaptations made during disruption can be sustained. Register here for this timely series today!

Strength & Service Series

Please join the first webinar in our Strength & Services Series in 2021: Feb. 10: 2-2:45pm EST Crisis Fatigue in the Workforce: A Conversation with Dr. Christine Cauffield. People living in the U.S. are grappling with long-term attacks to their psyche. Just in the last year, we have witnessed race-based violence, a global pandemic, mass unemployment, and political and social unrest. What are some of the ways leaders, themselves exhausted, can best support employees suffering from crisis fatigue? Join us for a webinar with Chief Executive Officer of LSF Health Systems, Dr. Christine Cauffield – who has worked with leaders in police, healthcare, child welfare and others to address the impact of mental health in their own organizations. Register here.

Free Online Consumer CV19 CheckUp

CV19 CheckUp is an online system developed to help Americans be safer, healthier, and ensure their individual needs are met during the pandemic. CV19 CheckUp asks users to complete an easy, quick, confidential questionnaire. A personalized report is immediately provided, outlining the user’s level of risk and offering recommendations and resources to reduce those risks. CV19 CheckUp employs artificial intelligence and data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Share it with your consumers and residents at

Our COVID-19 Vaccine Resources Hub

We have heard interest from the Lutheran Services in America network in peer guidance & resources on developing COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution and Communication plans for your organizations.

In response, Lutheran Services in America has created a COVID-19 Vaccine Resources Hub which we are continuously updating. Here are recent resources regarding the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines:

Please email if your leadership would be interested in a peer forum to discuss current strategies or recommend additional resources.

Paycheck Protection Program Resumes with New Application Forms and Revised Eligibility Criteria

On Monday, January 11, the Small Business Administration (SBA) reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal for new loans available under the terms of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020.  Loan applications will be accepted until March 31, 2021.

Community financial institutions, which include Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), and Microloan Intermediaries, are now processing applications for entities seeking their first PPP loans (“first draw” loans), and second round loans (“second draw” loans) for entities that have already received and used up initial PPP loans.  Other eligible lenders and borrowers will be able to process and apply for loans shortly. 

First draw loans continue to be available only to entities with 500 or fewer employees, while second draw loans are available only to employers with 300 or fewer employees who can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020, among other criteria. 

For more information on this and other funding opportunities, please consult our continually updated webpage on federal relief funding.

Provider Relief Fund: HHS Continues Distributing Over $24 Billion Phase 3 Funding

On December 16th the Health Resources and Services Administration announced that it has completed review of Phase 3 applications from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) program and will distribute $24.5 billion to over 70,000 providers. Up from the $20 billion originally planned, the addition of another $4.5 billion in funding is being used to satisfy close to 90 percent of each applicant’s reported lost revenues and net change in expenses caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the first half of 2020. Payment distribution begins immediately and continue through January, 2021.   According the its press release: “HHS is providing more than $24 billion in new relief to more than 70,000 healthcare providers, meeting close to 90 percent of the losses they’ve reported from the COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of the year,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “With the Provider Relief Fund, we’ve been able to support providers hardest hit by COVID-19, including safety net hospitals, rural providers, and nursing homes, helping ensure they can continue serving their communities during and beyond the pandemic.”

Honoring Our Front Line Heroes

Lutheran Services in America is proud to honor the incredibly brave front line workers serving during this historic time in our national network. We proudly offer digital booklets to recognize this extraordinary work with our Front Line Heroes series. Our Summer and Fall 2020 issues highlight the courageous efforts of our members dating back to March, as part of a continuing campaign to lift up the impact our members are making on their communities across the country. You can find these issues 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 Chris Findlay ( with stories from your organization you would like to see included in our upcoming issues.

Advocacy Update

During his first hours in office President Joe Biden is signing or is expected to sign a series of executive orders and directives focusing on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday the president signed executive orders directing federal agencies to use wartime powers to require U.S. companies to make masks and other Personal Protective Equipment, requiring the wearing of masks on federal property, a call to state and local officials to encourage mask wearing and social distancing, and naming a national COVID-19 response coordinator.  More actions are expected in the coming days as the president works to make good his promise of 100 million coronavirus vaccinations in his first 100 days in office. Last week President Biden outlined a new $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package which he wants Congress to immediately take up.  His American Rescue Plan, as outlined, will provide an additional $1,400 in stimulus payments, extend and enhance the unemployment benefit to $400 per week, and raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.  State and local governments will receive $350 billion to address the pandemic.  $15 billion is proposed for new grants for small employers separate from the Paycheck Protection Program, with $175 billion provided for small business loans and investment.  The plan would implement a $20 billion national vaccination program, including 100% FMAP for states for the administration of coronavirus vaccines for Medicaid enrollees.  While no specific money is allocated, the plan calls for assistance to long-term care facilities, including the deployment of "strike teams" to assist facilities with outbreaks in coronavirus infections. As President Biden takes office and Congress begins to consider his plan, we at Lutheran Services in America will continue our aggressive call for additional Congressional legislation to support our members’ business and continuity and will update you on our advocacy and how you can take action.

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.


Health workers refusing vaccine is new growing US problem

Scores of health care workers are still declining to take the COVID-19 vaccine, presenting problems to the pandemic response by sending the wrong message to the public and risking staff shortages if workers become sick.

It’s all happening as a more contagious variant of the virus begins spreading in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday warned this strain could be the dominant one hitting the United States by March.

While there is no national data showing the number of health workers who have declined to be vaccinated, governors, public health officials and health care executives have sounded the alarm on what appears to be a higher than expected refusal rate.

More from The Hill

Nursing homes make big push to change minds of workers who refused vaccination

The pandemic has taken a deadly toll on A.G. Rhodes Cobb, a nursing home on the outskirts of Atlanta. Twelve residents have died after contracting Covid-19. Forty-four staff members have fallen ill.

But despite their up-close look at the virus's impact, most workers at the facility have been reluctant to get vaccinated. At the three clinics held last month at A.G. Rhodes Cobb and two other facilities in Georgia run by the same company, about 30 percent of staff members chose to get vaccinated, while 57 percent of residents opted in, according to management.

"Some people think if you get the vaccine, you'll get sick. And some are afraid and distrusting of the government," said Sonya Williams, the activities director at A.G. Rhodes Cobb, who was vaccinated in late December. Williams, 42, is now encouraging her hesitant colleagues to do the same — pointing to her own experience as proof that the vaccine is safe. "The faster we can all get it, the faster we'll be able to move forward," she said.

More from NBC News

Biden Takes the Reins, Calls for a United Front Against Covid and Other Threats

Joe Biden on Wednesday took the oath to become the 46th president of the United States, vowing to bring the nation together in the midst of an ongoing pandemic that has claimed more than 400,000 lives, enormous economic dislocation and civil unrest so serious that the U.S. Capitol steps where he took his oath were surrounded not by cheering crowds, but by tens of thousands of armed police and National Guard troops.

In his inaugural address, given outside despite concerns for his physical security, Biden emphasized unity, the driving theme of his campaign. “My whole soul is in this, bringing America together, uniting our nation,” he said. “And I ask every American to join me in this cause.”

On health care, Biden made it clear that combating the covid-19 pandemic will be his top priority. “We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation,” he said. “We will get through this together.”

More from KHN

Biden Plan Would End Subminimum Wage, Offer Stimulus Checks To More With Disabilities

In his first major undertaking, President-elect Joe Biden wants to do away with a decades-old option to pay workers with disabilities less than minimum wage while giving stimulus payments to more people in this population.

Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion proposal late last week to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout from it. The so-called American Rescue Plan includes $1,400 in direct payments to many Americans as well as funding to support vaccine distribution, reopen schools and support state and local governments while also extending unemployment benefits and expanding paid leave.

Notably, the plan would provide stimulus payments for adults with disabilities who are considered dependents for tax purposes. These individuals have been disqualified from the previous rounds of direct payments issued by the federal government since the start of the pandemic.

More from Disability Scoop

HHS Civil Rights Office Tackles Health Care Discrimination Of People With Disabilities

Civil rights officials at the Department of Health and Human Services issued a series of actions to protect people with disabilities from health care discrimination by medical providers during the pandemic.

The actions, by the Office of Civil Rights, or OCR, at the Department of Health and Human Services, specifically address discrimination related to the denial of treatment for people with disabilities who have COVID-19 or the symptoms of COVID-19. They include:

  • The start of a process to write regulations that explicitly prohibit medical workers from denying care to people with disabilities based on subjective decisions about the quality of their life or by issuing a Do Not Resuscitate order without the patient's consent or against their stated preference. 
  • revision to the guidelines of four health care systems, in North Carolina, North Texas, Southwest Texas and the Indian Health System, to assure that people with disabilities and older people are not passed over for scarce care, like drug treatments and ventilators.

More from NPR 

Backed By Google, Inclusive Housing Project Moves Forward

An affordable housing project in San Jose has moved closer to reality with a new loan and the developer’s purchase of the properties where the homes will be built.

The Kelsey Ayer Station has landed more financing from Google and the project’s developer has just completed a purchase of the properties needed for the 115-unit development, according to public documents filed in Santa Clara County on Jan. 15.

“Google has allowed us to accelerate our development plans and keep this project going,” said Micaela Connery, founder and chief executive officer of The Kelsey, a co-developer of The Kelsey Ayer Station.

More from Disability Scoop


North Carolina: For some long-term care residents, vaccine comes too late

Even as North Carolina enters the second phase of its vaccine plan, some long-term care residents are still waiting for the COVID-19 vaccine.

For Barbara Fischer, an 83-year-old dementia patient at Brookdale Meadowmont, it could be  coming too late.

When the state announced that people in long-term care facilities would be among the first to receive vaccination and that initial doses would arrive by mid-December, Ester Amy Fischer thought her mother’s group home would be offered the vaccine within weeks.

The Chapel Hill facility had been dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak since late November, and though the memory unit where her mother resided remained free of infection, that stability seemed more fragile with each passing day.

More from North Carolina Health News

Disability community advocates to prioritize 3 key areas in Georgia’s 2021 legislative session

A legislative agenda outlines the public policy priorities on which an organization and/or group of advocates will focus. During Georgia’s 2020 legislative session, the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) introduced a legislative agenda that focused on “disability in all policy.” The idea for this type of legislative agenda is to ensure that people with disabilities and their families are considered in all areas of legislation.

Last year numerous organizations, including GCDD, worked with legislators to make sure that the perspectives of people with disabilities were being considered. This included any policy area from school choice to elevator compliance. As a result, the voices of the disability community are being represented in new and innovative spaces.

Advocates plan to continue their efforts centered around “disability in all policy” during the upcoming 2021 session. Specifically, three key priority areas expect to be highlighted during the 2021 session, especially during GCDD’s 2021 Advocacy Days.

More from Atlanta Business Chronicle

Iowa Disability Advocates Push for Mental-Health, Community-Care Funding

Advocates for Iowans with disabilities want state lawmakers to dedicate more funding in two key areas: mental-health treatment and community-based care. As the Legislature begins its new session, the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council has said it's trying to get lawmakers to pay attention to an issue the general public might not be aware of. Bill Kallestad, the council's public policy director, said people with disabilities often struggle with mental distress on top of their original diagnosis. He said not having access to mental-health care can set these individuals back. "They're not able to work on the independent skills for developmental disabilities," he said, "because maybe the prevalent need is to kind of focus on their mental-health services." Kallestad pointed to gaps in access to licensed counselors, and said a reliable funding stream could ensure that more people get the care they need.

More from Public News Service

Nurses in Kansas county refuse to give COVID-19 vaccine

Four nurses at a rural health department in Kansas are refusing to administer any COVID-19 vaccines, citing the fast development and production of the shots.

The Kansas City Star reports that none of the Coffey County nurses, including the public health administrator, feel “comfortable” administering a vaccine that has gone through a speedy testing process with new technology.

Studies involving tens of thousands of people found that the two vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use in the U.S. are nearly 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 illness. So far, the vaccines have been given to more than 10 million people in the U.S.

More from

California will resume using questioned doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

California’s top epidemiologist, Dr. Erica Pan, said late Wednesday that an expert panel’s review of apparent allergic reactions believed to be tied to a specific lot of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine found “no scientific basis” for continuing to withhold the doses.

The state had received about 330,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine from the specific lot, which were distributed across the state. Last week, seven people experienced reactions at a drive-through clinic in San Diego, some of which involved rapid swelling. But none were anaphylaxis or life-threatening reactions, according to the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.

The symptoms were, however, severe and required medical attention, Pan said previously.

More from Los Angeles Times

Research & Reports

CDC Study Pinpoints Prevalence Of Intellectual Disability

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are offering up a new estimate of the number of American children with intellectual disability.

In a study looking at 8-year-olds in several communities across the nation, CDC researchers found that 1.2% had IQ scores of 70 or below qualifying them for an intellectual disability diagnosis.

The findings published late last year in the Disability Health Journal are based on data collected through the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, which regularly reviews health and educational records for 8-year-olds in selected communities. The CDC uses the same methods to determine its autism prevalence estimates, which are generally updated every two years.

More from Disability Scoop

Caring for the Future: The Power and Potential of America’s Direct Care Workforce

Caring for the Future: The Power and Potential of America’s Direct Care Workforce provides a comprehensive, current-day analysis of the direct care workforce. This report was made possible by generous funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Woodcock Foundation, and The John A. Hartford Foundation.

More from PHI

People with Higher Support Needs: Disparities in Outcomes and Organizational Supports

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) with higher support needs often face service disparities. As a result, they often have fewer opportunities and lower quality of life compared to those people with IDD without higher support needs. This study conducted by CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership had two aims. Our first aim was to explore disparities in personal quality of life outcomes for people with higher support needs. Our second aim was to examine how organizations can promote the quality of life of people with higher support needs. To explore these aims, we analyzed Personal Outcome Measures® interviews from 1,341 people with IDD.

Our findings revealed, compared to people without higher support needs, people with higher support needs faced disparities in not only personal outcomes, but also organizational supports.

More from CQL

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

The 9 biggest challenges Biden will face on Covid-19, from today on

No president wants a federal emergency. No one in that role is waiting to call in FEMA reservists or deploy the National Guard.

But on Wednesday, after Joe Biden raises his right hand and swears his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the U.S. Constitution, that’s exactly the plan. Their mission: to set up a slew of new vaccination clinics.

The 20,000-strong FEMA workforce normally responds to the types of events that dominate 24-hour news cycles and leave towns and cities flattened to the ground, like the hurricanes and wildfires that have ravaged New Orleans and New York or California. FEMA can only deploy, in fact, when state and local governments decide they are incapable of responding on their own to whatever act of God is battering their community.

More from STAT

Upcoming Events

LSA-DN 2021 Winter Meeting (virtual)
1-5 p.m. EST each day
February 3 and 4, 2021


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, enCircle

Myra Griffie
Interim DN Treasurer
Chief Operating Officer, Lutheran Services Carolinas

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