LSA-DN Weekly Update

Disability Network News
Friday, February 5, 2021


CEO Summit Series Concludes with a Look at the Post-Covid-19 Landscape, February 23

CEO Summit Series: 2020–2021 concludes on February 23 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 and final installment today!

Strength & Service Series

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.

Mar. 10: 1-2pm EST - Reading the Tea Leaves — Fortune-telling an Uncertain Future for Senior Services

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.

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 Continues in 2021 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. 

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

Congress passes budget resolution allowing President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package to move forward without the need for Republican support. 

After meeting with a group of 10 Senate Republicans earlier in the week, who offered an alternative $618 billion package, the president signaled that he wanted to move ahead with his package, even without Republican support.  The budget resolution will allow passage moving forward with a simple majority of 51 votes in the Senate.  The Biden plan includes additional Paycheck Protection Program funding though still limited to businesses with 500 or fewer employees.  The plan also includes substantial additional funding for coronavirus vaccination allocation and $350 billion in state and local government aid, a provision which Republicans have opposed in past packages and which was not included in their alternative proposal.  The budget resolution and the finalization this week of a "power sharing" agreement between Senate Republicans and Democrats on how to conduct business in the chamber, with Chuck Schumer, Democrat from New York, replacing Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader, point to Congress rapidly taking up the legislation for passage in the coming days.

As Congress considers the Biden plan, we at Lutheran Services in America are continuing 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.


Senate vote paves way for passage of Biden’s economic relief plan

The Senate approved a budget bill early Friday that paves the way for passage of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, with Vice President Harris casting the tiebreaking vote on the measure that will be key to enacting Biden’s first major legislative initiative.

Passage of the budget bill by a 51-to-50 vote came just after 5:30 a.m. Friday, after an all-night Senate session during which senators plowed through dozens of amendments in a chaotic process known as a “vote-a-rama.” Democrats cheered on progress to address the pandemic, while Republicans complained of partisanship and excessive spending.

The House, which approved its own budget bill on Wednesday, is expected to act on on the Senate’s version within a day.

More from The Washington Post

Why Are So Many Health-Care Workers Resisting the COVID Vaccine?

Tiffany Chance has worked as a certified nursing assistant since 2005. As an African-American woman in her mid-thirties, Chance typifies the demographics of her profession: most C.N.A.s are young, over a third are Black, ninety per cent are women. She was born and raised in Ohio, and for years worked at a single nursing facility. When the pandemic started and nursing homes faced dire personnel shortages, as many employees contracted the virus or quit in fear of it, Chance started picking up scattered shifts through IntelyCare, a staffing agency that allows health-care workers to choose jobs the way that Uber drivers accept riders. She often works six shifts a week, eight or twelve hours each, across several nursing homes.

When considering a shift, Chance, who has asthma, tries to choose nursing homes without active coronavirus spread. This information, however, is self-reported, and there’s often a delay. “I’d pick a place that said they don’t have the virus, then I’d show up and they’d say, ‘Actually, some of these people have covid,’ ” Chance told me. In early October, she scheduled a shift at a new facility, which, she was told, had no coronavirus-positive residents; she was given a surgical mask, not an N95 respirator. A week later, as she started to develop a runny nose, she received a call: a resident had tested positive. . . . 

More from The New Yorker

A Parallel Pandemic Hits Health Care Workers: Trauma and Exhaustion

Dr. Sheetal Khedkar Rao, 42, an internist in suburban Chicago, can’t pinpoint the exact moment when she decided to hang up her stethoscope for the last time. There were the chaos and confusion of the spring, when a nationwide shortage of N95 masks forced her to examine patients with a surgical mask, the fears she might take the coronavirus home to her family and the exasperating public disregard for mask-wearing and social distancing that was amplified by the White House.

Among the final blows, though, were a 30 percent pay cut to compensate for a drop in patients seeking primary care, and the realization that she needed to spend more time at home after her children, 10 and 11, switched to remote learning.

“Everyone says doctors are heroes and they put us on a pedestal, but we also have kids and aging parents to worry about,” said Dr. Rao, who left her practice in October. “After awhile, the emotional burden and moral injury become too much to bear.”

More from The New York Times

100 Million Covid Shots in 100 Days Doesn’t Get Us Back to Normal

April 30 will mark the end of the first 100 days of President Joe Biden’s tenure. That’s a benchmark presidents often set for making good on high-priority campaign promises.

In early December, Biden announced that one promise would be to get 100 million covid-19 vaccines into the arms of Americans in the first 100 days, averaging about 1 million daily doses. The U.S. reached that pace around Inauguration Day but will have to maintain it for the next three months for Biden to reach his goal.

If realized, how will everyday life change? We asked the experts.

More from KHN 

Coronavirus sees uptick in demand for home care workers

While hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, home care workers are working to keep up with a surge in demand. Many families are increasingly depending on home care workers to take care of their vulnerable family members amid the ongoing pandemic.

"Home care does everything for me that I can’t do for myself," Betty Anne, a 90-year-old who has been using home care for two years, said.  "During the pandemic, I feel safer because I’m home, alone, with just them." Eric Pritchard said his family also chose home care for his aunt, who had a stroke and heart attack several years ago.  More from Fox News 


'We feel forgotten': People with disabilities push for inclusion in Minnesota's vaccine rollout plan

For weeks, Kristine Phelps has been scouring the Minnesota Health Department's website, hoping to find the words "developmental disability" or "Down syndrome" somewhere in the government's plan for rolling out the coronavirus vaccines.

But each search ends in disappointment for Phelps, who cares for her 29-year-old daughter Hannah, who has Down syndrome and lives at her home in south Minneapolis. So far, the state's plan makes no mention of when people with disabilities who live at home will get the lifesaving shots.

"We feel forgotten," said Phelps. "When it comes to the vaccine, it's like we're deemed second-class citizens or even worse — we're invisible."

More from Star Tribune

Charlotte-area health departments overcoming 'burdensome' state vaccine logging system

Quickly putting together mass vaccination clinics has been a huge undertaking and it’s completely new to vaccine providers.

The biggest part of the process is getting shots into arms but there’s also a lot that must happen behind the scenes. Vaccine providers are required to input a lot of information about who is getting vaccinated into the state's data logging system, and it comes with its own set of challenges.

Technically, a vaccine isn't counted as being administered when it goes into someone’s arm, but when it’s logged in the state's data system, CVMS.

More from WCNC Charlotte

California's vaccine distribution woes reflect a state long troubled by wealth and class divides

At any given time, Fresno County resident Angélica Salceda has at least four websites open on her phone in hopes that one of them might tell her when it’s time for her parents to be vaccinated.

Every day, she checks the health department websites for Fresno County and neighboring Madera County, where her parents live, as well as their medical provider’s page and the state’s newly launched My Turn portal.

Salceda worries that her 66-year-old father, who milks cows at a dairy farm, and her 64-year-old mother, who is a child care provider, might be exposed to the coronavirus through their jobs, which are considered essential.

“I’ve been really confused by the vaccine rollout,” she said. “We’re all at this point, especially those of us looking for appointments for our elders, where we’re looking everywhere.”

More from CNBC News

Georgia: State Is Years Behind In Reporting Medicaid Program Quality

Federal law requires states to update their plans for improving Medicaid health care quality at least every three years.

Georgia, however, published its most recent quality plan in February 2016. It’s at least two years out of date.

The guidelines aim to ensure members in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (known as PeachCare in Georgia) get quality health care and state taxpayers get a good return on their investment.

“With the large state investment in Medicaid, the state should have the information it needs to hold the contracted organizations accountable and ensure they are best serving the needs of enrollees,” said Laura Harker, senior policy analyst at Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

More from GA Today

Research & Reports

Large majority of doctors hold misconceptions about people with disabilities, survey finds

A new survey of U.S. doctors finds that more than 80% believe people with a significant disability have a worse quality of life than those who are not disabled, underscoring how physicians’ perceptions across specialties could negatively influence the care of the more than 61 million Americans with disabilities.

In the analysis, published Monday in Health Affairs, 82% of surveyed doctors thought the quality of life of those with disabilities was either “a little worse” or “a lot worse” than those without. While about 80% said they strongly agreed that it is very valuable to understand their patients with disabilities, only 18% strongly agreed that patients with disabilities are treated unfairly in the health care system.

Lead author Lisa Iezzoni, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a core faculty member at the Mongan Institute Health Policy Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, said she was surprised that so many doctors “were open and willing to say that.” Iezzoni, who has multiple sclerosis and has studied the health care experiences and outcomes of people with disabilities for more than two decades, said she assumed doctors would be more hesitant to admit they hold these views.

More from STAT

Barriers in access to healthcare for women with disabilities: a systematic review in qualitative studies

Studies show that different socio-economic and structural factors can limit access to healthcare for women with disabilities. The aim of the current study was to review barriers in access to healthcare services for women with disabilities (WWD) internationally.

We conducted a systematic review of relevant qualitative articles in PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus databases from January 2009 to December 2017. The search strategy was based on two main topics: (1) access to healthcare; and (2) disability. In this review, women (older than 18) with different kinds of disabilities (physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities) were included. Studies were excluded if they were not peer-reviewed, and had a focus on men with disabilities.

More from BMC Women's Health

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

Biden Is Right to Go Big

Joe Biden ran on unity and bipartisanship. His goal was to restore the soul of America and make Washington work again. His first major proposal was a $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill. Ten Republicans countered with a $618 billion plan.

They could have negotiated for even a week to see if they could settle on a compromise. Republicans and Democrats have already cooperated to pass about $4 trillion in Covid relief. It’s plausible to think some of them could have cooperated to pass a fifth trillion.

Biden would have shown that a bipartisan political process can still work. He would have divided the G.O.P. between the Republican normies and the Trumpian crazies. He would have taken a giant step to depolarize our politics, restore political legitimacy and make Congress function. That would have been a huge accomplishment.

But it wasn’t even attempted. There are many reasons, including the size of the Republicans’ offering, but the core is that most Democrats, outside Joe Biden, don’t trust Republicans and don’t believe in bipartisanship right now. We are too close to the horrors of the Trump presidency and the trauma of Jan. 6. With some justification, Democrats have contempt for Republicans and don’t want to work with them. The Democratic Party is not emotionally ready to enact the kind of government Biden promised.

More from The New York Times

Upcoming Events

LSA-DN 2021 Spring Meeting (virtual)
April date TBA


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

  • Policy & Advocacy Team
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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