WASHINGTON — Lutheran Services in America today announced it is launching Phase II of its “Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative.” The project is a collaborative, multi-year effort led by Lutheran Services in America in tandem with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, and St. John’s Lutheran Ministries, Inc. in Montana. The Collaborative is designed to leverage the unique assets and resources of rural communities and develop person-centered approaches to help seniors maintain their independence, remain in their homes and communities, and live with purpose and meaning.
Funded by a generous three-year grant from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, the Collaborative will work together to deliver services in over 22 communities across the three rural states addressing the unique challenges of rural aging. The Collaborative also will work with North Dakota State University to evaluate the success of different programs and approaches in rural communities and ensure that programs can be sustained beyond the grant.
“Older Americans in rural areas are no different from their urban and suburban counterparts when it comes to wanting to remain healthy, independent and connected,” noted Charlotte Haberaecker, president and CEO of Lutheran Services in America. “A major difference, however, is the significant challenge rural Americans face when it comes to accessing needed services and resources. This project is so promising because it incorporates social determinants such as transportation, nutrition, isolation and mobility that directly affect seniors’ health in rural areas.”
Building on Success
This second phase builds upon the success of an earlier grant also funded by Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies in which more than 1,500 older adults and their families were supported in over 70 rural communities across Minnesota and North Dakota, and where over 130 partners and stakeholders were engaged.
The project’s Phase II launching today incorporates valuable lessons learned and best practices gained from the project’s first phase, which emphasized the importance of local partnerships and the value of collaboration to expedite program delivery and improve program quality by leveraging a multi-state approach.
About Lutheran Services in America:
Lutheran Services in America is the national network of Lutheran social ministry organizations—connecting over 300 health and human services nonprofit service providers located throughout the country. Recognized by The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Forbes as one of the nation’s largest nonprofits, the Lutheran Services in America network operates with more than $22 billion in annual revenue and over 250,000 member employees. Together, the network lifts up the nation’s most vulnerable people from children to seniors—making a difference in the lives of one in 50 Americans every year. To learn more, please visit www.lutheranservices.org.