Addressing Mental Health Challenges: Scaling Up through Partnerships and Resources

March 25, 2024

Across the country, health and human services agencies are seeing increased demand for behavioral health services for children, youth and families, older adults, people with disabilities, refugees and New Americans, as well as employees. Whether you are considering how best to meet behavioral health needs in your organizations and/or communities or are interested in understanding how to effectively refer individuals to community partners for services, this virtual forum will provide insights and resources.  You will have a chance to hear from:

  • Experienced providers who have successfully launched and grown behavioral health programs.
  • Experts with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Faith-Based Partnerships.

The discussion will:

  • Explore innovative approaches to partnership to better address needs.
  • Support how to navigate funding opportunities including at the federal and state levels.
  • Provide insights on how to leverage technical assistance and capacity building efforts.
  • Better prepare you to advocate for resources as demand exceeds capacity for treatment and services.


  • Joe Bañez, Deputy Director, Office of Legislative Affairs, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Christine Cauffield, PhD, CEO, LSF Health Systems and Executive Vice President, Lutheran Services Florida
  • Heidi Christensen, Public Affairs Specialist, Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Teresa Harms Coder, Vice President of Program Performance for Health & Wellness Services, Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska

Lived Voices Fellowship Meeting

March 20, 2024

The Lived Voices Fellowship, a program within the Lutheran Services in America Faith, Families and Communities Partnerships Initiative (a collaboration with ELCA World Hunger), is a transformative leadership development experience designed to amplify the unique perspectives and experiences of people who have navigated public systems (e.g. anti-poverty programs, child welfare, public housing) and are poised for expanded leadership in their organization and/or community.


  • April 11, 2024
  • May 9, 2024
  • June 13, 2024
  • July 11, 2024

Advancing Equity: Applying Healing-centered Engagement to your Leadership Practice

February 20, 2024

A four-part Strength & Service Series virtual workshop.

You are invited: Join us for a new four-part series hosted through the Faith, Families and Community Partnerships Initiative — a collaboration between Lutheran Services in America and ELCA World Hunger. Built on the seminal work of scholar and practitioner Dr. Shawn Ginwright, our expert facilitators, Dr. Denicia Carlay and Shannon Scott, will guide us through the practice of healing-centered engagement. The workshop series is designed to support the application of the practice through the four dimensions or “pivots” necessary in our work to improve outcomes for children, youth, families and communities.

Who Should Attend and Why?

This workshop series is designed to support staff at any level of leadership in applying healing-centered engagement in their work. In the words of Dr. Ginwright, it takes practitioners beyond trauma-informed care responses to a “more holistic approach to fostering well-being.” Additionally, it recognizes the ways in which “trauma and healing are experienced collectively” to support improved well-being for families and communities.

Series Overview 

Each workshop will address one of the “Four Pivots” and will include interactive activities that strengthen the ability to apply the practice in our respective work and efforts, through a safe and collegial peer-to-peer environment. The workshops will also include group reflection, along with the engagement of outside experts and perspectives. The Four Pivots include:

  • Pivot 1—Presence: Cultivating mindfulness and intentionality in your actions and interactions.
  • Pivot 2—Awareness: Fostering self-awareness and reflection to better understand yourself and others.
  • Pivot 3—Vision: Embracing possibility, unleashing creativity, and innovation.
  • Pivot 4—Connection: Moving to transformative relationships that foster growth and empowerment.

Register Today!

Register today for each workshop session and join peers on this journey to understanding and applying healing-centered engagement!

Session #1: Presence

Held on Wednesday, March 20, 2024 (recording available below)

Session #2: Awareness (feat. the National Indian Child Welfare Association)

1:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, July 24, 2024 

Session #3: Vision (feat. the Frameworks Institute)

1:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, September 18, 2024 

Session #4: Connection

1:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, December 11, 2024 

Workshop Series Facilitators

Dr. Denicia Carlay currently serves as co-founder and co-CEO of Village is Possible. Denicia is a community healer, complex trauma survivor, scholar, practitioner, and village keeper. Denicia roots her practice in love and restoration of inner light. She specializes in embodied, healing centered engagement with children, youth, and families. Denicia has served foster care and juvenile justice impacted youth in various capacities as a social worker, consultant, clinician, and facilitator in the field of child welfare for 16 years. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership in social justice, licensure in clinical social work, and pupil personnel services credential, but with all these degrees and things Denicia just hopes to someday be the “hood mama” for her entire village and anyone in need of community.

Shannon Scott is the founder of Our Lived Experience (OLE) and J8 Consulting. Her experience includes both U.S.-based and international not-for-profits. Shannon began her career in education as a teacher with Teach For America and continued her work in education reform in the Teach For All network. She was the founding Leadership Development Officer at Teach For Malaysia and launched the first leadership development continuum for Teach For America’s work in the Mississippi Delta. For the last six years, she’s run a national leadership development fellowship in child welfare, working in 15 different states, DC, and Puerto Rico. Shannon deeply values adult learning and leadership development.


Session #1: Presence

Wednesday, March 20, 2024


Health & Housing Solutions Summit: Shaping the Future to Accelerate Action

February 13, 2024

We invite you to join Lutheran Services in America, in partnership with ELCA World Hunger, for the Health and Housing Solutions Summit: Shaping the Future to Accelerate Action on May 7 & 8 in Washington, D.C. The convening brings together Lutheran Services in America network members, practitioners, philanthropic stakeholders, thought leaders and policymakers to engage in robust dialogue to advance aligned action. Join us to inform and spur new approaches to expand access to affordable housing along with needed support and services to improve health and opportunity for people across the country.

As part of the convening, we will release a new report developed in collaboration with Abt Global to highlight a variety of approaches across the Lutheran Services in America network that address housing insecurity and other health-related social needs. Drawing from these approaches, the convening will include opportunities to:

  • Strengthen our collective capacity by identifying and exploring approaches that are expanding access to housing with support and services, through a focus on financing, partnerships, equity and data to inform and guide aligned action.
  • Catalyzing innovation and collaboration by examining the most promising approaches – what works, why, and how – that can be improved for greater spread and scale including through policy levers to accelerate change.
  • Sharing Solutions: Amplifying the faith-based, trusted, community-centered leadership of our network with partners to shape the future of affordable housing that meets the diverse needs of communities.

The Essential Lutheran Role in Health and Housing

Across the country, Lutheran Services in America network members are taking action to improve the housing landscape of their communities. This convening builds off of our Housing Solutions Collaborative that was formed last year that connects members with external leaders and resources to strengthen collective efforts. Network members are improving housing in a variety of ways, including through:

  • Developing affordable housing for children, youth and families and seniors.
  • Expanding housing access for people with disabilities and New Americans.
  • Revitalizing existing housing and stewarding land historically owned churches and faith-based schools to increase the supply of mixed income housing; and
  • Improving housing security with access to supports and services, including behavioral health.

There is no cost to attend the convening.


Find out more about the Health & Housing Solutions Summit’s two days of programming.


Check out our growing list of speakers.

Travel & Hotel Recommendations

Washington National (DCA) is the closest airport to the site of the summit; Dulles International (IAD) and Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) are alternatives that add 40–60 minutes of travel time. Attendees are responsible for their travel expenses.

Lutheran Services in America has secured a courtesy block of 15 rooms at each of the following hotels:

Rooms are going quickly, so reserve yours today!


Save your spot today!

Contact Kent Mitchell for more information.

The Role of Faith-based Health & Human Service Providers in Shaping Policy to Advance Health and Opportunity

December 19, 2023

Featuring: Dr. John J. Dilulio and Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies

Lutheran social ministries have a long-standing faith tradition of service in over 1,400 communities in America. Our presence and partnerships in these communities position us to build congressional and administration support for policies and funding that advance health and opportunity for all people.

Join us for a conversation with Dr. John J. Dilulio and Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies, who were instrumental in setting up the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives under the Administration of George W. Bush and reconstituting it under the Obama and Biden administrations. Their continued thought leadership informs current debate about how to make faith-based, community-driven solutions at the heart of our national response to poverty.


Dr. John J. Dilulio is the Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as the Founding Faculty Director of Penn’s Robert A. Fox Leadership Program (1999-2018) and Partnership for Effective Public Administration and Leadership (2018-present). He is the author, co-author, or editor of more than a dozen books including a leading textbook, American Government, 16th edition (with Meena Bose, Matthew Levendusky, and James Q. Wilson, Cengage, 2016); Bring Back the Bureaucrats (Templeton, 2014); and Godly Republic: A Centrist Blueprint for America’s Faith-Based Future (University of California Press, 2007). 

Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies is director of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance at the Center for Public Justice. He is co-author of Free to Serve: Protecting the Religious Freedom of Faith-Based Organization (Brazos, 2015), served in the Bush White House faith-based office, and advised the Obama faith-based initiative. He holds a PhD in political science from the University of Toronto.

Video Recording


Innovative Approaches to Measuring Impact in Lutheran Services in America Collaboratives

November 2, 2023

Featuring: Jackie Aman of Wilder Research and Rose Johnson & Sarah Mihich of Transform Consulting Group

How well are we doing at connecting rural older adults to the health, social and economic support they need to thrive? Is your team growing in its ability to center issues of race equity in your family stabilization work? These are just two of the questions being addressed for Lutheran Services in America members by innovative approaches to measuring impact in Lutheran Services in America collaboratives.

Please join us on December 7 at 2 p.m. ET to hear from evaluation partners and peers engaged in the Lutheran Services in America Rural Aging Action Network (RAAN) and Family Stabilization Initiative (FSI) about how innovative approaches to impact measurement are supporting their work on the ground.


FSI Speakers

Jackie Aman is a Research Scientist with Wilder Research who led a recent evaluation of FSI’s Collaborative Learning Model, incorporating survey methodologies and an art-based evaluation tool, “ripple mapping.”

Katy Smith is the Director of Community Programs for AK Child and Family, where she is responsible for the supervision, oversight, and administration of all community based programming, including their participation in the Family Stabilization Initiative.

RAAN Speakers

Rose Johnson is a Project Consultant and Sarah Mihich is a Project Data Analyst with Transform Consulting Group. Together, they have led data analytics and visualization work, as well as training, for participating RAAN organizations and leaders.

Michelle Madsen is the Senior Director of Community Services with Lutheran Social Services (LSS) of South Dakota, where she provides leadership for mentoring, childcare and education services, including their RAAN, their Older Adult Resource Network.

Tanya Urquieta is the Project Program Coordinator of Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota’s RAAN, their Older Adult Resource Network. In this capacity, she leads community engagement and connects older adults to resources in and around Armour, South Dakota.

Video Recording



Understanding and Motivating the Multi-Generational Workforce

October 26, 2023

Navigating the intricacies of a multi-generational workforce can be a challenging endeavor. Are you worried your cross-generational teams aren’t working together as effectively as they could or meeting their highest potential? Understanding the strengths and influences of each group can help you appreciate and motivate the diverse generational viewpoints in the workplace.

Learn from workplace expert Dr. Ingrid Provident of Select Rehabilitation how you can prevent generational collisions from occurring while managing to the strengths of each generation. You’ll leave with a strong understanding of the common characteristics of the different generations in the workforce, the best ways to manage and communicate across generational differences, and how to more effectively build your team around the strengths and preferences of each.


  • Ingrid Provident, Ed.D., OTR/L FAOTA, Education Specialist, Select Rehabilitation; Associate Professor, Chatham University

Video Recording


Advancing Equitability Outcomes in Child Welfare: A Toolkit for Sustainability

October 10, 2023

When decisionmakers discuss reducing racial disproportionality in the child welfare system, they frequently focus on how services are delivered, the types of services that are provided, and how the system and its resources should change to reduce structural inequities. But what if decisionmakers also centered issues of race in how services are implemented and sustained? This is the approach of the Lutheran Services in America Family Stabilization Initiative, which partnered with Chapin Hall to create a Sustainability Toolkit to release later this month. A webinar about the toolkit, Advancing Equitable Outcomes in Child Welfare: A Toolkit for Sustainability, will be held at 2 p.m. Eastern / 1 p.m. Central on Wednesday, November 1.

Transforming Older Adult Health Through Value-based Care, in Partnership with Serviam

September 29, 2023

If you’re in the senior living industry, you’ve probably heard the buzz around value-based care (VBC). It’s a concept that seems complicated but has the potential to revolutionize the way we provide and pay for care in senior living communities. So, what is it exactly, and why should you, as a senior living operator, be interested?

Join Alan Fairbanks, owner and operator of Bickford Senior Living and president of the Value Based Care Alliance, to learn the basics of value-based care. Learn the core elements of value-based care, the opportunity for operators to get paid with VBC, and how to get started running this transformative healthcare model.

Our thanks to Serviam for their partnership!

Video Recording


Coalition for Better Social Care Meetings

September 12, 2023

The Coalition for Better Social Care connects leading Lutheran Services in America members to advance innovative partnerships and financing solutions that marry health and housing.

Join us at the upcoming Coalition for Better Social Care meeting on December 19 at 3 p.m. EST to discuss strategies and insights that will shape the future of social care funding and implementation! Libby Hinton, associate director of the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured, will be our distinguished speaker, providing an overview of funding mechanisms available through Medicaid for the reimbursement of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) services. Additionally, Libby will showcase KFF’s state-specific tool, highlighting key themes in state waivers including eligibility and benefit expansions (particularly in the area of behavioral health) and provisions related to social determinants of health.

Complementing this, Blair Harrison from UnitedHealthcare will brief us on news from the White House, specifically the recently released U.S. Playbook to Address Social Determinants of Health. She will also outline key advocacy actions carefully curated to empower Lutheran Services in America members in expanding Medicaid funding opportunities.

Your participation is crucial in advancing our shared mission for enhanced social care. Save the date for this unique chance to stay informed, collaborate, and drive positive change. This meeting promises to be a dynamic exchange of knowledge, strategies, and opportunities to enhance our collective impact on social care.


  • March 19, 2024
  • April 16, 2024
  • May 21, 2024
  • June 18, 2024
  • July 16, 2024

Contact Susan Newton for more information.

Learn More

Coalition for Better Social Care