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North Dakota State University Joins Lutheran Services in America Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative

Washington, DC, August 04, 2016 --( Lutheran Services in America, Incorporated (LSA) is pleased to announce an exciting addition to the Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative. North Dakota State University (NDSU), a top-100 research institution, will be the independent evaluator tasked with quantifying the impact of the Collaborative on seniors aging in rural communities.

In October 2015, LSA brought together two of the LSA network’s senior services providers, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, forming the Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative. The Collaborative brings senior services providers together in an active learning community with a common mission to build a body of evidence for home and community-based services that are effective at helping low-income and vulnerable seniors remain in their homes; share learnings for faster adoption throughout the country; and partner effectively with health systems and other payment entities to ensure the long term financial sustainability of proven programs.

The evaluation, led by NDSU, will measure and evaluate the program efficacy of five models of service being implemented: volunteer companions, technology support for caregivers, supportive services for seniors living in affordable housing, aging life care managers, and community volunteer support. All programs aim to enable older adults to live longer in the home and community of their choice with dignity. The goal of the NDSU evaluation is to better understand the impact these programs have on older adults, their families and caregivers, and the communities in which they live.

Dr. Heather Fuller, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Science and the lead project coordinator of the NDSU evaluation team shares, “Our team of gerontological researchers at NDSU are very excited to be involved in evaluating the effectiveness of these much needed and exciting programs. Minnesota and North Dakota are rapidly aging states that face unique needs because of the rurality of our region. The current lack of social services provided to rural older adults and their families is well documented, and LSA is perfectly situated and equipped to develop solutions to bridge the gap in rural eldercare supports. Not only does the Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative have the potential to improve the quality of life of seniors in the Midwest, but these innovative programs have the potential to impact how we care for our rural elders across the nation.”

LSA’s CEO Charlotte Haberaecker states, “This is ground breaking work we are undertaking as a network. As one of the largest nationwide networks serving seniors, we are committed to compassionate care where people live with dignity, respect, independence and abundance. The Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative strengthens supports for seniors and builds the knowledge required to enable seniors in rural areas to live longer in their home and community. Together with our partners, we hope to accomplish something extraordinary and share our learnings across the country.”

To learn more about the Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative, please contact Ariel Guerrero at
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Lutheran Services in America
Liliana Pettenkofer

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