St. John's United Awarded Rural Aging Grant

Sidney, MT - St. John's United, a Billings, based Social Ministry Organization was awarded a three-year grant from Lutheran Services in America to address the increasing number of underserved and isolated older adults in rural communities in northeastern Montana experiencing social isolation and difficulty accessing services and supports to successfully age at home.

St. John's United will partner with Sidney Health Center, to provide older adults in the Sidney area community with service coordination to address social determinants of health to age at home. "Failure to address social determinants of health; food, transportation, social engagement, safe homes and healthcare adherence are primary reasons for unnecessary early placement in long-term care settings," says St. John's United CEO, David Trost.

"This investment builds on the collective knowledge, expertise and established trust and presence of St. John's United in rural communities and - together, through this collaboration - creates a stronger community of care for rural aging," said Charlotte Haberaecker, of Lutheran Services America former president and CEO.

"We are excited to partner with St. John's United on this community service," stated Jennifer Doty, Sidney Health Center CEO. "The new 'At Home' service will compliment several of our programs that are already in place including personal assistance, visiting nurse services and accountable care coordination."

Lutheran Services in America also selected the following organizations to receive funding under this grant: Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, St. John's United and Immanuel Lutheran Communities in Montana, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, and Missouri Slope Lutheran Care Center in North Dakota. These trusted service organizations comprise the national collaborative "Rural Aging Action Network" with the common goal of empowering older adults to age with independence, dignity and purpose in the community of their choice.

The launch of this grant coincides with the release of the Lutheran Services in America video, "Lived Voices: Aging in Rural America," which amplifies the personal stories of strength and resilience characteristic of older adults and caregivers aging in rural America. The video is accompanied by the report, "Lived Voices: Aging in Rural America – Cultivating a Thriving Community of Care," which highlights the findings from a qualitative research study of older adults and caregivers in rural communities commissioned by Lutheran Services in America and conducted by ATI Advisory. The video and report capture the voices of older adults and caregivers with lived experience in the joys and challenges of aging in rural communities.

Lutheran Services in America is a national network of 300 Lutheran health and human services organizations that reaches one in 50 people in America each year. Recognized by The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Forbes as one of the nation's top nonprofit organizations, the Lutheran Services in America network operates with more than $23 billion in combined annual revenue. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Lutheran Services in America leads innovative collaborations with partners in philanthropy, academia, healthcare and others to address the most critical challenges in our communities and empower people to lead their best lives.

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