Press Release


Leaders of Faith-Based Aging Services Organizations Urge Congress to Deliver Life-Saving COVID Relief for Vulnerable Older Adults and Caregivers

MHS Joins 10 Groups Representing More than 5,000 Organizations Across Numerous Religions and Denominations Urge Congress to Find Common Ground   

Contact: Chris Rahe,

July 29, 2020, Washington DC – As Congress negotiates the next COVID relief package, ten associations of faith-based and mission-driven aging and disability service providers joined with MHS  to demand that lawmakers include comprehensive relief measures to safeguard older adults and care workers.

In a letter today to Congress and the Administration, they outline the crucial resources for all providers and staff who care for older adults, based on national aging services association LeadingAge’s Five Essential Actions. Find your elected representatives here to contact them and urge them to support the Five Essential Actions.

“Today we are coming together to urge you to find common ground, and deliver the life-saving relief we need to continue fulfilling our historic role in the lives of so many Americans,” they said in the letter. “It is not acceptable to continue on as we have been for months. This is a full-fledged crisis like we’ve never seen before that will only worsen in the crucial days and months to come.”

“We are aligned in our ardent belief that the actions you as leaders of our country take in the next weeks will determine the life and death of many of our nation’s most vulnerable older adults,” the letter continues, “This is an historic moment. It must be met with historic action. Older adults deserve nothing less.”

Collectively the organizations represent over 5,000 organizations based on a range of faiths and denominations, including Catholics, Jews, Lutherans, Methodists, Mennonites, United Church of Christ and Church of the Brethren, Presbyterian, and Quakers.

The letter notes that nearly 100,000 people over 65 have died from COVID-19 in recent months, and that the virus has been most deadly for older people of color, and nearly half of all COVID-19 fatalities have been nursing home residents and staff. 

“We need Congress and the White House to agree to a bipartisan solution that protects residents and staff at the nation’s senior living facilities, including many MHS members,” said Karen Lehman, MHS President/CEO.

Lehman was joined in the letter by 10 leaders of associations of faith-based and mission-driven aging and disability service providers:

Don Shulman
President & Chief Executive Officer
Sr. Mary Haddad,
RSM President and CEO
Catholic Health Association of the United States
Michael J. Readinger
President/ CEO
The Council for Health & Human Service Ministries
David Lawrenz
Executive Director
Fellowship of Brethren Homes
Jane Mack
President & CEO
Friends Services Alliance
Charlotte Haberaecker
President & CEO
Lutheran Services in America
Cynthia L. Ray, M.Div
Executive Director
Presbyterian Association of Homes & Services for the Aging
Reuben D. Rotman
President & CEO
Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies
Katie Smith Sloan
President and CEO
Mary Kemper
President & CEO
United Methodist Association of Health & Welfare Ministries

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