Innovation projects receive funding from the state


Numerous providers of services to people with disabilities and older Minnesotans will receive funding this summer to implement innovative projects designed to improve service quality.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services announced $3.5 million in performance-improvement funding to 27 projects in 39 Minnesota counties.

“Home and community-based service providers are key to helping people with disabilities and older adults live independently, which is what most people prefer,” Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson said. “We have found that initiatives like this promote greater, lasting quality and efficiency and a better overall experience for people being served.”

Jesson visited recipient Knute Nelon’s Grand Arbor senior housing facility in Alexandria in July to announce the program and see a demonstration of the organization’s GrandCare technology. Knute Nelson Home Care is receiving $350,613 under the program to improve efficiency of services for people with chronic diseases living at home, including implementing GrandCare, an interactive touchscreen used as a communication portal between the client and family caregivers. Since 2012, Knute Nelson has used GrandCare to promote aging in place for older adults with support from a DHS Community Services/Services Development grant.

Projects being funded:

ACR Homes, $74,988 to transition from paper to cloud-based documentation to increase effectiveness in its services for people with disabilities in Anoka, Ramsey, Dakota and Washington counties.

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, $103,597 to improve health care self-advocacy and housing stability for people with disabilities who are moving or recently moved into the community in Anoka, Hennepin, Carver, Scott, Dakota, Washington and Ramsey counties.

Ecumen, $265,352 to decrease use of psychotropic medication and increase consumer engagement in dementia programs at its assisted living programs in Dakota, Steele, Blue Earth, LeSeuer, Waseca, McLeod, Nicollet, Lake, Clay, Hennepin and Mower counties.

Ecumen at Home, $17,746 to implement in-home wound care to improve healing rates and lower the cost of care in its home care services in Anoka, Hennepin, Carver, Scott, Dakota, Washington and Ramsey counties.

ElderCare of Minnesota, $249,869 to redesign staff training using person-centered care processes in its assisted living and home care programs in Morrison, Nobles, Beltrami, Clay, Becker, Crow Wing, Stearns, Martin, Wadena and Faribault counties.

Home Front First/Rosewood Specialty Care, $76,242 to improve the quality of care for people with dementia and their caregivers in Chippewa County through staff training and community education

Independent Lifestyles, Inc., $254,686 to implement a parenting program for people with disabilities in Benton County to reduce out-of-home placement of their children.

Knute Nelson Home Care, $350,613 to incorporate GrandCare technology, an interactive touchscreen used as a communication portal between the older person and family caregivers, for people with chronic diseases living at home in Douglas, Grant, Stevens, Traverse, Big Stone and 20 other neighboring counties.

Lakes Home and Program Development, Inc., $149,449 to increase active participation of people with disabilities in local communities through individualized goals and staff training in Becker, Mahnomen and Otter Tail counties.

Lakewood Manor, Lakewood Health System, $64,853 to implement evidencebased health and wellness programs to help Todd and Wadena County residents manage chronic health conditions.

Legacy Endeavors, $161,659 to increase community participation of people with disabilities in Ramsey and Washington counties through dance class and staff training.

Living Well Disability Services, $150,404 to increase choice and self-determination of consumers living in care facilities for people with developmental disabilities in Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Pine, Ramsey, Sherburne, Washington and Wright counties.

Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, $82,268 to expand service access to rural caregivers in Becker, Clay, Otter Tail, Cass, Crow Wing, Todd, Mahnomen and Wadena counties through iPad technology.

Madison Lutheran Home, $16,942 to increase socialization through a volunteer dog therapy program in Lac Qui Parle County.

New Challenges, $99,998 to increase person-centered care and planning through a collaborative multi-agency staff training initiative in Dakota and Ramsey counties.

Northwoods Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers Program, $55,035 to increase culturally competent outreach and in-home support services to American Indians in Beltrami County.

Central Towers Assisted Living, $100,000 for peer mentorship and wellness programs to improve the health of consumers in assisted living in Ramsey County.

REM River Bluffs, $123,381 to improve health of people with St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development disabilities in its residential services programs in Olmsted and Winona counties through a smoking cessation and activities program designed with the Mayo Clinic.

Residential Services of Northeastern Minnesota, $108,635 to develop staff mentorship and supports to expand person-centered care and positive behavioral supports through all of its residential services for people with disabilities in St. Louis, Pine, Kanabec, Isanti, Mille Lacs and Chisago counties.

Rise Inc., $162,582 to offer person-centered sensory vocational assessments and supported employment services for adults with disabilities who are deaf and hard of hearing in its day training and habilitation programs in Hennepin, Ramsey and Anoka counties.

•, $140,788 to improve the health of people with disabilities using in-home and residential services through an individualized program that focuses on active lifestyle and nutrition in Hennepin County.

St. William’s Foster Homes, $20,415 to implement individualized health and wellness programs to decease falls and obesity and to improve consumers’ mobility in its residential services for older adults in Otter Tail County.

Tealwood Senior Living, $169,230 to develop and implement dementia care culture change in its assisted living facilities in Anoka, Stearns, Lyon, Morrison, Otter Tail, Benton, Mille Lacs, Sherburne, Winona, Wright and Hennepin counties.

The Lutheran Home Association, $251,380 to decrease staff turnover in its in-home services in Scott, Carver, LeSeuer, Nicollet, Sibley, Blue Earth and Brown counties.

TSE, $130,992 to develop internships and improve supported employment services for participants in its employment services in Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

Wadena County DAC, $49,997 to develop job coaching training and incorporate principles that support competitive employment for people with disabilities.

Wingspan Life Resources, $74,837 to implement an inclusive multigenerational music, dance and visual arts therapy program for people with disabilities in its residential services program in Ramsey County.