Past Issues of eConnections

Thoughts on Accountability

by Karen Lehman, MHS President/CEO Like many others right now, I am completely drawn in to the Netflix series, The Crown.   The perspective on history has been really interesting, but what has given me the most pause is the duality of the character’s role, the legal side and her personal needs and feelings; the […]

Peace on Earth

by Clare Krabill, MHS COO “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,” Luke 2:13-14 With this heavenly birth announcement came the good news of the ushering in of peace on earth. […]

Your Words Responses for December

What is an innovative process your organization has employed for staff recruitment or retention during the pandemic? For recruitment, we have done a couple virtual job fairs through Indeed. We have done some zoom meeting interviews as well. For retention, we have partnered with We Care Connect to do Onboarding surveys. We are able to […]

Navigating Your Procurement Strategy

As 2020 concludes, Care Purchasing Services (CPS) rejoices the achievements and recognizes the challenges that the pandemic has created for communities, staff and residents. Our goal at CPS is to understand what matters most to your community and support your procurement needs as you continue to navigate the pandemic and the new year. As MHS’s […]

Is Telehealth Here To Stay?

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the acceptance of telehealth, and it is here to stay. Community leaders know that ignoring telehealth is not an option and are now incorporating telehealth strategies into their communities. Are you currently faced with selecting a technology platform that will elevate resident care, as well as address workflow and operational obstacles, reporting and tracking requirements, personnel challenges, regulatory and liability considerations?

Nancy Hopkins-Garris to Retire in January

Nancy Hopkins-Garris, Executive Director at Pleasant View, Inc. (PVI), is scheduled to retire in January after 35 years with the organization – 29 years as Executive Director. During her time at the helm, PVI has grown in the number of services and the number of people supported. They have been innovative in their services in […]

Making employees happier, healthier and more productive during COVID-19

by George Finney, CRPSEverence Director of Retirement Services One significant stressor challenges many employees Many organizations are trying creative ways to help employees stay positive during the pandemic. Yet, these methods often don’t address one key cause of their employees’ underlying stress: personal finances. Companies need to look at this issue if they want to […]

Save the Dates for 2021 Mennonite Health Assembly

Our 2021 Mennonite Health Assembly will be completely online on Tuesday, March 9 through Thursday, March 11 from noon to 3:00 pm Eastern Time each day. We will have three excellent keynote speakers: Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, author of Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others; Philip Gulley, author […]

Book Review: Virus as a Summons to Faith

by Clare Krabill, MHS Chief Operating Officer Purchase book for $12.88 at Virus as a Summons to Faith: Biblical Reflections in a Time of Loss, Grief, and Anxiety by Walter Brueggemann Walter Brueggemann, world renowned author and old testament theologian, published this book in 2020 after the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. As health […]

Your Words Responses for November

What Are You Thankful For? I am thankful for both positive and negative opportunities to more fully embrace the growing edges of my leadership skills. Missy Kauffman Schrock Center for Healing & Hope, Executive Director Good leadership during difficult times. This is a period of great challenges but also great opportunity. It takes good and […]

Thoughts on Employee Retention

While participating in LeadingAge (national nonprofit senior living association) sessions this past week, I noticed employee retention along with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) were the hot topics on the program.  The issues around employee engagement and retention are at a critical point and strategic focus on this is a high priority. There are DEI […]

Thankful During the Pandemic?

by Clare Krabill, MHS Chief Operating Officer By now you have all heard the following questions on more than one occasion: What are you thankful for during this time? What changes have you made that you would like to continue with following the pandemic? Both of these are good questions designed to help us focus […]

Thank you MHS Members

Each October MHS contacts our members to update member information and to obtain information to calculate the next year’s dues. This year as MHS leadership considered 2021 MHS member dues we knew we needed to take a different approach.  Thus, a few weeks ago MHS reached out to members with this message:  2020 has been […]

Christ in All of Us

By Clare Krabill, MHS COO When I rise upLet me rise up joyfulLike a bird When I fallLet me fall without regretLike a leaf         ~Wendell Berry I was struck by the purity and simplicity of these words penned by Wendell Berry as I uttered them in a silent prayer. We are living in times […]

Meet MHA Keynote Speaker Ted Swartz

The Arts, Vulnerability and Mental Health Ted Swartz is a playwright and actor who has been mucking around in the worlds of the sacred and profane for over 20 years. Ted fell in love with acting and theater on his way to a traditional pastorate in the Mennonite church, a denomination not usually thought of as […]

Your Words Responses

“Get to know people without being swayed by the negative opinions of others.” Missy Kauffman Schrock, Center for Healing & Hope Executive Director “Always lead by example” Mary Scott, Mennonite Village-Lydia’s House Administrator “Even younger team members will be given extensive opportunities as the Boomers retire. Take it and run with it!” Larry Guengerich, Landis […]

MHS Staff Book Recommendation

by Clare Krabill, MHS COO The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson, © 2010 As non-profit professionals you understand the power of story to portray why your mission matters as you seek to move the hearts and minds of your constituents. Through story you hope to empower […]

Jesse Kaye to Retire in November

Jesse Kaye, President and CEO at Praire View, will retire after nearly 16 years with the organization and 44 years of service in faith-based health and human services ministries. November 22 is Kaye’s scheduled last day. Her years at Praire View have included many accomplishments including: The rapid expansion of telemedicine to ensure provision of […]

COVID-19 Challenges Employee Recruitment and Retention

With the COVID-19 pandemic, communities are finding that hiring qualified candidates is becoming the biggest challenge, while employee turnover falls to the secondary challenge. Communities and associations are bustling to develop recruitment and retention strategies that align with the stress and fears of their employees. Some strategies include flexible scheduling, affordable childcare, free meals, extra […]

Meet MHA Keynote Speaker Philip Gulley

Philip Gulley is a Quaker pastor, writer, and speaker from Danville, Indiana.  Gulley has written 22 books, including the Harmony series recounting life in the eccentric Quaker community of Harmony, Indiana and the best-selling Porch Talk essay series.  Gulley’s memoir, I Love You, Miss Huddleston: And Other Inappropriate Longings of My Indiana Childhood, was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor.  In addition, […]

Network Groups: A Strong Community Leads to Stronger Ministry

Network Groups are an opportunity to share knowledge, brainstorm and find solutions while connecting with your peers in MHS organizations. There is value in finding such a community in normal times, and that value is increased in times like these when we are pivoting and adjusting to new norms. If you have participated in Affinity […]

Best Practices in Fundraising During a Pandemic

by David King, of David P. King Fundraising Counsel, LLC Data to Focus Your Fundraising Thinking The stock market is strong, indicating an underlying healthy business capacity. A Gallup poll in May found that 66% of respondents said they will continue charitable giving during the pandemic at the same or higher level than in 2019. […]

Staffing During the Pandemic

By Kristin Thim, Director of Human Resources at Living Branches Q – Have you been able to recruit new staff during this pandemic – if so, how are you doing that?  Anything that is working well in particular? Yes, we have been successful in recruiting new staff during the pandemic. We hired non-essential workers furloughed […]

Peaceful Living Recruitment Lessons Learned

By Juanita Nyce, Vice President of Mission Engagement and Jane Rogers, Recruitment Coordinator Have you been able to recruit new staff during this pandemic – if so, how are you doing that?  Anything that is working well in particular? Peaceful Living has been able to recruit new employees during the pandemic. We continue to test […]

Theo Omo to Retire at End of the Year

Theo Omo, CEO for Thurston Woods Village, will retire after 24 years with the organization on December 31, 2020. Omo, along with her staff and Board of Directors, took Thurston Woods to an award-winning, multi-level retirement community during her time there. Regarding the global pandemic that has made all of us pivot and adjust to […]

CARES Act Stimulus Funding Audit Requirements. Are you prepared?

Webinar: Wednesday, October 14, 2020 @ 1 pm CST Many of you have not undergone this level of detailed audit before! Even if your organization has been through a standard GAAP audit, these requirements are far more demanding and you need to be prepared. Whether you are a for profit or non-for-profit entity, you will […]

Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice (September)

Do deep canvassing about race and racial justice. Many SURJ groups are organizing them, so many people can do it through your local SURJ group. If they’re not already doing it, start it. Research your local prosecutors. Prosecutors have a lot of power to give fair sentences or Draconian ones, influence a judge’s decision to set bail […]

COVID Exhaustion?

Over these past weeks, I have become increasingly concerned about leadership burn-out.  I hear over and over words like “my team is exhausted” or “I really need a vacation but I can’t leave my team.” Operating in a 24/7 mode is difficult in the best of times, but these are the worst of times, and […]

Author of Trauma Stewardship, Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, Will Speak At Our 2021 Mennonite Health Assembly

Laura van Dernoot Lipsky is the founder and director of The Trauma Stewardship Institute and author of Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others and The Age of Overwhelm. Widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of trauma exposure, she has worked locally, nationally, and internationally for more than three decades. […]

Can Technology Assist With Social Isolation?

Social isolation is one of the biggest threats to the health of America’s senior citizens and adults with developmental disabilities. It is always a concern for residential communities, but even more so now that communities across the nation have already been enforcing “social distancing” measures for several months and there is no known end to […]

Everything DiSC

MHS Consulting has become an Everything DiSC partner.  In addition, Jeremy Kauffman has become a certified DiSC trainer. With this new partnership, MHS Consulting has access to the full array of DiSC assessments. Using these tools, MHS Consulting can help increase awareness of each person’s natural leadership style and develop and implement strategies to increase […]

2021 Inflation Estimates Guide

To help you prepare for 2021 budgets, MHS partner, CPS is providing guidance for price increases expected in the coming year. Primary factors to consider when budgeting for purchasing include: Historical price increases Impacts to local, regional, national, and international markets Input from vendors For a well-rounded approach, CPS considers all of the above factors. […]


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 […]

Considering the Role of the Board and the Role of the CEO

by Karen Lehman, President/CEO A collaborative and trusting relationship between the board and the chief executive is an important indicator of a healthy board and organization.  Cooperation, transparency, accountability, respect, and frequent communication are foundational for creating a positive board and chief executive relationship. I am often asked to clarify the role differences between the […]

Putting a Stop to Office Bullying

by Twila Albrecht and Chris Rahe Whether overt or subtle, abrasive or silent, bullying can follow us from the school yard into the workplace. According to Forbes magazine, workplace bullying affects 75% of workers.“Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is: threatening, […]

Lower Utility Bills to Offset COVID-19 Expenses?

With the multifaceted utility rate structures, incentive programs, rebates, tax credits, industry specific billing codes, meter readings and more – utilities are complex! Extensive knowledge of the utility industry’s billing process, as well as the local and state programs, is essential to effectively review your utility bills. With this amount of complexity, a small overpayment […]

Welcome New Leaders

The past few months have seen new leaders at several of our member organizations and we’d like to spotlight them here. Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship Cate Michelle Desjardins, MDiv, MPH, began as Executive Director of MHF in May of 2020. Cate is passionate about integrating spirituality and faith into healthcare on all levels. For the past […]

MHS Statement on Racial Justice

We recognize the deep pain and frustration of Black Americans caused by years of systemic injustice. We stand with our brothers and sisters and unequivocally proclaim that Black lives matter.

Leadership Right Now Is Not for the Faint of Heart

by Karen Lehman These are challenging times!  How many times have you said these words or heard someone else say them?  What makes this time particularly challenging is that so much has been turned upside down. And it happened quickly. All our focus shifted to COVID-19 and its immediate impacts; a global recession, ongoing organizational vigilance […]

Self-funding Your Health Care Costs

by Clare Krabill During these unprecedented times, many of you will seek strategies to help your bottom line. One major expense most of you share is employee benefits. In fact, some of you may be asking yourself if there is a need to cut back on these benefits even as you are loathe to consider […]

Mennonite Health Assembly 2021 Going Virtual

After careful consideration, the MHS Board of Directors decided to move to a virtual format for Mennonite Health Assembly (MHA) in 2021.The MHS Board recently debated the merits of having an in-person MHA next March versus holding a virtual assembly. We value being together and will miss the opportunities that meeting face to face can […]

The S-Word

By Twila Albrecht My sophomore year of college, I was crippled with social anxiety and a calendar full of activities and due dates. Eventually, I lugged my way over to the campus counselor’s office. In one of our conversations, the counselor invited me to remove the word ‘should’ from my vocabulary. To this day, I […]

Tips For Managing Your Ethical Dilemmas During COVID-19

By Karen Lehman, President/CEO There’s nothing like a pandemic to bring up ethical issues!  How are you managing ethical decisions in this season? If you made a list of all of the issues that have developed just with the COVID-19 pandemic, it would likely more than fill this page.  Thankfully, we won’t ask you to […]

Slack is Anything But

By Twila Albrecht, Member Services Associate In response to stay-at-home orders, MHS staff have taken to their bedrooms, back porches, and basements for work. As for me, my living room has been transformed into an office complete with a standing desk, two monitors, and all of my two files from the MHS office. I feel […]

Dare to Lead

By Karen Lehman As a way of getting to know each other, learning to work together and building a culture of trust, the staff in the MHS Goshen office decided to start a book club.  You simply can’t go wrong if your first book in your new book club is the national bestseller, Brené Brown’s […]

Teamwork with a Common Vision, Clear Objectives and Incredible Results

by Jeremy Kauffman “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”   Andrew Carnegie The above quote from Andrew Carnegie is perhaps my favorite regarding teamwork.  Each sentence has the ability to […]

CARES Act – Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) Update

This update follows MHS attendance at a meeting held April 21 by MHS sister health & human services association, the Jewish Federation, at which Senator Marco Rubio provided updates on the Paycheck Protection program loans.  On Tuesday, the Senate approved an additional coronavirus relief package, which provides $310 billion more in funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. […]

CPS COVID-19 Supply Update

March 31 Update Sysco Updates Sysco Inventory and Supply Status Weekly Report is attached. Sysco COVID-19 Policy and Communication Plan is attached. Sysco requests that if there is a positive COVID-19 case at your community, please notify Sysco. HD Pro – Sprayers As wipes, bottles and trigger sprayers become scarce, HD Pro supplies sprayers to […]

COVID-19 Update on access to high demand supplies like PPE

As a member of MHS you have access to our group purchasing program, CPS, with access to discounts on thousands of services and supplies. Please click here for CPS’s March 25 COVID-19 Update on their access to high demand supplies like PPE. For more information on CPS contact Clare Krabill, MHS COO at or […]

Challenging Ourselves to See the Possibility of Abundance in This Difficult Time

by Karen Lehman, President/CEO We are in uncertain and challenging times when access to news and information is constant. Daily, if not hourly, new directions are given and different decisions need to be made. Questions regarding enough staff, enough supplies, enough information, and are we doing enough are the new normal. In the midst of […]

Confident Fundraising in Uncertain Times

by David T. Warren, VP of National Markets at Everence About a year after I took my first full-time job as a fundraiser, I had breakfast with the retired director of my church denomination’s foundation. At that point in my career, I was seeking fundraising wisdom everywhere I could find it, attending conferences, going to seminars, […]

Institutional investments and the financial markets

Everence investment leaders offer a current overview of how the recent financial market volatility is affecting institutional investments. View this presentation from March 25, especially for nonprofit senior leaders with endowments or other types of investments. Please share this presentation with your CEO, CFO and board and finance committee members. Everence presenters: Chad Horning, Chief […]

Medicare and Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

by Seema Verma, Administrator, U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Since older Americans are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), I wanted to let you know the steps we’re taking to help our Medicare beneficiaries cope with the pandemic. We’re warning Medicare beneficiaries that scammers may try to use this emergency to steal their Medicare […]

April 23 Webinar: Board and Senior Leadership Responsibilities in Fundraising

Presented by Dave Warren, VP of National Markets at Everence Financial Clare Krabilll, MHS Chief Operating Officer Thursday April 23, 2020 2:00-2:30 PM ESTRegister for the webinar Would you like to put the fun back in fundraising? Join Clare Krabill, MHS COO as she interviews advancement specialist, Dave Warren, VP of National Markets at Everence […]