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LSI youth mentor, church host volunteers receive Governor’s Volunteer Award

Des Moines, Iowa— Ten Lutheran Services in Iowa volunteers will receive a Governor’s Volunteer Award from Gov. Terry Branstad during special recognition ceremonies later this month.

Zach Adams, Josh Moklestad, Amber and Megan Lee, Jamiahus and Dana Walton, Scott and Nicole Becker, Avery Mason, and Maya Hendricks were nominated for the awards by Lutheran Services in Iowa for their volunteer service as youth mentors and church hosts at Beloit and Bremwood Residential Treatment Centers in Ames and Waverly.

“We are so grateful for the hard work put in by our volunteers, and LSI is always looking for more youth mentors and church hosts,” said Holly Janecke, volunteer specialist at LSI.

Coordinated by Volunteer Iowa, the Governor’s Volunteer Award program provides an easy way for Iowa nonprofits, charitable organizations, and government entities to honor their volunteers with a prestigious, state-level award.  Hundreds of volunteers are recognized each spring during ceremonies held at several locations around the state.

“I am pleased to honor those who have given the precious gift of their time to meet essential needs across Iowa,” said Gov. Terry Branstad. “The commitment of these volunteers—and all volunteers—helps Iowa consistently remain in the top 10 states in the nation for its volunteerism rate.”

Those interested in volunteering at LSI have the opportunity to spend time one-on-one with a child or teen as a youth mentor, or they can help bring a child to church every week or every other week as a church host volunteer.

Learn more about LSI’s volunteer opportunities by visiting http://lsiowa.org/index.php/support/volunteer/

United Way of Story County awards funding for school-based mental health program

Ames, Iowa— Lutheran Services in Iowa’s Story County school-based mental health program will be returning for the next contract year, thanks in part to a new grant from United Way of Story County.

Earlier this spring, the program was set to be terminated by Story County Decategorization due to a lack of funding. But the Story County Decategorization Board rescinded its program termination letter and signed a contract amendment for $85,000 for the next contract year. In addition, United Way of Story County has awarded a $35,000 grant to LSI to support the program.

“We are excited to continue this highly effective and innovative mental health service for students, families, and schools in Story County,” said Scott Caldwell, Director of Mental Health Services at LSI.

The program began in 2014 as a way to provide Story County students with therapy and mental health services at school. At any point in time, 35 % of the U.S. population, including children, can experience mental health issues and in a recent survey of Story County youth, 14% reported they had seriously considered suicide.

Since it began, the program has provided services to 155 students, offered 12 training sessions to 400 staff members, students, and faculty members, and provided 1,700 consultations and therapy sessions.

“The prevalence of mental health issues, compounded with school concerns of bullying, substance abuse, and other social toxins impacting students all underscore the need for readily available mental health intervention and treatment,” Caldwell said. “Thanks to United Way of Story County, LSI remains optimistic that we will continue to offer timely, discreet, and effective mental health services to students in need this year and beyond.”

Kallestad named new VP of Programs and Services at LSI

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Des Moines, Iowa— Bill Kallestad has been named the new Vice President of Programs and Services at Lutheran Services in Iowa.

In his new role, Bill will oversee LSI service units including Pediatric Integrated Health Home (PIHH), Behavioral Health Integration Services (BHIS), Services for People with Disabilities (SFPD), Mental Health Services, Family Risk, Safety and Permanency (FSRP), Refugee Services, Residential Services, Recruitment and Retention Services, and Early Childhood Resources.

“I am very excited about this position, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to live out our mission of compassionate service and work with the great staff at LSI,” Bill says.

Bill has more than 21 years of experience working in human services. He has had a presence at LSI since 2012, when he was hired to direct LSI’s Services for People with Disabilities department, which today serves more than 900 families with 400 staff across the state. Prior to LSI, Bill worked as a service manager, consultant, and trainer at ChildServe for 15 years, and as an adjunct professor at Grand View University for four years. He holds a degree in Human Services from Grand View College in Des Moines.

“We are thrilled to see Bill step into this new position, and we look forward to the passion and strategic thinking he will bring to serving our clients, community, and mission,” says John Twardos, President and CEO of LSI.

Bill officially started his new position on May 21, and he is eager to begin developing a culture of learning, leadership, and success among his statewide teams as a way to exceed goals at LSI.

“The most rewarding part to me is making a big difference in someone’s life,” Bill says. “Moving to LSI and being a part of this mission has been important to me. I know I’m part of something bigger—something that is truly making an impact on the lives of Iowans and the health of our communities.”

In his free time, Bill enjoys biking and camping with his wife, Jenny, and four kids, learning new knock-knock jokes, and running in marathons and triathlons.

New LSI Media Relations Contact

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Des Moines, Iowa—LSI (Lutheran Services in Iowa) Marissa Daily has joined the LSI Marketing Communications Department as media relations expert and spokesperson for the organization. Members of the media may contact Marissa at (515) 271-7347 or marissa.daily@LSIowa.org with questions about stories, statistics, and LSI programs and services.

“In addition to responding to media questions, I hope to work closely with reporters to lift up the captivating human interest stories and amazing individuals LSI interacts with every day,” Marissa says. “If you are in search of a story that grips your readers, a profile about human perseverance or transformation, or an Iowan who is truly making a difference in the lives of others, I would love to connect you with an LSI client or staff member.”

Marissa has previously worked for the Central Iowa nonprofit ChildServe and comes to LSI with expertise in social media, marketing, and strategy development. Her interest in LSI stems from her enthusiasm for making a positive impact and empowering individuals through compelling story telling.

“I look forward to establishing proactive relationships and being a resource to members of the media,” Marissa says. “Please reach out to me if you are in search of a story that will grip your readers.”

Fort Dodge Welcomes New Therapist

Fort Dodge, Iowa—LSI (Lutheran Services in Iowa) A new mental health provider has joined the team at LSI’s Fort Dodge office. Matthew Manz, Licensed Practitioner of the Healing Arts (LPHA), works with children, adults, and families to create solutions and strategies for a range of mental health concerns.

“I have always felt a calling to the therapeutic profession,” Matthew says. “I hope to be a resource in the Fort Dodge community, where I can add to the quality of life for residents facing difficult situations and mental health issues.”

Like the rest of the United States, Iowa faces a shortage of mental health professionals, says Amy Davis, Service Coordinator at LSI. Matthew’s hiring adds options for Fort Dodge residents. Matthew is accepting new patients and the current wait time for an appointment is less than two weeks.

Matthew’s background gives him a unique skill set with which to practice therapy. He has worked as a pastor for the past eight years, a calling that gave him the opportunity to serve Iowans in rural communities that are often underserved by mental health resources. Coupled with his Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling from Drake University, this experience enables him to provide compassionate, proactive care for families. Matthew and LSI welcome clients of all ages, genders, nationalities, religious, ethnicities, and sexual orientations.

“From this standpoint and with my counseling education, I can relate well to a wide range of clients from all walks of life,” Matthew says. “I hope to create space and support for my clients to grow personally and move past real and perceived difficulties.”

Matthew can aid families experiencing a range of challenges, including:

  • depression and anxiety
  • relationship issues
  • grief and loss
  • attachment disorder
  • anger management
  • substance abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • youth behaviors, such as ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder

Scheduling an initial appointment with Matthew is quick and convenient. Call LSI toll-free at 888.457.4692. LSI accepts Medicaid (or Title 19 insurance), Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and private pay cases. Matthew is looking forward to meeting you.

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