From the community

Lutheran Social Services will become Ascentria Care Alliance

Posted June 12, 2014, at 3:54 p.m.

WESTBROOK, Maine – Lutheran Social Services, one of the oldest and largest nonprofits in New England, will be changing its name to Ascentria Care Alliance.

With a 142-year history and 1,400 employees, the social services organization serves more than 20,000 people in 60 locations throughout New England.

In Maine, LSS Community Services has a staff of 225, serving 300 residents daily. Operating in Westbrook, Auburn, Mexico and Waterville, LSS provides services for the deaf, in-home support, mental health and disability programs.

“LSS Community Services provides customized care for our clients. From maintaining small, residential facilities that feel like home to assisting mental health consumers become more independent to providing services to the deaf, our programs and staff go the extra mile,” said Scott Morrison, Vice President of LSS Maine Operations. “We often serve individuals that other agencies have been unwilling to work with and we truly make a difference in their lives.”

“Our new name will help us open the door to new partnerships with foundations, corporate sponsors and donors,” says Angela Bovill, president and CEO of the social services organization. “However, we will continue to honor our Lutheran heritage by putting our faith in action to help people of all backgrounds and beliefs achieve their full potential.

“We not only have a new name, but a new strategic direction. We are moving from a programmatic agency to a client-centered model of care. Our goal is to meet the needs of those we serve in a more holistic way, moving them forward in all aspects of their lives.

“We also are undertaking new partnerships with for-profit companies to provide their employees with volunteer opportunities to share their knowledge and skills with our clients. For example, we are developing a financial literacy program with Wells Fargo,” says Bovill. “In addition, we are doing more in social enterprise. We are expanding our language and transportation services into new markets, and growing our microenterprise program, which helps new Americans with microloans and business advice.”

Ascentria Care Alliance is the new name of the parent organization, replacing Lutheran Social Services of New England, Inc. In Maine, the programs will be known as Ascentria Community Services, a member of the Ascentria Care Alliance.

The new name will legally change on Sept. 1, 2014. Over the summer the transition in identity will take place on the organization’s website and in its marketing materials.

“Our new name, Ascentria, is meaningful to us in two ways,” explains Jodie Justofin, vice president of strategic marketing and communications. “As a secular term, it means ‘rising together.’ As a faith-related term it blends the words ascension and trinity, thus honoring our Christian heritage. The full name, Ascentria Care Alliance, reflects both the human and business aspects of our work – all programs, services and partnerships.”

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