By Dr. Michael Strouse, President/CEO, GoodLife Innovations
GoodLife Innovations Inc. is the new parent company of Community Living Opportunities (CLO), and we are redefining what’s possible for seniors and people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD). Our model of care wasn’t born yesterday – it’s been over 40 years in the making, growing from CLO’s deep roots and dedication to serving those with IDD. GoodLife stands ready with solutions to meet the coming challenges, and we are excited to share our vision with you.
The Challenge: Weathering the perfect storm
Across the nation, a perfect storm is brewing. Waiting lists for services are growing exponentially, driven by increases in autism and I/DD, baby boomers seeking services and people living longer. Labor costs are already high and rising, fueled by low unemployment, a dwindling direct care workforce, and increases in both minimum wage and insurance costs. Despite the growth in need and expense, funding for services adjusted for inflation is in decline.
In order to get more value out of traditional approaches to care, we’re seeing an uptick in mergers but at the expense of mission and focus. The bigger a company gets, the less vested it can be with the local community. However, we realize small/midsize agencies will struggle to leverage infrastructure costs in ways that preserve margin. It’s our belief there’s great value in home-grown missions and the ability to focus on a local, distinct population. As CLO expands its mission (from caring for people with I/DD to include senior independent living under the new parent company GoodLife) we believe partnership and preserving independence are not mutually exclusive. In fact, we can support and empower those who don’t have the scale they need.
The Solution: Partnering for possibility
Traditional service strategies such as group homes, assisted living and in-home staffing services will not help us weather the storm. Our vision is to provide those we support with a wonderful home and person-centered services to help them become an active part of their community. In collaboration with the University of Kansas, we have revised our service approach, models and business plans to offer those we serve more, despite having less.
We believe that together is better. Our business cooperative is designed to help small/mid-sized agencies preserve their independence. We leverage back-office support services, high-quality training and buying power in ways that provide the same economies of scale as large programs, yet allow for a mission-oriented focus of serving unique populations. Together we share talent, resources, and support services designed to leverage costs and increase an organization’s capacity to better support their mission and preserve independence for both residents and agencies.
It doesn’t stop there. GoodLife is different in that we take the best things about small communities and use them to support a high-quality life of independence. Our care model positions professional neighbors as caregivers, creates a vibrant village of helping hands for everyday needs, and uses iLink technologies to not only allow residents to live well and safely, but to remain cost-effective.
The Result: Reimagining independent living
We know that strategic partnerships, networks and co-ops outlast stand-alone competitors every time. We are convinced that in order to remain successful in the coming years and achieve our goals, we must develop strategies of alignment across a close-knit network. With CLO’s legacy and strong foundation, and GoodLife’s service models, metrics, and culture of continuous improvement, we are building connected community, personalized innovation and supported independence. We believe when neighbors, technology and care come together, the GoodLife is possible.
Dr. Michael Strouse is President/Chief Executive Officer at GoodLife Innovations. He can be reached via email at [email protected].