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Minneapolis Area Senior Workers Association Newsletter
March 2013
In This Issue
March Membership Meeting
President's Monthly Note
Featured Board Member Of The Month
Annual Events
Membership Renewal for 2013
Quick Links
Issue: # 3March 2013

March is upon us - can spring be far behind? The end of winter brings with it a much needed change. From snow covered lawns to peeks of grass. From blasting the heater to cracking open the car window. For MASWA it means retiring the old website and introducing the new, easier-to-use site complete with online registration, updated photos and new information. A much-needed and eagerly anticipated change indeed!




Minneapolis Senior Worker's Association
Thursday, March 28, 2013
2:30 pm Business Meeting & Group Introductions
2:45 pm Networking
3:00 pm Presentation/Questions
4:00 pm Adjourn

TOPIC:  The Medicare Improvement Standard: Legal
Changes Affecting Beneficiaries


For many years Medicare beneficiaries - particularly those with long-term or debilitating conditions - have been denied Medicare coverage of skilled care on the grounds that their condition was stable, chronic, not improving, or that the necessary services were for maintenance only. This practice has been known as the "Improvement Standard." A lawsuit, Jimmo v. Sebelius, was brought on behalf of a nationwide class of Medicare beneficiaries by six individual beneficiaries and seven national organizations representing people with chronic conditions, to challenge the use of the Improvement Standard. The government recently agreed to settle the lawsuit, and the agreement confirms that skilled nursing and therapy to maintain an individual's condition can be covered by Medicare.


Presenter:  Jonathan Lips, Attorney - Halleland Habicht

Jonathan Lips is an attorney with the Minneapolis law firm of Halleland Habicht, with a strong interest in older adult services. He serves on the MASWA Board of Directors and as co-chair of the public policy committee. His experience includes state and federal regulatory compliance, health licensing requirements, Medicaid and Medicare payment issues, contract preparation and management, and corporate governance, as well as developing policy strategy, drafting legislation, facilitating stakeholder negotiations, preparing commentary on proposed administrative actions, and advocating with legislators and agency officials. Prior to joining Halleland Habicht, Jonathan served as Vice President of Advocacy and general legal counsel for Care Providers of Minnesota, a statewide association of older adult services providers. Jonathan has counseled both providers and consumers of health care services, and currently serves on Minnesota's Medicaid Citizens' Advisory Committee.


The goals of the presentation are to:

  • Describe the history and outcome of the Jimmo case.
  • Explain what CMS will do now that the case is resolved.
  • Identify resources to provide information and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries.


Calvary Lutheran Church

7520 Golden Valley Road

Golden Valley, MN 55427

directions and parking info: 

Calvary Lutheran Church



Michelle Land

Director of Marketing

Brightondale Senior Community

Brightondale Senior Community including Meadowood Shores Apartments for those who are 62 and better 



QUESTIONS? Contact the MASWA Program Co-Chairs: William Huseonica at [email protected], or Vicky Willcox, Marketing Director of the Colony at Eden Prairie,


Certificates of Attendance (CEU) will be available.
Annual Membership fee $20.00 Guest fee $5.00



Beth Nemec There are signs of spring in the air - melting snow, rain, high school basketball tournaments and the MASWA Spring Luncheon (plans are in full swing!). For us Minnesotans, these are all welcome signs that warm weather is on its way. We also have some exciting things happening in MASWA:

  • We are continuing our new membership meeting format and will look for feedback regarding that soon;
  • we added 8 new members to our organization at our February meeting;
  • our NEW WEBSITE is up and running; and
  • we have some wonderful board opportunities available

All current, paid members should have received an email with your personal log-in information for the website. If you haven't joined yet, now is a great time to do so! The website is brand new - every day we are adding new information regarding our meetings and the May Spring Luncheon. We are hoping this new site will be informative, user friendly, and have the ability for professionals in the senior industry to join our organization as well as sign up for our annual conferences and events.


There will be some value-add opportunities for MASWA members to connect our personal and professional social media with our website. We hope you find it helpful and informative. The website is - when you have a minute, please check it out!


Did you know the MASWA Board is made up entirely of volunteers? Each person takes their role seriously. I feel blessed to be working alongside such committed and dedicated individuals. I am also thankful to the organizations that each person represents that allow the person to donate their time and talent to MASWA.


There are new opportunities for our members to serve on our board as committee chairs and members. Serving on the board is a wonderful way to get to know others, gain and demonstrate leadership skills, and expose you and your organization to others in the senior industry. Board members typically attend our monthly board and membership meetings and, depending on the committee, may meet outside of those times to work on committee events and activities.


If you are interested in finding out more about the available positions and the commitment involved, please contact Marilyn Christenson at [email protected].


On behalf of the MASWA board, I would like to strongly encourage you to fill out an evaluation after each meeting - we truly do want to hear from you. We will respond to any items and activities you would like us to work on and explore.


Happy Spring!




Beth Nemec


Cheri Nispel, Membership

Cheri and her mom Cheri grew up in Little Falls, the second of five kids. She graduated from UMD with a degree in Communications Disorders, then from UW-Eau Claire with her Masters. She married her high school sweetheart, Mike after getting her graduate degree - they'll celebrate 30 years of marriage this June (despite his being a Gopher fan!).


Cheri and Mike built their home in Plymouth 28 years ago and remodeled it themselves seven years ago. (Apparently they put in pink countertops the first time around and were happy to replace them in the remodel!) After raising three active boys (now ages 26, 24 and 15), Cheri and Mike are still active in the Wayzata hockey association. All of the boys played hockey, football and lacrosse.


Since 1983, Cheri has worked with seniors and loved it. As a Speech Language Pathologist, she worked in nursing homes, home care and hospitals around the Twin Cities, in rehab working with stroke patients as well as those with other neurological disorders that cause speech, swallowing and hearing problems.


"I've always had a passion for serving seniors," Cheri said. "When I left North Ridge, I became a volunteer with Meals on Wheels and Store to Door." She still volunteers for both.


Four years ago she was asked by her friend, Sandi Niccum, to help get the new Minnesota Seniors Helping Seniors franchise going. At that point, after raising the youngest of their boys, Cheri was ready to get back to working more consistently with seniors.


"It's the perfect fit for my skills and interests with seniors. I have absolutely loved assessing the needs of the seniors needing help. My diagnostic skills as a Speech Pathologist have given me the understanding of aging seniors, and I love hiring compassionate senior workers and matching them with seniors that need their help."


Cheri said she is constantly amazed and delighted by seniors and their families who, despite losses and difficulties continue to make choices to remain independent.


"It's humbling and inspiring to be a part of their lives," she added.


In her spare time, she runs "not fast or far" almost every morning (in rain, snow or sunshine) with her thirteen-year-old dog.  She says it keeps them both in shape. She also loves to cook and entertain friends and family, watch their sons in their sports, inline skate and bike in the summer.  They spend almost every summer weekend at their lake home.


Asked what she likes about being part of MASWA, Cheri said, "I enjoy the educational talks and meeting great workers in the senior industry. MASWA people are my kind of people - they're caring, genuine, and out to serve others. You do not see selfish people in MASWA - they want to serve and help. I'm honored to be a part of this group."

Mark your calendars!  
MASWA Spring Luncheon
Tuesday, May 21st
Metropolitan Ballroom

Details coming soon!  
REMINDER- all MASWA memberships are up for renewal as of January 1. If you haven't yet renewed, please download the application below, fill it out and mail it in, or bring it to the March meeting.

MASWA welcomes new members and visitors to our meetings.  Anyone who joins as a new member, or visits our meeting this month, will receive a special gift!  All are welcome, tell your coworkers and friends in the senior industry to come check us out.

Click on link below to download the renewal application:





Guests SAVE $5.00 - Bring a friend for FREE to the next MASWA meeting on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at

2:30 pm at Calvary Lutheran Church in Golden Valley.   

Offer Expires: 3/28/2013