Shining a light on GoodLife Innovations with CEO Mike Strouse

Shining a light on GoodLife Innovations with CEO Mike Strouse

GoodLife has supported people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) for over 40 years. Our original goal was to ensure that individuals receive appropriate services in community settings. It is still at the heart of our innovative spirit. 

Our President and CEO,  Mike Strouse was a guest on the Uncovering Kansas Podcast. The episode shines a light on GoodLife’s cutting-edge solutions for personalized assistance and affordable care. Mike shares the history, mission, and advances in technology that allow GoodLife to provide quality care to those we serve. 

Here are some of the key highlights from the episode.

Building relationships in Kansas and beyond

GoodLife strives to establish community partnerships and combine resources in a way that benefits as many individuals as possible. On the podcast, Mike says that one of GoodLife’s greatest assets is the relationships the company has built over its long history. Many advancements have resulted from our collaboration with partners including, the University of Kansas, KC Pop Co., and Midnight Farm.

Targeted care for seniors and people with I/DD

Seniors and people with I/DD prefer to live independently in their own homes. They typically don’t need care all the time. Instead, they want care available when they need it. The problem is that it’s impossible to predict precisely when that will be.

In the past, seniors and individuals with I/DD had limited housing options. They could live in an assisted living facility which cost less but didn’t provide much autonomy. A more costly alternative was to pay someone to stay in the home for just-in-case care. Neither option is ideal.

GoodLife decided to try something different. We began offering targeted remote support care in homes and neighborhoods using advanced technology. This significantly reduced costs and allowed for creative staffing solutions.

When the participants needed assistance, a direct support professional (DSP) was notified, and help was provided quickly. Our novel housing options were recognized in 2016 by Autism Speaks as the most innovative program internationally.

While this program is being implemented for persons with I/DD, we see the synergy and opportunity for incorporating our groundbreaking Neighborhood Network model for seniors as well. 

Thought leadership and agency support

GoodLife is a thought leader for seniors and Individuals with I/DD. We partner with community-service providers nationwide to develop innovative ideas for overcoming the lack of resources common for agencies.

Funding and staffing shortages are frequent challenges. The money received from local, state, and federal government is limited. While there are solutions, there is no one size fits all approach. It requires forward-thinking and creativity to overcome these struggles.

GoodLife has created strategies and resources around helping companies with inventive ways to schedule and pay their staff. Mike explains on the podcast that one of his favorite things is figuring out how to increase staff pay. He enjoys finding innovative ways to pay DSP what they really deserve for their important work. 

Site reviews are one of the most beneficial services provided by GoodLife to other agencies. The goal is to identify opportunities for improvement and develop strategies to achieve them. Employees, clients, and the community benefit from our creative leadership approach.

What does the future hold for GoodLife?

Going forward, GoodLife will continue collaborating with other agencies. We know that when we team up with community partners, we develop stronger practices and make a bigger impact.

GoodLife is committed to finding new ways of providing a good life to those we serve while also providing a good life to our employees. If you want to learn more, listen to the entire episode of the Uncovering Kansas Podcast.

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