Thank you so much for your interest in Grace Community Services. We are looking to expand our board membership, and it pleases us greatly that you would take the time to share information about yourself and be willing to volunteer your time to further our agency's mission.

Please take the time to complete our brief survey. In addition to asking for contact information, we request that you rate yourself based on a matrix we established for strengths we seek in board members as it relates to today's expectations of our agency in a managed care environment.

Our process of board selection is completed by a nominating committee comprised of board members and our Executive Director. We will be in touch with you and would like to take the time to meet with you to give you more information about our agency and expectations of a GCS board member.

Please feel free to peruse our website as well as our parent corporation's.

The state governing body for GCS is the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).

The OPWDD has a guidance document regarding responsibilities of board members for not-for-profit agencies.

Agency History:

Grace Lutheran Residential Services, dba Grace Community Services, has been providing services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Rochester area since 1988. GCS traces its origins to Reformation Lutheran Church in downtown Rochester. Several families that had a family member with a developmental disability were interested in opening a group home that would have a Lutheran focus. The Board of Ministries at Reformation approached Bishop Lee Miller about the project, and he happened to be on the board of Lutheran Social Services in Jamestown, NY. Bishop Miller brought the two groups together, and a partnership was formed. LSS liaised with the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and secured funding to open its first home at 1930 Westfall Road in Rochester, NY. Since that time, GCS has been fortunate to add four homes for a total capacity of 37, a Community Habilitation program serving 55 individuals, and a Medicaid Service Coordination Department serving 135 individuals. A newly formed in-Home Respite program has recently begun to serve individuals in the community. GCS is in currently in discussion with families and service recipients regarding non-traditional residential opportunities.

Grace Community Services is an affiliate of Lutheran Social Services in Jamestown, NY. LSS traces its roots to 1886, when the Gustavus Adolphus Children’s Home was opened, which was an orphanage for Swedish youth. Since that time, LSS has added a 145 bed Skilled Nursing Facility, a 52 bed Assisted Living Facility, and 198 slots of HUD-subsidized housing. The GA Children’s home has morphed into 72-bed Residential Treatment Facility for Emotionally Disturbed youth, and the GA Learning Center was added, which is a school for graded 6 through 11.

Please take the time to review our mission statement, as it demonstrates our culture of service to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Thank you.

Mission Statement:

At Grace Community Services, people are our greatest asset. By providing opportunities for growth, we maximize the individual potential of our employees. We strive for excellence by providing meaningful community, residential, and home-based services to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Our agency, our employees, and those that we serve contribute to the economic vitality and quality of life of our community.

As a Lutheran organization, as we serve and support our individuals, families, and employees, we honor our Christian heritage.

“Living Life with Grace.”


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* 1. Please enter your demographic information below.

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* 2. Please rate yourself in the following skill matrix.

  None Fair Good Advanced
Legal Skills – labor relations, health care issues, regulations, contracts, guardianship, disputes
Financial – able to read and understand financial docs, provide feedback/guidance
Managed care – billing, rate setting (actuarial), operations
Quality of Care - OPWDD regulations, DOH experience, QA surveys of programs, minor reports
Business Development/Opportunities – identifying new opportunities, growth opportunities, getting business in the door
Event Planning
Marketing – establish brand, who we are, what we do, etc.
Public Relations
Governance experience – nomination process and criteria, by-laws, job description of board members, diversity of membership, facilitation of board responsibilities
Conflict resolution
Strategic planning – seeing the big picture, identifying growth goals, gaining ownership from staff
Relationship development, networking – business development, growth, recruiting: new board members, committee members, volunteers, interns, employees
Facilities Knowledge – project management, brick and mortar, problem identification
OPWDD (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities) - training, knowledge
Personal experience of GCS services
Passion/affinity for population/mission/services provided
Knowledge and representation in GCS oversight committees: OSHA committee, Human Rights, HIPAA HiTech, Corporate Compliance
Human resources management – performance feedback for Executive Director, establishment of performance criteria

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* 3. Are you currently a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA)?

This is not a requirement of board membership.

Thank you so much for taking the time to supply us this information. Please feel free to contact our Executive Director if you have any questions or comments.

Patrick J. McGrath
Executive Director
Grace Community Services
1000 Elmwood Avenue
Suite 800
Rochester, NY 14620
585.672.2749 x100