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Dr. Mike Strouse

For more than 35 years Dr. Mike Strouse has led GoodLife Innovations, Inc. and its
subsidiaries. Mike’s work encompasses research, development, refinement, and dissemination of evidence-based, nationally-regarded, community service models that consistently produce person-centered care and high quality-of-life outcomes for those served. Mike also is the CEO and developer of iLink Technologies, which is an enterprise solution for providing professional remote support to individuals with a variety of needs. Mike’s consultant services include helping private corporations and state governments interested in best-practice and emerging technologies for models supporting semi-independent populations in the community. Mike earned his Ph.D. in developmental and child psychology and holds a courtesy faculty appointment in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas. He continues to participate in research, assist with the training of graduate students, and successfully maintains this important, 40-year long partnership.

Session Topics: 

GoodLifeU: Solutions to Stabilize Your WorkforceDr. Strouse and the GoodLife research team have worked for over three decades on the development and use of innovative solutions for helping community service providers

effectively manage direct labor cost, while providing best practice support for a variety of dependent populations. We’ve found that agencies who hold tightly to traditional approaches for scheduling and compensation often experience DSP instability. Now more than ever, agencies cannot afford any instability within the workforce.


Labor costs are rising at an unprecedented rate fueled by a dramatically shrinking DSP workforce, increases in both functional minimum wage and insurance costs, and now the COVID pandemic. Organizations face turnover rates exceeding 50%. Reliance on part-time staff is excessive, representing nearly 30% of the workforce (and over 40% of residential services) with the highest turnover rates. New and safer considerations must be made for
how to share staff across sites and organizations must urgently learn how to reduce the number of different people involved in care in order to protect those served. The solution includes innovative schedules that offer front/back and premium pay strategies that powerfully and positively impact DSP wages, capacity to work extra, stability, consistency, overall costs, etc.


In a 40-year collaboration with the University of Kansas, GoodLife has developed strategies to help people with I/DD live with greater independence, while also improving the lives of the DSPs who make this possible. GoodLife U offers a comprehensive toolbox for measuring and addressing organizational (in)stability amidst the direct labor crisis. Strategies for payroll/benefits, scheduling, neighborhood and without-walls staffing, vacancy coordination, hiring how-to, and more will be discussed and attendees will receive a review of several
impact studies.


At GoodLife (and a growing number of agencies across the country) these labor strategies have been put into action and have resulted in lower turnover, an increase in wages for DSPs by $2-3/hr (avg.), fewer vacancies, less reliance on part-time staff, fewer different people involved in care (resulting in higher quality care), improved stability, and more.

Learn more about Good Life Innovations at mygoodlife.org.

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