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Peer Mentor named new Data Manager

Peer Mentor named new Data Manager

white female with brown wearing glasses and purple sweater with red and white designs

Tricia Cutright has been named LIFTT’s new Data Manager. Cutright has been with the agency since 2019 as a peer mentor.

Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT) is pleased to announce that Patricia (Tricia) Cutright has been chosen as the agency’s new Data Manager. Cutright succeeds Steve Woodard who is retiring after more than a dozen years with LIFTT; the last two as Data Manager.

Cutright is no stranger to LIFTT. Since 2019, she has been part of the organization as a Peer Mentor, becoming enmeshed in the workings of LIFTT and promoting the independent living philosophy. Tricia has also assisted with the Peer Support Group, assisting IL Specialists in the Billings office, and representing LIFTT as part of the Yellowstone County Local Behavioral Health Advisory Committee.

“Our peer mentoring program is designed to educate about independent living and prepare the participating peers to learn skills that prepare them for further work either here at LIFTT or in the wider community,” said LIFTT Executive Director Carlos Ramalho.

“Tricia rising from the peer program to become our next Data Manager is a perfect example of that concept working as intended. I would hope people with disabilities would look at what Tricia has accomplished and see themselves doing similar things through our peer program.”

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings, and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and southcentral Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Stillwater, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. Please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app on Apple or Google Play for more information.

RSV: Keeping yourself safe

RSV: Keeping yourself safe

Using indirect immunofluorescence microscopy, this photomicrograph revealed the presence of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV

Using indirect immunofluorescence microscopy, this photomicrograph revealed the presence of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in an unidentified tissue sample, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia among infants and children under 1 year of age. (CDC/Dr. Craig Lyerla) 

The Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), an extremely contagious virus, can severely affect the lungs and respiratory airways in disabled and older individuals. Maybe you have not heard of the RSV yet, but it has arrived in Montana and has become a health concern.

The RSV symptoms go from mild to severe and last up to two weeks. They include fever, headaches, coughing, sore throat, running nose, congestion, and fatigue.We regret to inform you that no vaccine is available against RSV. To avoid being infected by the RSV, you have to keep social distance and not have contact with anyone infected.

If the RSV infects you, cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve, not your hands. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid close contact, such as kissing, shaking hands, and sharing cups and eating utensils with others.

For more information about RSV please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s RSV page by clicking here.

Stay safe and happy holidays,

LIFTT’s Team

Disclaimer: This information in this post is intended for educational and informative purposes only and are not intended to serve as medical or professional advice. You should always consult your physician or other health care professional regarding your individual healthcare needs

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings, and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and southcentral Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Stillwater, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app on Apple or Google Play. 

Happy Thanksgiving from LIFTT!

Happy Thanksgiving from LIFTT!

Happy Thanksgiving!

LIFTT Offices are closed Today November 24th and Tomorrow November 25th so our team can celebrate with their friends and families.

We will reopen on Monday, November 28 at 8 a.m.

All of us at LIFTT wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

A Cartoon Turkey with the words "Happy Thanksgiving"

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings, and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and southcentral Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Stillwater, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app on Apple or Google Play. 

LWM: Helping Everyone Rise

LWM: Helping Everyone Rise

In this episode of Living Well in Montana entitled “Helping Everyone Rise”: LIFTT team members Jed Barton and Jennifer Hawkinson provide an overview of LIFTT’s core services and introduce a new video that features LIFTT team members talking about how they live and thrive independently with their disabilities and how LIFTT offers people, of all ages with all types of disabilities, the advocacy, and resources to do the same. The program concludes with a presentation of the full five-minute “Helping Everyone Rise” video.

]“Living Well in Montana” is produced by LIFTT and Billings Community 7 TV. In addition to being aired several times each week on C7 (available to Charter Spectrum Cable customers in Billings and Yellowstone County), It is also available online through the Community 7 VOD Player and LIFTT’s YouTube Channel.

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings, and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and southcentral Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Stillwater, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app on Apple or Google Play. 

IL Specialist Tara Robison earns Living Well in Community Facilitator Certification

IL Specialist Tara Robison earns Living Well in Community Facilitator Certification

A bald white hispanic male witj a beard wearing a blue dress shirt shakes hands with a white woman with black hair wearing glasses and a red sweater, the woman is displaying a certificate

LIFTT executive director Carlos Ramalho congratulates IL specialist Tara Robison on completing certification as a facilitator for the Living Well in Community Workshop. (Photo by Freda Mook)

Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT) is proud announce that Billings-based Independent Living Specialist (IL) Tara Robison is now a certified Living Well in the Community (LWC) facilitator.

Congratulations Tara! As a certified LWC facilitator, Tara is equipped to teach the ten-week LWC workshop to disabled persons who want to set goals to support their overall quality of life and well-being.

By attending the workshop, participants will learn to

  • Identify what is meaningful to you and then set quality life goals for improving your life.
  • Make progress toward the goals you set by applying problem-solving skills and managing emotions like frustration and discouragement, feelings that can get in the way of reaching goals.
  • Discover tools and skills that can make goal achievement easier, like communicating effectively and finding significant resources.
  • Explore ways to improve your overall health by changing daily habits.
  • Practice self-advocacy and systems advocacy to help them make changes that can support you and others in living well.

In-person and zoom workshops are in the process of being scheduled for 2023! If you or someone you know would be interested in attending the Living Well in the Community Workshop contact Tara Robison at (406) 294-5192 or tarar@liftt.org

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings, and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and southcentral Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Stillwater, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app on Apple or Google Play. 

 

LIFTT partners with KTVQ to produce “Helping Everyone Rise”

LIFTT partners with KTVQ to produce “Helping Everyone Rise”

We hope you enjoy this video entitled “LIFTT: Helping Everyone Rise” featuring LIFTT team members talking about how they live and thrive independently with their disabilities. LIFTT offers people, of all ages with all types of disabilities, the advocacy, and resources to do the same.

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings, and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and southcentral Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Stillwater, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app on Apple or Google Play. 

LWM: Building a healthier community with Healthy by Design

LWM: Building a healthier community with Healthy by Design

LIFTT Community Health Worker/Outreach Coordinator John Robison and Peer Program Coordinator Tanya Thomas visit with Morgan Miller, MPH, Resilient Yellowstone Project Coordinator with the Healthy by Design Coalition about the Coalition and its work on initiatives to build Yellowstone County into a healthy community, in particular, the Resilient Yellowstone project and its focus on capturing the true impacts of COVID-19 on the county and its residents. For more information on the Healthy by Design Coalition visit: https://www.healthybydesignyellowstone.org/

“Living Well in Montana” is produced by LIFTT and Billings Community 7 TV. In addition to being aired several times each week on C7 (available to Charter Spectrum Cable customers in Billings and Yellowstone County), It is also available online through the Community 7 VOD Player and LIFTT’s YouTube Channel.

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings, and Glendive, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and southcentral Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Stillwater, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org, or download our mobile app on Apple or Google Play. 

The November 2022 LIFTT Connection is Now Available!

The November 2022 LIFTT Connection is Now Available!

The November 2022 Edition of the LIFTT Connection newsletter is now available!

Click here to download it (Adobe PDF)

In this issue of the LIFTT Connection:

You can request that we email you an electronic copy or mail you a paper copy by sending your name and address to jedb@liftt.org  Also, look for articles from the newsletter to be posted on liftt.org and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings, Glendive, and Red Lodge, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and southcentral Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Stillwater, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app on Apple or Google Play. You can donate to LIFTT by clicking here.

November 2022 Director’s Corner: A New Dawn in 2023

Editor’s note: A version of this story appears in the November 2022 LIFTT Connection Newsletter. You can download the newsletter here (Adobe PDF) 

Thanks to our devoted grantors, team, consumers, board members, and the community, LIFTT experienced positive growth during 2022. We’re now a Center for Independent Living and Public Health (CILPH), have become fully electronic/digital, and are on the verge of launching an aggressive outreach program to serve all eighteen counties of our service area fully. We plan to expand our presence in all counties of our service area including the Native American reservations,  recruit and retain new talent, and make our operations more sustainable through new public and private funding.

As we expand our operations, LIFTT’s team and consumers have become more vibrant and optimistic, a mood reflected in their enthusiasm over LIFTT’s new programs and projects, such as our new ADA-accessible website and APP launched in 2022. We believe a new dawn is breaking over LIFTT because we have overcome the notion that barriers could never be removed. I have maintained that in 2023 I will continue to inspire and promote change, strong enough to break through barriers that prevent independent living from becoming a concrete reality.

In 2023, LIFTT will continue to foster the independent living and public health of the disabled community. LIFTT will be at the forefront of Montana’s independent living, disability rights and advocacy, personal care assistance, and transitions, It is in the same spirit that LIFTT is now set to contribute even more positively to independent living in collaboration with the other Montana CILs and organizations. In our age, no single organization can promote independent living by itself and solve the challenges the disabled community faces without supporting one another.

LIFTT has pledged that in 2023 we will continue to fulfill our mission and vision, work for the revival of the independent living movement, increase Montana’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and promote the peace, happiness, and prosperity of our community.

We wish you happy holidays!

Carlos Rahmalho, Executive Director of LIFTT 

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings, Glendive, and Red Lodge, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and southcentral Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Stillwater, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app on Apple or Google Play. You can donate to LIFTT by clicking here.

 

 

The Shaw Family: Rising Above the Waters

The Shaw Family: Rising Above the Waters

Editor’s note: A version of this story appears in the November 2022 LIFTT Connection Newsletter. You can download the newsletter here (Adobe PDF) 

LIFTT’s Kimbrough Fund helps Shaw Family after June Floods 

On June 12, 2022, due to snow melt and heavy rains, the Rock Creek and the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River overflowed, causing property and infrastructure damage in Carbon County. Among the destroyed houses is one located in Fromberg, belonging to the Shaw family all of whom have disabilities: the mother Rebecca has Environmental Sensitivity, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, Anxiety/Panic Attacks, and Bi-Polar Disorder. While the father Robert and sons Nathan, Asher, and David are all on the autism spectrum.

The Shaws lost almost everything and came to LIFTT for assistance. John Robison, Independent Living (IL) Specialist & Outreach Coordinator, was assigned the case. He diligently worked with The Montana  Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), Carbon County Public heath the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the LDS Family Services, local churches, and Fromberg High School.

The flood inundated their basement, and the house became uninhabitable, forcing the Shaws to spend two days at the Fromberg High School. After the waters receded, they returned to their property, where they lived temporarily in a small utility trailer without running water, heat, and refrigeration.

Using funds from the Jackie Kimbrough Emergency Fund, LIFTT was able to assist the Shaw Family. Among other things, LIFTT paid for the repair of their vehicle, a Chevy Suburban allowing them to bring, from out of state, a bigger camper-style trailer to their Fromberg property.

The Shaws are currently living in the camper trailer. After completion of the reconstruction of the house, before Winter 2022-2023, they will be able to move back in. The Shaw family is grateful to FEMA and Carbon County for their assistance in reconstructing their home.

This disaster affected the whole Shaw family, causing not only disruption but trauma. However, parents and children took advantage of this experience to grow, access valuable resources, and preserve their independence. They are together, soon will move back into their home, and move forward toward their future. LIFTT and the other organizations will continue to partner with the Shaws to help them rebuild their lives.

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings, Glendive, and Red Lodge, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and southcentral Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Stillwater, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit liftt.org or download our mobile app on Apple or Google Play. You can donate to LIFTT by clicking here.