BUSINESS NEWS

Montanans urged to

exercise caution due to

unemployment fraud

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) today advised Montanans to protect their personal information in response to an increase in reported criminal activity regarding Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim fraud.

“Over the past week, DLI has seen a significant rise in reports of imposter fraud. This is where bad actors apply for unemployment benefits using someone else’s identity and personal information stolen from sources outside of the agency,” said Acting DLI Commissioner Brenda Nordlund. “This activity is not unique to Montana. States across the country are facing a barrage of imposter claims.”

Additionally, DLI is warning Montanans that with the rise in UI claims and enhanced benefits, bad actors may pose as department representatives and contact someone and attempt to obtain personal information.

“Many Montanans may not know their information has been stolen, and we will be alerting individuals who may be victims of imposter claims,” Nordlund said. “Our agency has controls and processes in place to prevent, identify, and block fraud. Unfortunately, bad actors continuously look for new ways to circumvent our efforts.”

DLI is implementing these additional steps to protect Montanans’ personal information and combat imposter fraud: Increasing the number of investigators on our fraud investigation team. Cross-matching data with other state agencies and across the country to detect fraud activity.

DLI advises Montanans not to reveal any personal information if contacted by anyone identifying themselves as a UI fraud investigator. Instead, tell the caller that you will immediately call them back at the official UI Claim fraud number at (406) 444-0072. In addition, those that receive emails from UI staff members should remember that all official emails are sent from @mt.gov email addresses. DLI has also received reports of fraudsters offering to help UI claimants and businesses by sending them to fake websites that request personal information. Official DLI websites that are trusted sources of information and services include:

  • MonanaWorks.gov – UI Claimant portal
  • mtpua.mt.gov – Pandemic Unemployment Assistance UI portal
  • uieservices.mt.gov – State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) electronic services for employers
  • dli.mt.gov – main DLI website

DLI is encouraging those that believe they may be a victim of imposter fraud to report it at uid.dli.mt.gov/report-fraud immediately. Individuals can also file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov. Those that are victims of UI imposter fraud are not required to repay the stolen money. Those that are victims of fraud and then must apply for UI benefits are still able to do so.

Submitted by Lauren Lewis

 

CPMC Foundation brings new equipment for Rehab Services

Exciting additions and developments are occurring with the Pelvic Health Program at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center’s Rehab Services.  The Cabinet Peaks Foundation Department Grant Program’s most recent purchase was a new Pathway CTS 1500 pelvic muscle biofeedback system for the Rehabilitative Service Department.

Biofeedback machines provide a way for patients and therapists to have a visual on proper muscle contraction or relaxation and control in the pelvic area where these muscles can’t be seen. This biofeedback machine also includes muscle stimulation to surrounding pelvic floor muscles assisting with pelvic floor strength, sensation, and pain control. The Pathway CTS clinical biofeedback system utilizes two channels: one for intra-vaginal/rectal or external pelvic muscle placement, and one for accessory muscle placement. There is also an option for internal pelvic floor muscle stimulation. The software provides standardized protocols as well as allowing for personalization of treatment sessions to focus on strengthening or relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles and confirmation of pelvic floor muscle usage.

“This equipment will enhance our services for pelvic health treating women and men as well as advance our women’s health program,” stated Tyler Hanley Rehabilitative Services Manager at CPMC.  “We’re very excited to get this biofeedback machine and expand our pelvic health and women’s health offerings at Cabinet Peaks Rehab. The addition of the machine to our department will be a great asset for our team and allow us to better serve our community.  A huge thank you to the CPMC Foundation for supporting the rehab department and joining in our vision to positively make an impact in the community and the lives of our patients.”

In addition, three therapists are completing on-site educational courses for in-depth evaluation, assessment, and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction. Lori Benson, MSPT; Angela Patten, DPT; and Lacey Hemman, PTA will be attending a Pelvic Floor course through Herman & Wallace to enhance their pelvic rehab skills. In depth instruction will be given regarding the evaluation, assessment, and treatment of various diagnosis related to urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and pelvic pain syndromes.

Hanley continued, “These investments will enhance the therapists’ skills and abilities to provide quality, compassionate care to the residents we serve in Lincoln and Sanders counties. At Cabinet Peaks Rehab, therapists will provide proper evaluation and assessment of the pelvic floor muscles through external and internal vaginal examination, and sEMG biofeedback. As part of a wholistic plan, therapists will also assess personal dietary and daily habits as well as traditional physical therapy screenings of posture, strength, and body mechanics. The patient and therapists will work together as a team to develop a personalized intervention plan including therapeutic exercise, sEMG biofeedback, external and internal manual therapy techniques, and patient education.”

Kate Stephens, Executive Director of the CPMC Foundation is thrilled that the Departmental Grant Program continues to bring quality equipment to the medical center. “The Foundation is pleased to be able to provide equipment like this to the medical center.  These smaller pieces of equipment can make such a huge impact on the lives of so many people in our service area, and the Foundation is proud to be a part of that! The departmental grant program, which purchased the biofeedback machine, is funded by the Foundation’s Mission Fund.  This fund has been a wonderful way for us to continue giving back to individual departments, and to reach more employees and more community members than ever before.  We are excited to help the countless women, and men, who can benefit from this particular machine.”

If you have questions or would like more information regarding the CPMC Rehabilitative Services Department or their women’s health or pelvic health programs, please call 283-7280. For questions, or to make a donation to the Foundation, please call 283-7140.

Submitted by Kate Stephens

 

 

 

Registration open for summer and fall courses at FVCC

Registration is now open for in-person and online summer and fall courses at Flathead Valley Community College. To protect the health and well-being of students and staff, FVCC is following stringent social distancing and sanitation protocols in all in-person courses and across campuses.

FVCC offers courses that satisfy general-education requirements of the Montana University System and courses that transfer to colleges and universities nationwide. FVCC also offers many career and technical degree programs with courses beginning in summer and fall. Accommodations are available as necessary for students to virtually attend classes.

The summer and fall course schedules are online at fvcc.edu/course-schedules. In-person courses are noted by the campus on which they will be held (“Kalispell Campus” or “Lincoln County Campus/Libby”). Online courses are noted as “Online Course.”

Students who are new to FVCC must complete the admission application process before registering for courses. There is no fee to apply to FVCC. The application is available online at fvcc.edu/apply.

For more information, call 756-3880 or email fvccadvisor@fvcc.edu.

Submitted by FVCC