FVCC’s Lincoln County Campus offers nursing programs

Lincoln County residents can pursue a Practical Nursing Certificate of Applied Science or an Associate of Science Nursing degree at Flathead Valley Community College’s satellite campus in Libby. Some travel to the Kalispell campus may be required. Now is the time to apply for admission to the college and register for pre-requisite courses that will begin in August. 
FVCC’s Practical Nursing Certificate of Applied Science can be completed in three semesters, and the Associate of Science Nursing degree can be completed in five semesters. The two programs have different prerequisite courses that must be completed or be in the process of being completed at the time of application.
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) care for ill, injured, convalescent or disabled persons in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, clinics, private homes, group homes and some hospitals. They may work under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RNs.)
RNs assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans and maintain medical records. They administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent or disabled patients. RNs may advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for LPNs working in Montana is $42,690, and the mean annual wage for RNs working in Montana is $66,280. In addition to competitive salaries, many health care employers offer sign-on bonuses and/or loan repayment plans.
New students are required to complete the FVCC application for admission and follow the steps for enrolling, including submitting official transcripts if transfer credits are to be considered. The deadline to apply for fall semester is August 22 and classes begin August 29. Additional information about FVCC’s nursing programs is available at
For questions regarding the application process, contact Janet Ivers or Debbie Huisentruit at (406)293-2721.

Travel vaccines offered at the Lincoln County Health Department

Lincoln County Public Health (LCPH) realizes the important need to ensure that local and international travelers, adults and children, are up-to-date on important and required travel vaccinations. Because of that growing need, LCPH has expanded our vaccination services to include travel vaccines and health travel education.
“Diseases plague the world and outbreaks can happen in even developed countries. Italy for example, is fighting a major measles outbreak and mosquito born diseases are very severe and not to be taken lightly” states County Health Nurse, Riley Black, RN. LCPH wants to ensure that anyone traveling abroad is well protected and to help ensure they do not bring diseases back with them.
Depending on your destination and length of stay, LCPH can determine which vaccinations may be most appropriate for you including some specialty vaccinations like Typhoid, Hepatitis, Japanese Encephalitis, and Meningitis.
The cost of some select travel vaccinations can be submitted to health insurance companies for coverage or if un-insured, adults and children may be eligible for free vaccination. For other specialty vaccines, cost of vaccinations vary and are required at the time of service.
Travelers in need of vaccinations should schedule appointments at least 60 days, but ideally 8-10 weeks in advance of departure.
“It takes around 2 weeks for immunity from vaccination to be sufficient to protect an individual from disease”, Black states. “ it is important that travelers do not leave vaccination until the last minute because many vaccines require several booster doses to provide effective protection from disease..”
For information about travel vaccinations or to make an appointment, call County Health Nurse Riley Black, at (406) 283-2447.

CMS transitioning to new Medicare numbers and cards

According to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), personal identity theft affects a large and growing number of seniors. People age 65 or older are increasingly the victims of this type of crime. This is why CMS is in the middle of a fraud prevention imitative that removes Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards. CMS states, “Our aim is to help combat identity theft and safeguard taxpayer dollars.” This change will also allow providers and people with Medicare to use secure look-up options that will support quick access to Medicare numbers when they need them.
Starting in April 2018, CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards that include a new Medicare Number. The mailings will be staggered throughout the year, with completion expected by April 2019. Here are some additional things you need to know about the new cards.
The new Medicare card has a new Medicare Number. Your new number will be alpha-numeric and is completely unique to you, it will not be duplicated or shared with anyone else.
Medicare is removing your Social Security Number from your cards in an effort to help protect your identity.
Medicare will mail you a new card to your home between April 2018 and April 2019.
Once you receive your new card, you should destroy your old care and start using your new card right away in order to protect yourself by making sure no one can access your personal information from your old Medicare card.
Here are a few additional tips provided by CMS in order to help people with Medicare prepare for this change.
Make sure your mailing address is up to date. If your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security at or 1-800-772-1213.
Beware of anyone who contacts you about your new Medicare card. CMS will never ask you to give them personal or private information to get your new Medicare number and card.
Understand that mailing everyone a new card will take some time. Your card might arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.
It is important to note that the new Medicare numbers won’t change your Medicare benefits. Additionally, it is best practice to begin using your new Medicare cards as soon as you get them.