Montana. Dept. of Public Health and Human Services.

DPHHS News (Volume 1999 FEB) online

. (page 1 of 2)
Online LibraryMontana. Dept. of Public Health and Human ServicesDPHHS News (Volume 1999 FEB) → online text (page 1 of 2)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

IVIontana State Library


3 0864 0014 6303 6



Department of Public Health & Human Services

February 1999


A Healthy Heart is a Happy Heart

Cupid can make a heart happy, but not healthy.

While February is widely known for its romance

and sweets, this is also American Heart Month, a time to

think about nutrition and "sweats."

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Montanans,
attributable in 28 percent of all deaths in 1996 (DPHHS
Behavioral Risk Factors Survey). The key risk factors
associated with heart disease are smoking, lack of physical
activity, high blood pressure, high-fat diet, high blood
cholesterol and being overweight.

These risks can be reduced greatly with a few lifestyle
changes and motivation — and it's never too late to start,
according to DPHHS staff.

Following are some tips from the DPHHS nutrition program
for keeping your heart happy and healthy.

Heart Risk Profile: Where do you stand? Check off whether
you may be at increased risk of heart disease.

^ Age - You are a woman over 55 years old, or have

passed menopause, or had your ovaries removed.
* Gender - You are a male.

V Family History - You have a close blood relative who
had a heart attack before age 55 {/f father or brother) or
before age 65 (if mother or sister).

V Cigarette and Tobacco Smoke - You smoke, or
live or work with people who smoke every day.

V Total Cholesterol Level - Your total cholesterol is
240 mg/dl or higher (the desirable level is below 200
mg/dl). Have your total cholesterol level checked at least
once every five years.

V HDL Level - Your HDL ('good") cholesterol level is less
than 35 mg/dl.

^ LDL Level - Your LDL ('bad') cholesterol level is 160 mg/
dl or more (the optimal level is below 100 mg/dl).

V Blood Pressure - Your blood pressure is 140/
90 or higher, or you have been told that
your blood pressure is high. The optimal
level is less than 120/80.

V Physical Inactivity - You get less than 30
minutes of physical activity on at least three days
per week.

^ Overweight - You are 20 pounds or more overweight.

V Diabetes - You have diabetes or take medicine to control
your blood sugar.

V Medical History - You have coronary artery disease, or
you have had a heart attack, or you have an abnormal

("Healthy Heart. . ." continued on oaae 51


American Heart Month
Wise Health Consumer Month

February 15

President's Day

February 25

Pandemic Influenza Teleconference
10 a.m. DPHHS Room 306
Contact: Beth Cottlngham 444-2969

March 3

Brown Bag Lunch

Noon to 1 p.m.

Cogswell C307

Chris Deveny to discuss

tobacco settlement and prevention

March 5

DPHHS Legislative MetNet
1:30-2:30 p.m.

Statewide broadcast from Auditorium
Contact: 444-2596

March 9

10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Eat Right Montana

DPHHS Room 107

Contact: Crystelle Fogel 444-2672

March 12

Public Health Improvement Task Force

1930 9th Ave., Helena

Contact: Melanie Reynolds 444-4474

March 15

Healthy Communities
Statewide Video Conference
10 a.m. to Noon
Contact: 243-2094

March 24

IDEA Project Data Meeting
1 to 4 p.m.
Cogswell C209B
Contact: Sib Clack 444-9527

A Message From the Director: A Refreshing Change

Laurie Ekanger
DPHHS Director

The 1999 Legislature reaches
the halfway point at the end
of this month, and I'm pleased
to let you know that, for the
most part, our programs and
objectives have fared
reasonably well during
committee hearings and
sessions in the House and

I'm proud of the testimony
and information provided to legislators by our
co-workers in DPHHS. Presentations to our
budget committee have been informative and
well-received. Testimony has been effective,
and department staff have responded promptly
to the many inquiries and requests for
documents. I believe employees at the
Department of Public Health and Human
Services are valued in the Capitol for their
knowledge and helpfulness.

There seems to be a bit more relaxed
atmosphere in committees than I remember
from last session. Maybe it's just that I'm
more relaxed than last session when I was
brand new. But I do know that we do not
have the huge cut in funding targeted at our
department like last session. Nor do we have

the same level of anxiety-producing legislation.
That is most refreshing and has really affected
the interest level among our employees and
constituents. The messages sent to my office
from interested partners around the state are
fewer, and attendance at weekly MetNet
sessions is drastically smaller.

In fact, after attracting only a handful of
people for our first four weekly sessions, the
administrators and I have decided to instead
schedule monthly MetNet sessions during the
remainder of the Legislature. The next
gathering is scheduled for IVIarch 5,
followed by April 2 and a legislative
wrap-up on April 30.

It is critical to us to remain accessible and
open to questions at all times, especially
during the Legislature. So, if something is on
your mind prior to one of these upcoming
sessions, feel free contact our Public
Information Office and we'll make sure your
inquiry is answered. The e-mail address is
[email protected] . the mailing address is PO Box
4210, Room 301, Helena, 59604, and the
phone number is 444-2596. And remember,
the LAWS website (
branch/htm ) is a good source of legislative
information for bill status updates.

MTPRRIME Ready to Roll April 1 with Human Resource Programs

Montana's Project to Re-engineer the Revenue and
Information Management Environment (MTPRRIME)
is prepared to "go live" with the human resource
modules of "PeopleSoft" on April 1, organizers say.
MTPRRIME is implementing new finance,
procurement/asset management and human
resource systems as a complete package.

The human resource modules consist of Human
Resources, Payroll, Benefits Administration, and Time
and Labor. The first payroll processed using this
system will be the pay period ending April 23.

Employee training began earlier this month and
concludes in March. DPHHS staff have been
identified and enrolled for courses applicable to their
jobs. The MTPRRIME Team plans to only train those
employees who are directly involved with the new
system — such as accounting, personnel, key
budget staff, and managers. Staff members who
complete the initial training will then be asked to
train other employees in their offices.

Training for the Financial modules is scheduled to
begin in March and will take place on General
Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and

Contact Sheri Vukasin, Agency MTPRRIME Training
Coordinator and Training Associate, at 444-2513 if
you have questions pertaining to the PeopleSoft

Ingman Recognized for TB Work

The National Tuberculosis Controllers Association,
Inc., has elected Denise Ingman as Secretary for
1999. Ingman is Montana's TB Program Manager
in the Communicable Disease Control and
Prevention Bureau. She has been with the
Department for 20 years, most recently working
to prevent and control the spread of tuberculosis,
which is an airborne communicable disease.
Montana recorded 18 TB cases in 1997. "It is a
credit to Denise's hard work within Montana and
nationally to be recognized by her peers," said
her supervisor, Todd Damrow.


Rich Oge, Superintendent
Montana Veterans Home
Columbia Falls
[email protected]

Rich Oge has a simple philosophy behind his new job as superintendent of the Montana
Veterans Home: "If it wasn't for the residents of these facilities, none of us would be here.
It's their home."

That's why he has entered his new job with as much a sense of pride as excitement. "This
is an opportunity to be able to serve a group of people who put everything on the line,"
Oge said. "I think of it as a real honor."

On Jan. 11, Oge (pronounced "0-Gee") replaced Pat Estenson, who retired after 18 years as
superintendent. The Veterans Home provides nursing home and domiciliary care to 120
honorably discharged veterans.

Oge is a military veteran, having enlisted in the Army after high school. He served at the
White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. His professional experience also includes almost
20 years of health care management throughout the Montana region, including seven years
in nursing facility administration. He also has a master's degree in audiology.

While acquainting himself with the facility, its needs and employees, Oge has realized the
special stature the Veterans Home holds in Montana. "There are a lot of people who are
interested in the facility — veterans associations, ombudsmen. Everyone has been really
helpful and supportive," he said. "It seems like they are such a great bunch of people up

He said he is looking forward to overseeing completion of the Special Care Unit
construction project and promoting a sense of "ownership" and empowerment at the home.

Success Stories from Deer Lodge County Featured in March Video Conference

The Montana Healthy Communities Advisory
Coalition is continuing its series of statewide
interactive video conferences, which are designed
to help participants create healthier communities
and learn from successful statewide activities.

The second session in the free training series is
"Charting a Course to a Holistic Healthy
Community," set for March 15 from 10 a.m. to
noon. The session will highlight community
visioning and asset mapping success stories from
Deer Lodge County. Conference presenter Barbara
Andreozzi is the Community Development MSU
Extension Agent for Deer Lodge County and an
MSU adjunct faculty member.

She was selected "Citizen of the Year" by the
Anaconda Chamber of Commerce in 1995, and
her Anaconda Visioning Project, "Your Town,
Designing Its Future," was recently selected a

national Best Case Practice by the National Trust
for Historic Preservation. She also has presented
at numerous national and state conferences.

The remaining two installments in the conference
series are scheduled for May (Listening to the
Community, Stories from Helena) and July
(Community Indicators, Stories from Missoula).
Specific dates and times are being arranged.

The March 15 Healthy Communities Network '99
video conference will be broadcast to; Anaconda,
Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Glasgow, Great Falls,
Helena, Kalispell, Missoula and Sidney. Call the
University of Montana at (406) 243-2094 for
specific viewing addresses and to register.
For more information about the Montana Healthy
Communities Initiative, call Lynda Blades at (406)

Montana Rest Areas Get Pay Phone TTYs for Speech, Hearing Impaired

The work of two state agencies is making communicating possible for
highway travelers who are hearing or speech impaired.

Four special text telephones (TTYs) have been installed at state rest
areas along Montana interstate highways, one each in the eastbound
and westbound stops along 1-90 near Columbus, and one each in the
northbound and southbound stops along 1-15 near Dearborn. In the
coming years, the Department of Public Health and Human Services
(DPHHS) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) hope to place
TTYs at 29 Montana rest areas, with the Missoula and Butte vicinities
next up.

TTYs allow callers to type their outgoing messages and read replies.
The special keyboard is mounted in a sealed drawer that only opens
when the caller dials a valid telecommunications device number.

"I think this shows an astounding effort on behalf of the Department of
Transportation for accessibility on behalf of the hearing and speech impaired and should be
commended," said Kryss Kuntz, who directs the Montana Telecommunications Access Program for
DPHHS. Tor years, people who are hearing or speech impaired have been unable to use
payphones. But TTY's have opened a new world for them. Once again, times are changing and
life in Montana is getting better for the deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech impaired."

Kuntz credited Sam Prestipino, ADA Coordinator (now retired), and Jerry Dupler, Communications
Bureau Chief, for spearheading the project at DOT.


The TTY is mounted in a secure
drawer under the Pay phone

Influenza Season - We Aren't Out of The Woods Yet

Although we're only midway, the 1998-99 flu
season has been mild so far in Montana,
according to Jim Murphy of the department's
Communicable Disease Control and Prevention
Bureau. Flu season typically lasts from
October to May, and as recently as Jan
23 areas such as Butte and Kalispell
began reporting cases — a reminder
that it's not too late to receive a flu

"We hope not to see a widespread
outbreak of the flu this year," Murphy
said. "Last year's flu season was
much worse because the vaccine,
which is reformulated each year, was
not a good match with the strains of
influenza that were ultimately identified.
This year, early indications are that we
have a good match and this may
account for the low number of flu cases
so far."

Influenza vaccine is still available and advised
for people at special risk, including individuals
older than 65 with medical conditions
affecting their heart and lungs. However,
anyone can receive the shot.

Influenza, commonly called "the flu," is
caused by viruses that infect the respiratory
tract. Compared with most other viral
respiratory infections, such as the common
cold, influenza is often more severe. Typical
symptoms include fever (100-103 degrees F
in adults and often higher in children) and
respiratory difficulty including cough, sore
throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache,
muscle aches, and often fatigue. Most
people who get the flu recover completely
within 1 to 2 weeks, but some develop
serious, life-threatening medical
complications, such as pneumonia. In an
average year, influenza is associated with
about 20,000 deaths nationwide and
many more hospitalizations.

For more information about
influenza, contact the Immunization
Program at 444-5580 or the
Communicable Disease Program at
444-0273. The department's web
site ( is
another resource for prevention



It's The Tax Man, Yea! Things

Not only is it flu season, but it's TAX SEASON!

That wonderful time of year when

the nation's couch potatoes 'liUlMi^

become amateur accountants,

shuffle papers into a blizzard,

wear out their calculators

and hope their efforts spell


The good news is that the
IRS has become user-friendly by providing
forms and other information on the World Wide
Web (

At this time of year, good tax tips are as hot
as technology stocks on Wall Street. Make sure
your pencil is sharp and a bowl of (healthy)
munchies is nearby. Now you are ready!

There are some important changes that took
effect in 1998 that could ease tax filing:

• Above all else, double-check your
deductions. Don't over-withhold throughout
the year. You could invest these dollars and
make bigger gains.

• Make sure your forms are complete,
including your Social Security number and
daytime phone number, in case the IRS
wants to call.

• Make your check or money order payable to
"United States Treasury" instead of the
Internal Revenue Service.

• You may be able to claim a tax credit of up
to $400 ($500 beginning 1999) for each of
your qualifying children under age 17.

to Remember at Filing Time

There are several education benefits. You cannot
claim more than one benefit for the same

• Hope Credit: You may be able to claim a tax
credit of up to $1,500 for an eligible student.

• Lifetime Learning Credit: For expenses paid
after June 30, 1998, you may be able to
claim a tax credit of up to $1,000 per family
for education-related expenses.

• Education IRAs: You may be able to make
nondeductible contributions of up to $500 to
an education IRA for a child under 18.

• interest on Student Loans: You may be
able to claim a deduction of up to $1,000
($1,500 in 1999) for interest paid on student
loans. See form 1040 or 1040A for

If you adopted a child last year from an
authorized agency, you may be able to claim the
child as your dependent and also claim certain
tax credits.

If you failed to receive your W-2 form in the
January 27 payroll, call the Personnel/Human
Resources office at 444-3136.

These are just a few tips for tax year
1998. For further information, pick
up a copy of the Tax Guide for
1998 . available at your local
IRS office. Changes are also
discussed in Publication 553,
Highlights of 1998 Tax Changes .

("Healthy Heart. . . " continued from front oaae)

Take Control of Your Blood Cholesterol and
Blood Pressure: Mark what you plan to do to
lower your blood cholesterol and blood pressure.
^ If you're 20 years or older, check your blood
cholesterol at least once every 5 years. Check
your blood pressure at least once a year. If you
have high blood cholesterol or high blood
pressure (hypertension), ask your health care
provider how often you should be monitored.

V Choose dairy and fat sources that are lower in
saturated fat such as skim milk, part-skim
mozzarella, tub margarine and olive oil.

V Choose plenty of foods high in soluble fiber
like fruit, vegetables, oats, barley, and
dried beans

^ Eat no more than four egg yolks a week.

V Bake, broil, microwave or steam your food
instead of frying or sauteing. Buy lean cuts
of meat such as "round" or "loin," and remove
the skin from poultry.

Achieve a "healthy weight." Ask your health care

provider what a healthy weight would be

specifically for you.

Keep moving. Aim for moderate-intensity exercise,

like walking, gardening, yard work, housework,

dancing or golf, at least 30 minutes a day.

If you're a smoker or chew tobacco, try to quit.

When you stop smoking your risk of heart disease

drops quickly. In about three years, it's as low as a

nonsmoker's risk.

To lower your blood pressure, choose more fruit,

vegetables and dairy products. Work with a

registered dietitian to see if the "DASH Diet," which

is high in calcium, magnesium and potassium,

might help reduce your blood pressure.

Choose fewer foods that are high in sodium, and

leave the salt shaker off the dinner table.

Talk with your health care provider about use of

alcohol. Although moderate intake of alcohol (one

drink/day for women, or two drinks per day for

men) may lower your blood cholesterol, it can also

raise your blood pressure.

Agency Offices Working Together to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy

Two DPHHS offices are working together on a
project designed to reduce unintended
pregnancies by providing family planning
information to families served by both offices.
Project participants are those who depend on
public assistance or are at risk of needing
public assistance for support.

The Public Assistance Bureau and the
Women's Health Section of the Family and
Community Health Bureau are creating a
training system for eligibility staff to offer low-
income families assistance in making informed
decisions about family planning.

"We are excited about our new partnership
and the prospect of reducing unintended
pregnancy in Montana," said Suzanne Nybo,
Women's Health Section supervisor. "In the
United States, 88 percent of the pregnancies
for never-married women and 60 percent of all
pregnancies are unintended — that is a
pregnancy that women report to be mistimed
or unwanted."

FAIM Coordinators do not always have the
basic knowledge, skills or comfort level to
introduce and discuss family planning needs.
This is where the Women's Health Section fits
in with training. By helping eligibility staff feel
more comfortable with this type of discussion,
FAIM recipients can also feel more comfortable
incorporating voluntary participation in family
planning into their plans for self-sufficiency.

The Women's Health Section plans to provide
training using a curriculum developed by the
Alaska Department of Health and Social
Service. Organizers hope the curriculum can
be used to develop other statewide
partnerships to decrease unintended pregnancy
and promote family planning.

An evaluation of the Montana FAIM project
found 31 percent of the respondents applied
for public assistance due to a pregnancy. In
addition, 26 percent applied because they
lacked child care or were unable to afford
child care.

These statistics support the Alan Guttmacher
Institute's report that "closely spaced births
early in a woman's life ... increase welfare

"Clearly, for families to achieve independence
and self-sufficiency, family planning needs to
be addressed by all agencies that deal with
families at risk for unintended pregnancy,"
said Karlene Grossberg, Public Assistance
Bureau chief.

A Look at the Numbers:

When looking at afl teen births, the
percentage of newborns to unmarried
teens 15-19 rose from 46 percent in 1981
to 78 percent in 1997. First-year
pregnancy-related costs to Montana
taxpayers in fiscal 1997 for a mother and
child averaged $14,056 for FAIM, food
stamps, WIG and Medicaid.

In addition, the consequences of
unintended pregnancies are many:

• More likely to seek prenatal care later

• More toxic exposure (alcohol, tobacco)

• Excess risk of low birth weight

• Excess risk for infant death

• Greater risk for child abuse and neglect

• Greater risk of physical abuse of the

Did you know?

The Child Support Enforcement Division provides services to more than 40,000 Montana


Montana's $832 million share of the national tobacco settlement accounts for about 0.4

percent of the total settlement reached with states ($206 billion).

In Montana, nearly four people die every day from a tobacco-related illness (Source: Health

Policy and Services Division).

The DPHHS Legislative MetNet schedule has been revised to reflect monthly sessions. The

schedule is as follows: March 5, April 2 and April 30. Broadcast times remain 1:30 to 2:30


Planning Tips For Your Retirement — It's Not Too Early!

The key to creating and experiencing a
satisfying retirement is planning. Such planning
will give you control, raise your
expectations and turn you toward the
future with enthusiasm.

Retirement planning is not a one-time

event. It's an ongoing process of

identifying wants and needs,

developing plans to fulfill those wants

and needs, acting on your plans, and

continually reviewing and revising

those plans as necessary. Retirement planning

professionals recommend the following major


1. Start assembling needed background
information regarding the important aspects
of retirement: health, use of free time,
personal adjustments, housing, finances and
legal matters.

2. Talk things over with the people close to
you, those who will be affected by your
decisions. Invite them to participate in your
plans and explorations. Let them support
and encourage your efforts.

3. Obtain trusted advice. Retired friends can
contribute excellent first-hand knowledge. Seek
professional guidance on complex matters
such as housing, legal issues, pension
benefits and financial and estate planning.

4. Seek definite but realistic goals for
retirement income, activities, health and
housing. They will keep you focused and
provide powerful incentives for action.

5. Put your retirement plans in writing,
including your list of needed actions. Specify
deadlines. You will find that your planning
must proceed in stages, each stage
providing the foundation for others.

6. Retire before your retire. Test out some of your
plans. Try a new hobby; see if you like it and
if you can afford it in retirement. Meet new
people not associated with your work.
Volunteer one or two hours a week. Identify
and start using community resources now.

7. Review and update your plans at least once
a year or when a change in your work or
family situation makes adjustment desirable.
(From "How to Plan Your Successful
Retirement, " AARP)

The Senior and Long-Term Care Division offers
classes on planning for retirement. For more
information, contact Deb Horton at 444-4784.

Information on "buying" additional years of
retirement should come directly from the Public
Employees Retirement Division (444-3154) as


Online LibraryMontana. Dept. of Public Health and Human ServicesDPHHS News (Volume 1999 FEB) → online text (page 1 of 2)