Welcome Erika !

Erika Kiefer

Erika Kiefer is a new happy face here at Center for Independence, (CFI).  She is with us in a paid Work Experience position through the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. 

Erika was a little shy at first but has quickly blossomed into a valuable part of the CFI team.  Not only has Erika mastered the multi-line phone system, she is able to give anyone who comes into our lobby a warm greeting and quickly find out what they need.  She has learned quite a bit about Center for Independence and which staff member handles what type of work, which is not an easy task.

 

There is nothing Erika won’t attempt to do at CFI.  She dives right into any task she is given.  For example, Erika helped us get ready for our Voter’s Education and Registration Event by doing everything from making tons of copies to decorating the auditorium. 

 

Erika is very neat, a good organizer, is very detail oriented and has done extensive work with our Record’s Manager getting files created and organized.  

We have discovered that Erika is a Computer Wiz!  She quickly created a very splashy 259-page PowerPoint for a staff member and is currently working on a big Excel file for another person. 

In her spare time, Erika makes Origami animals and has generously shared them with us. Erika takes pleasure in giving and helping others.  She enjoys being needed.  Erika has a quiet and pleasant disposition, which makes it easy to work with her. 

As you can see from this photo, she has a great smile.  Welcome Erika!

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FYI

FYI  May is Older Americans Month 2018

Every May, the Administration on Aging, part of the Administration for Community Living, leads our nation's observance of Older American's Month. The 2018 theme, Engage at Every Age, emphasizes that you are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a difference in our communities.

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Voters' Education & Registration Event

Of Interest to Seniors and Persons

with Disabilities in

Mesa County

On May 8th, 2018 from 8:00 to 11:30, Center for Independence (CFI) at 740 Gunnison Avenue, will be hosting a Voters’ Education & Registration Event.  A free breakfast will be served.

This event will help voters get ready to cast their ballots by explaining the voting process and highlighting issues of importance to seniors and persons with disabilities.  Olivia Pilcher with the Disability Law Center will give a presentation titled, Voting Rights and Registration”. Volunteers from the League of Women Voters of Mesa County will be on hand to assist attendees with voter registration.

On July 12th, CFI is hosting a Candidates Forum from 8:00 until 11:00 followed by an informal one-on-one time with candidates.  This is an opportunity to ask candidates questions pertaining to issues of seniors and persons with disabilities. A free breakfast will be served from 8:00 – 9:00.

Both events are non-partisan.

To register, please call CFI at 970-241-0315 or go to the website at www.cfigj.org. Under CONTACT CFI, fill out the form and include:

Number of people attending

First and Last Name(s)

                Home Address

                Phone Number

                Email address

                Which event are you attending?

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Medicare

Between April, 2018 and April, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will mail new Medicare cards to all people with Medicare.  The new cards will have a new unique Medicare Number instead of a Social Security Number.  Medicare will automatically mail the new cards to the beneficiary address on file with the Social Security Administration. 

CMS will mail the new cards in waves.  Starting in April 2018, people with Medicare will be able to check the status of card mailings in their area on Medicare .gov. The first wave of cards will be mailed between April and June to people with Medicare in the following 11 states and territories:

    • Alaska
    •  American Samoa
    •  California
    • Delaware
    • District of Columbia
    • Guam
    • Hawaii
    • Maryland
    • Northern Mariana Islands
    • Oregon
    • Pennsylvania
    • Virginia
    • West Virginia

After receiving a new card, people with Medicare are advised to take 3 steps to make it harder for someone to steal their information and identity:

    1. Destroy your old Medicare card.
    1. Use your new card right away. Doctors, other health care providers, and plans approved by Medicare know that Medicare is replacing the old cards and are ready to accept the new cards. 
    1. Beware of people contacting you about your new Medicare card and asking you for your Medicare Number, personal information, or to pay a fee for your new card.  If you think someone is trying to steal your identity or otherwise commit fraud related to the new Medicare cards, you can report them to  your local Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP).

Information and resources for partners and providers related to the roll-out of the new cards is available from CMS.gov.  

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Run, Walk and Roll

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month.

On Saturday March 24th there will be a fun Run, Walk and Roll Event at the Life Adjustment Program center located at 1405 Wellington.  Registration is at 9:00.  Event takes place on campus and neighborhood.   Registration is $10 and receive a t-shirt for your donation.  BBQ lunch and lawn games after run, walk, roll event.  ALL FUNDS FROM THIS EVENT GO TO CFI this year!  The fun theme is St. Patrick's Day, so please wear green to support this awesome event!

Center for Independence will have a table set up to share information about our Program and we will also be volunteering at this event!

 

 

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Lehua DeLong

Lehua DeLong is the new Deaf Services Program Manager at the Center for Independence (CFI). This is a newly established program at CFI. Lehua began working at CFI six months ago and her job is developing a program that will provide better access for the DEAF* Community beginning in Grand Junction. (Lehua estimates that there are approximately 60 deaf individuals in the Grand Junction area.) Services will eventually cover all of the counties in CFI’s service territory.

Lehua will be working with other independent contractors to provide interpreting services to our community for medical appointments, job interviews, job training, working with the school system, the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and Social Security offices. Lehua states that there is a ton of work to do including establishing contracts with various organizations.

Lehua is a Hawaiian name and Lehua is half Hawaiian. She wasn’t born in Hawaii but visits the islands often. A little known fact about Lehua is that she grew up doing Polynesian dancing. She started dancing before she could walk.

Lehua considers herself to be a very lucky person. She has a wonderful husband, kids, close family, health and a great job”.   Lehua met her husband in 8th grade and has been married for 8 years.   Lehua and her husband have a 20-month old son (who is going through the “terrible twos”) at home and Lehua is about to give her husband the gift of another baby, a girl, on their wedding anniversary in early March. This is obviously a very exciting time for them.  

Lehua is energetic, refreshing and motivating. Her desire is to be a well-rounded individual. She is inspired by people overcoming difficult situations and by kids, who are much more giving than kids should be. Lehua hates to be bored or sit for a long time. She hates watching television. Lehua started her interest in communication early. She was very sociable in high school and often got scolded for talking to much in class. She is known for her distinctive, infectious laugh.

The biggest risk Lehua ever took was narrowing down her career. There were so many avenues that it was difficult to decide on a specific path. A major accomplishment was passing her National RID professional certification as an American Sign Language interpreter. It was only then that Lehua realized that she was really good at what she is doing!

Lehua does not believe in bigfoot but enjoys hearing stories from people who do believe.

 

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Of Interest to Seniors and Persons with Disabilities in

Mesa County

On May 8th, 2018 from 8:00 to 12:30, Center for Independence (CFI) at 740 Gunnison Avenue, will be hosting a Voters’ Education & Registration Event.  A free breakfast will be served. 

This event will help voters get ready to cast their ballots by explaining the voting process and highlighting issues of importance to persons with disabilities.  Volunteers from the League of Women Voters of Mesa County will be on hand to assist attendees with voter registration.

On July 12th, CFI is hosting a Candidates Forum from 8:00 until 12:30 followed by an informal one-on-one time with candidates. 

This is an opportunity to ask candidates questions pertaining to issues of seniors and persons with disabilities. A free breakfast will be served.

Both events are non-partisan. 

Also, Donna and Bob, from the League of Women Voters will be here in June through October on the second Tuesday of the month from 10:30 to 12:30 to help our consumers and others in the community register to vote.  They will be working with folks in the CFI Computer Lab. 

If you would like to register to vote but don’t have a valid Colorado ID, we have worksheets from Sherry Cole with Peace & Justice to help remedy that problem.  Sherry will be working with us to help people get IDs. 

Voters’ Education & Registration Event

May 8th from 8:00 to 12:30

CFI Auditorium

Candidates Forum

July 12th from 8:00 until 12:30

CFI Auditorium

Voter Registration 10:30 to 12:30

Computer Lab

June 12th

July 10th

August 14th

September 11th

October 9th

Colorado IDs

Ongoing

Center for Independence

740 Gunnison Avenue

Grand Junction, CO

970-241-0315

For more information, contact:

Lexi Sherwood at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Mike Ahern at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.cfigj.org

 

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