Cell: 208-610-8000 Christy

Email: vdcidaho@area6aging.org

Covered Service Area: The North Idaho Counties of Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, Latah, and Nez Perce

Hello from North Idaho!  Western Montana Area VI Agency on Aging has just gained its first Idaho Team Member, Christy Huling.  Christy joined our Western Montana Area VI Team as one of three Service Coordinators with our Veteran Directed Care (VDC) Program.  Christy’s Service Area covers the North Idaho Counties of Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, Latah, and Nez Perce.    The North Idaho VDC Program service area covers just over 5.129 million acres in these six counties.  Idaho Veterans make up 7% (Latah County) to 14.8% (Boundary County) of these county populations in 2015 (https://www.livestories.com/statistics/idaho/veteran-demographics).

What is the VDC program?  The Veteran Directed Care Program pays for qualified Veterans to receive services and support to help them maintain independence in their own homes.  Eligibility is determined by the Geriatric Extended Care Assessment (GEC) which is administered by a nurse at the VA Medical Clinic.  The GEC determines the amount of money available each month to pay for Personal Care Aide (PCA) hours or other authorized services and supports.  A feature of the Veteran’s budget is a savings account where unused budget funds will be held. The Veteran may determine if he/she would like to designate a portion of their budget in order to save for an authorized purchase.   Any unused funds will be returned to the VA at the end of the 6 or 12 month Authorization Period.  Once eligible, Veteran is reassessed every 6 or 12 months to ensure they are receiving an appropriate amount of care related to their needs.  (https://www.va.gov/GERIATRICS/pages/Veteran-Directed_Care.asp)

A little about the North Idaho Service Coordinator:  Christy is passionate about serving the Veterans in her community.  Many of Christy’s family members have served in the United States Armed Forces during war and non-war times.  When asked about joining our VDC Team, Christy responded:  “I am excited about serving those who served this great nation, the United States of America.  I want to give back to those who gave up so much so that I can enjoy my life and my freedoms.  The VDC Program is a great way for me to use my education and experience to help others.”

Christy has lived in the North Idaho area since 2001.  She married her husband, James Huling in 2005 and continued to thrive in the rural town of Oldtown, Idaho.  Christy loves North Idaho living because it reminds her of parts of her Montana hometown, Victor.  Christy loves to give back to the community by volunteering.  She has volunteered with the Pend Oreille County Fair, Priest River Lions Club, Newport Rodeo Association, 4-H Leader for the Hoodoo Hustlers Fishing Club, Years of Baseball and Soccer Coaching and GEAR UP Youth Volunteers.  Christy is an avid fisherwoman, hunter, and outdoor enthusiast.  You can find the couple out fishing just about every weekend.  The couple competed in the Idaho BASS Federation Tournaments and has since found a greater passion with salmon and steelhead fishing, “bigger fish” says Christy’s husband.  Gardening is also a passion for Christy.  The couple cans and preserves much of the food they grow while donating the rest to family and friends.  The couple invites neighbors to their home in October to pick out a pumpkin and help with the apple cider press.

Christy has worked in a variety of positions after moving to North Idaho to include Glock Armor and  Office Manager, Lone Wolf Distributors; College and Career Counselor, Priest River Lamanna High School; and most recently Case Manager for the Aging, Blind, and Disabled, Rural Resources Community Action.  Christy graduated from the University of Montana with a Business Administration Degree while working in South Korea as the USO Office Manager, Camp Casey and recently earned her Master of Business Administration Degree from Western Governors University while working as a Case Manager.