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1764 Old Chattanooga Pike SW Cleveland, TN 37311

info@lifebridgesonline.com

+1 (423) 472 5268

Category: NEWS

NEWS

November 2021 Newsletter

A Note from Diana Jackson, CEO

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Life Bridges Partners! I trust you will be with friends or family during Thanksgiving holiday. We miss our large Thanksgiving/Christmas meal at Cleveland High School with all of you, but hopefully next year we can join together again.

When I think of the many things that I am thankful for I think of Ralph and Sue Summers. Ralph was a founding board member and served the agency for 48 years. We will be dedicating the main campus to him on December 2, 2021. I would like to invite you to join us at the middle entrance at the main Life Bridges campus located at 764 Old Chattanooga Pike at 12:00 Noon on this day. We will share sentiments of appreciation and see the addition to the sign in his honor.

To you and yours we wish you the best Thanksgiving holiday ever.
Life Bridges Partners – Thank you for believing in and partnering with us!
Congratulations to: (l to r) Kelsey Nickels, Sara Jones and Jaime Sanders

Life Bridges team receives SHIFT Tech First accreditation! The goal of SHIFT is to use technology to identify areas of a person’s life where technology can be used in place of or alongside paid support, allowing the person to participate more actively in their day to day activities. Life Bridges hope is that this program will allow the agency to continue to succeed in their mission – to bridge the gap for people with disabilities, and to be one of the many voices advocating for increased independence for those they support.

Thankful!

NEWS

October 2021 Newsletter

A Note from Diana Jackson, CEO

Each October, we honor National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) to highlight the many valuable contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy.  

This year, Governor Bill Lee officially declared October 2021 as Tennessee Disability Employment Awareness Month.  

Employment is a very important part of the supports that are offered by Life Bridges. People love being identified with the business that employs them and they enjoy the buying power that a paycheck affords.  What do people who receive supports from Life Bridges want?  Most of the people supported by the agency want more money to afford the things that make them happy, to share outings with friends, and to buy the things they want. 

We are excited to share some of the employment success stories and opportunities offered Life Bridges that are occurring in our community; these employees bring their own strengths and skills to their work, and create a full and inclusive workforce.

Life Bridges Partners – Thank you for believing in and partnering with us!

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

The purpose of NDEAM is to commemorate the ways people with disabilities have contributed to America’s workforce & economy, and highlight resources for employees, businesses, & community organizations.  According to the most recent data, less than 20% of people with disabilities are currently employed. Specifically in Tennessee, 33% of people with disabilities who are not working want a job in the community.

At Life Bridges, our Supported Employment staff work hard to help people find meaningful, integrated employment.  Our goal is to help them not just find a a job, but to identify their own interests & skills, to work towards building a career.  We provide education & experiences helping someone determine if they even want to pursue employment, right up to their retirement.  Throughout the way, we work to provide supports where needed, but ultimately build independence and pride in their work.

The service our Job Coaches & Job Developers provide are only one piece of the puzzle when working towards increasing community employment.  It takes all staff, working together to build the necessary skills & helping people determine what their interests are and what their dream job may be.

Cheerful

Katie has worked at Taziki’s for two years.

Her cheerful disposition plus her attention to detail is one of her many attributes .

As part of National Disability Employment Awareness month we celebrate Katie’s strength “Cheerful.”

Knowledgable About Music

Terry is part of the TDOT workplace and is considered a well rounded employee, he not only performs  his daily tasks successfully, but is a great person to be around.

As part of National Disability Employment Awareness month we celebrate Terry’s strength  “knowledgeable about music.”

Halloween Haunted Forest Trail
Drive Through

NEWS

September 2021 Newsletter

A Note from Diana Jackson, CEO

We Celebrate Direct Support Professionals

September is the time when we celebrate DSP’s (Direct Support Professionals).

You might ask – what does a Direct Support Professional do?

The job of a DSP is to:

  • Teach people self-care in the areas of bathing, laundry, meal preparation, using the restroom, house cleaning, etc.
  • Support people toward appropriate behavior
  • Transport people
  • Provide job training and support
  • Provide support for people supported to interact and engage with their community
  • Plan outings, birthday parties, holiday celebrations, vacations
  • Shop along with people supported for groceries, clothes, house hold decorations
  • Wash, clean, and gas their assigned vehicles
  • Provide emotional support to those who are hurting
  • Administer medications
  • Deal with emergencies
  • Accompany people supported to medical appointments and the ER when needed
  • Document activities, medication administration, etc
  • Follow all agency protocols
  • Cope with grief as those they care for decline or pass away
  • Work overtime when you would rather not
  • Support co-workers
  • Create a fun and happy home life
  • Work with the families of the people supported
  • Assist with anything else you are asked to do
Direct Support Professionals are the foundation of the support that we provide at Life Bridges.
A HUGE THANK YOU from me, the Board of Directors, and administrative staff at the agency.
We couldn’t do it without you!
Life Bridges Partners – Thank you for believing in and partnering with us!
National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week

Red Carpet Week for Life Bridges DSPs

Ryan Dempsey (Day Services)
Melissa Coblentz (Day Services - ECF)
Kathleen Clingan (Day Services)
Sep2021-12
Chasity Watts (Residential)
Sep2021-03
Rosalee Jarrell (Day Services)
Tammy Self (Residential)
Sep2021-11
Lisa Watson (Residential)
David Williams (Residential)
Drew Campbell (ICF)
Tyree Smith (ICF)
Stephanie Kruse (ICF)
Michelle Hutto (Day Services)
Heather Cooper (ICF)

Not pictured:

Donna Bennett (Residential)

NEWS

August 2021 Newsletter

A Note from Diana Jackson, CEO

We send a huge thank you to David and Kim Luzader, First Baptist Church, Bachman Foundation, and Beth Jarrett for making Cherokee Camp happen this year. It was AMAZING!!! Also, thank you to the 80 plus families and friends that attended the Quarterly Family Meeting in July. It was great to see everyone!

Life Bridges is proud to be one of the nine agencies across Tennessee to receive a Technology First Accreditation through the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities pilot program. As part of the accreditation, Life Bridges leadership and staff completed online training and submitted an organization tech plan, as part of our overall dedication to utilizing technology as a way to support people with disabilities.

Life Bridges Partners – Thank you for believing in and partnering with us!
Pictured are: Sara Jones, Enabling Technology Integration Specialist; Damaris Betancourt, Technology Leadership; and Kelsey Nickels, Enabling Technology Integration Specialist.

Life Bridges Hiring Now

NURSES

  • LPN – Base pay $22.50 – $27.00 / hr (plus stipends)
  • RN – Base pay $23.50 – $27.00 / hr (plus stipends)
  • 2nd and 3rd shifts
  • Full and part time available

Apply or call today:

www.lifebridgesonline.com

Full time positions include:

PTO

401K

and more

 

Part time:

Insurance is available

 

DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS

  • Starting pay $12.50/hr (plus stipends)
  • Differential shift pay
  • Flex schedule
  • Full and part time available

Apply or call today:

www.lifebridgesonline.com

Main Street Volunteers Receive Recognition

Good Citizens

Sharon Marr with MainStreet Cleveland and Mayor Kevin Brooks and Cleveland City Council member, Ken Webb, present “Good Citizen” medals to Joey, Andy, and Percy during a recent council meeting.

Cindy Wilson, DSP, supports the group as they volunteer with MainStreet Cleveland twice a week.

Camp Cherokee 2021

The Return of Camp Cherokee

By: James L. Kilgore

August 3rd, 4th & 5th, 2021– Welcome back to Camp Cherokee…On the 1st day of summer camp it was a sunny day and time for music, they make good songs that will last forever. Also, we have story time from PJ the storyteller and he talks to everybody about God. Next, the staff pour some ice onto foil, we color the ice. Finally, you let the t-shirt dry overnight. Joey catches the most fish during camp. In order to get on the tube you have to guess on coin toss and this reporter chose tails and it was. So, I finally went on the tube first.

Did you know that a speedboat travels the Ocoee River at eighty-five to ninety miles per hour?

It took me about two to three minutes. Wherever you go on boat rides, tubing or swimming you have to wear a personal flotation device.

Thank you to our amazing team for making Camp Cherokee 2021 fun and memorable!
NEWS

July 2021 Newsletter

A Note from Diana Jackson, CEO

Yes, it is that time again – First Baptist Church Camp at Parksville Lake led by David Luzader! So many of the people we support are excited about their vacation at this camp designed just for them. Life Bridges partners with First Baptist Church to provide several days of fun, music, boating, tubing, swimming, fishing, and FOOD!!! Camp dates this year are August 3-5.

We are excited about the Family Meeting that will take place in the Hunt Opportunity Center (HOC) on the main campus. The meeting is scheduled for July 20 th at 5:00 PM. A barbeque meal will be provided and updates will be reviewed for the remainder of 2021. I look forward to seeing each of you – it has been far too long since our last group meeting.

REMINDER: We have a family with connections to sell a classic car as a fund raising endeavor for Life Bridges. We only have one issue – we need someone to donate a classic car for this fundraiser! J If you have a car or a lead on such a vehicle please let us know.

Life Bridges Partners – Thank you for believing in and partnering with us!

Save the Date:

July 20

Staff Meeting

9AM or 1:30PM

HOC

July 20

Family Meeting

Buffet – 5PM

HOC

August 3-5

First Baptist

Camp Cherokee

NEWS

June 2021 Newsletter

Happy Fourth of July!

Celebrate with Family and Friends!
July 3 from 11AM-2PM
At Life Bridges’ Main Campus
Food, Games, Fellowship

A Note from Diana Jackson, CEO

The Life Bridges residential program recently celebrated the end of spring and the promise of summer with a Fun Day held at the agency. Food, music, games, and fellowship were had by all. A bonus was our friends from the local Elks Lodge who joined us and added to the fun and helped with the work. We are very fortunate to have many partners across our community who look for ways to come along side us and make life good!

REMINDER: We have a family with connections to sell a classic car as a fund raising endeavor for Life Bridges. We only have one issue – we need someone to donate a classic car for this fundraiser! If you have a car or a lead on such a vehicle please let us know.

Thank you to those who reached out to assist people we support in their willingness to serve as conservators for them. We are so grateful and this has met an important need. We are in need of one person to serve as a back up conservator if the conservator could not fulfill their duties.

Life Bridges Partners – Thank you for believing in and partnering with us!

Field Day 2021
Aim High!

Save the Date:

July 3

Celebrate with family and friends.

Life Bridges main center 11AM-2PM

Games, food and fun!

July 20

Staff meeting.

9AM and/or 1:30PM

HOC

July 20

Family meeting.

5PM

Life Bridges HOC

August 3-5

Camp Cherokee 2021.

DSP Wage Increase Approved

Life Bridges recently thanked our local legislators for their support in helping facilitate increased wages for Direct Support Professionals beginning in July 2021. Pictured seated from left: Diana Jackson, Tim Henderson, Mayor Gary Davis, Rep. Mark Hall, Sen. Todd Gardenhire, Sen. Mike Bell, Eddie Cartwright; standing: Karen Kelley, Bob McIntire, Joe Lee, Jim Edgemon, L.E. Wooten, Peggy Pesterfield, Ginger Davis, Barrett Painter, David Fair.

Memorial Garden Renovation

A HUGE thank you to: Eagle Scout, Hunter Ellis for the renovation of the Life Bridges Memorial Garden!

Also thanks to Cindy Wilson for our bright and vibrant butterflies!

Cindy’s team is very excited about maintaining the flower garden and staining the swing. We are always appreciative of Percy, Joey and Andy for their volunteer spirit!

A Job Well Done. Thank you Hunter Ellis, Eagle Scout.
NEWS

May 2021 Newsletter

A Note from Diana Jackson, CEO

EXCITING NEWS!

Governor Bill Lee and the 112 th General Assembly passed the fiscal year 2022 budget with an increase in the base rate for a Direct Support Professional (DSP) to $12.50 per hour effective July 10th 2021. DSP’s provide critical support everyday so that the people we support can thrive at home, at work, and in the community. DSP’s become friends and family to those they support. This is a big step in making sure the DSP’s are compensated for their time and dedication.

We are especially grateful for the support of Senator Todd Gardenhire, Senator Mike Bell, Representative Mark Hall, and Representative Dan Howell. We thank Governor Lee and the General Assembly for their continued commitment to the people we support and their partnership with the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

As you are aware more restaurants, businesses, and churches are allowing in-person visits to their establishments. We are extending ourselves carefully, but are beginning to take part in more community activities. A separate letter will be coming out shortly to share our plans in opening up more community based opportunities.

REMINDER: We have a family with connections to sell a classic car as a fund raising endeavor for Life Bridges. We only have one issue – we need someone to donate a classic car for this fundraiser! If you have a car or a lead on such a vehicle please let us know.

Thank you to those who reached out to assist people we support in their willingness to serve as conservators for them. We are so grateful and this has met an important need. We are in need of one person to serve as a back up conservator if the conservator could not fulfill their duties.

Life Bridges Partners – Thank you for believing in and partnering with us!

HIRING NOW

LIFE BRIDGES IS HIRING!
We have Nursing and Direct Support Professional positions open.
1ST, 2ND and 3RD SHIFTS AVAILABLE
CALL HUMAN RESOURCES AT: 423-303-1873 OR APPLY ONLINE.
DIANA JACKSON, president and CEO of Life Bridges, receives a check from members of the Bachman Foundation board of directors. Pictured from left are board member Jeff Gregory; Mark Frizzell, director, Bachman Foundation; Dr. Megan Moe; Diana Jackson; and board members Dr. Jimmy Dupree; Ken Weller; and Mike Sikes.
Camp Cherokee 2021
August 3, 4, 5

The camp is in need of lifeguards to work during our camp days; If you know of someone that is Red Cross certified and interested in this position, please call Dave at 423.716.3293 or send an email to Karen Kelley:

kkelley@lifebridgesonline.com

This is a paid position by Camp Cherokee.

NEWS

April 2021 Newsletter

A Note from Diana Jackson, CEO

It is a busy time at Life Bridges!

Senate Budget Amendment #296 and House Budget Amendment #51 have been introduced at the state legislature to increase Direct Support Staff wages to $12.50 an hour. Please reach out to your legislators to ask for their support of this essential wage increase.

We enjoyed our first ever Job Fair, sponsored by our friends at Medical Center Pharmacy. Your partnership is key to our success Joe Moore! If you know someone looking for a rewarding job working with people with intellectual disabilities, please send them to Life Bridges.

We were sorry to see Terry Caywood retire, but he is still a part of the Life Bridges Family. We enjoyed a time of celebration, lunch, and a bit of a roast for Terry during his last working days. He will be missed!

We have a family with connections to sell a classic car as a fund raising endeavor for Life Bridges. We only have one issue – we need someone to donate a classic car for this fundraiser! If you have a car or a lead on such a vehicle please let us know.

Thank you to those who reached out to assist people we support in their willingness to serve as conservators for them. We are so grateful and this has met an important need.

Life Bridges Partners – Thank you for believing in and partnering with us!

HIRING NOW

LIFE BRIDGES IS HIRING!
We have Nursing and Direct Support Professional positions open.
1ST, 2ND and 3RD SHIFTS AVAILABLE
CALL HUMAN RESOURCES AT: 423-303-1873 OR APPLY ONLINE.

Will you help?

There is currently a bill: Senate Budget Amendment #296 and House Budget Amendment #51 that has been proposed for Tennessee to increase the TennCare budget, and raise the minimum wage for DSPs to $12.50 an hour.

The current legislation budgets for DSP starting wage to be at $10.00 an hour.

If you are unfamiliar with how the process work, a budget is set each year that determines the rates we get paid for the services we provide. We are a non-profit, and do not make money off anything except the services provided (day services, residential, therapies, medical appointments, etc) Because of this, the budget directly impacts how much money we have available to pay staff.

The TN Disability Coalition has set up an easy to use link to assist with lobbying your local legislators.

Go to:

https://cqrcengage.com/actionnetwork/app/onestep-write-a-letter?7&engagementId=511458

Then, enter your zip code. (If that zip code is covered by multiple districts, you may be asked to enter your full address).

Once you submit this, it will open up an e-mail form where all you need to do is put your name and click submit, and will send an email to your local legislators, asking them to pass this bill.

Or send a letter to: Senator Mike Bell/716 Cordell Hull Building/Nashville, TN 37243

Congratulations on a well-deserved retirement,
Terry Caywood.
You will be greatly missed!
You were always so willing to pitch in on any project and always showing up with kind words and a smile.
NEWS

March 2021 Newsletter

A Note from Diana Jackson, CEO

What a joy to see the sights and sounds of spring 2021.

We have a family with connections to sell a classic car as a fund raising endeavor for Life Bridges. We only have one issue – we need someone to donate a classic car for this fundraiser! If you have a car or a lead on such a vehicle please let us know; contact Karen Kelley: kkelley@lifebridgesonline.com or 423-421-4129.

We are in the process of having a new website developed for the agency and it will be very informative and attractive. It is being filled with pictures, stories, testimonials, people supported, staff, and the work we accomplish in our community. Stay tuned for more information.

For your consideration: We have individuals that are in need of a conservator, as they have medical issues or the person who has carried out this task for them in the past has passed away. If you are interested or know someone who would be please call me. This is not a paid position.

Life Bridges Partners – Thank you for believing in and partnering with us!

HIRING NOW

LIFE BRIDGES IS HIRING!
We have Nursing and Direct Support Professional positions open.
1ST, 2ND and 3RD SHIFTS AVAILABLE
CALL HUMAN RESOURCES AT: 423-303-1873 OR APPLY ONLINE.
Knights of Columbus, Council #4572 presents a generous donation to Life Bridges!
L to R: Grand Knight, Bertin Kurtz; Diana Jackson, CEO; Karen Kelley, Community Liason; and Knights of Columbus Trustee, Dale Foust

Life Bridges Accepted Into Assistive Technology Pilot Program

Sara Jones and Kelsey Nickels assisting with technology program

Life Bridges is one of the seven provider agencies across Tennessee who has been accepted into the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Enabling Technology Accreditation Program. The department launched their pilot program in 2017, and since has partnered with Shift which provides training and accreditation for people and agencies looking to use technology to help people with disabilities become more independent.

Life Bridges leadership and support staff will begin their training March 2021, and over the next few months will complete training on the fundamentals of enabling technology, person centered practices, and their role in supporting the person in adding technology to their current routines. During this process, Life Bridges leadership will be creating a Technology Plan, which will lay out how the services will be implemented within the agency. As part of the process, Life Bridges has committed to helping up to fifteen people currently in services to develop their own technology plan and identify technology they wish to utilize.

Frequently called “Assistive Technology”, these plans and services can include anything from sensors, to phone apps, to smart home devices. The goal of the service is to use this technology to identify areas of a person’s life where technology can be used in place of or alongside paid support, allowing the person to participate more actively in their day to day activities. Life Bridges hope is that this program will allow the agency to continue to succeed in their mission – to bridge the gap for people with disabilities, and to be one of the many voices advocating for increased independence for those they support.

NEWS

February 2021 Newsletter

A Note from Diana Jackson, CEO

A highlight of this year was the Life Bridges Annual Staff Awards Day. We celebrated many employees with 5 to 20 years of service. Employees of the year and CEO Choices of the year were also named. Later in February all will be featured in a large Banner article with pictures and awards.

It is amazing the longevity that is represented among our staff. Cheri Williamson is the staff member with the most tenure. She is a “rock” who has stood through changing times, three directors, and hundreds of staff. We currently have 477 employees. 16 employees have worked at Life Bridges 20 or more years; 102 employees have worked at the agency between 10 and 20 years; and 115 employees have been with Life Bridges between 5 and 10 years. This leaves 244 employees who have worked at Life Bridges for less than 5 years.

For your consideration: We have an individual that is in need of a conservator, as the person who has carried out this task for him has passed away. If you are interested or know someone who would be please call me. This is not a paid position.

Our Annual Giving Campaign earned over $15,000 and we appreciate all of you for your contributions! Some of you are even giving monthly – we are very grateful!

Life Bridges Partners – Thank you for believing in and partnering with us!

HIRING NOW

LIFE BRIDGES IS HIRING!
MUST BE 18YEARS OR OLDER AND HAVE A CLEAR BACKGROUND.
1ST, 2ND and 3RD SHIFTS AVAILABLE: 7 DAYS A WEEK
CALL HUMAN RESOURCES AT: 423-303-1873 OR APPLY ONLINE.

2020 Employee Recognition

Volunteer of the Year is Carolyn Williams. Pictured L to R: Dr. Brown (Board President), Carolyn Williams and Diana Jackson, CEO
20 Years of Service: L to R: Dr. Brown with Jacqueline Laginess, Diana Jackson, CEO
10 Years of Service: Seated L to R: Patricia Myers, Sharon Wells, Alicia Kidwell. Standing L to R: Dr. Brown with Tracey Hanley, Larry Mileur, Ginger Davis and Diana Jackson, CEO
5 Years of Service: Seated L to R: Megan Teeter, Shelby Forget, Lakesha Ballard, Juanita Nemeth. Standing L to R: Dr. Brown with Mackayla Johnson, Haley Roberson and Diana Jackson, CEO
Employee of the Year: L to R: Dr. Brown with Misty Hamby, Daniel Goins, Jacqueline Laginess, Tina Richardson and Diana Jackson, CEO
CEO Choice of the Year: L to R: Dr. Brown with Dusty Zembree, Denise Hope, Patricia Myers, Jacqueline Arewa and Diana Jackson, CEO
15 Years of Service: L to R: Dr. Brown with Evon Porter, David Cobb, Mary Coffman, Julie Theriot and Diana Jackson, CEO
5 Years of Service: L to R: Dr. Brown with Christine Fontaine, Rina Massingill, Daniel Keener, Vicky Whaley, Joann Mintz and Ginger Davis, CFO
5 Years of Service: L to R: Dr. Brown with Kristi Kinsey, Susan Sadler and Diana Jackson, CEO