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AWARE Ink Newsletter

Note from our CEO

We made it through the darkest weeks of the year. I hope the longer days and spring like weather lift your spirits if you had the winter blues. Now, here we are in February of a leap year. Some choose to see it as another long month, others see it as an extra day to make a difference. I challenge you to do something out of the ordinary on February 29th – do something to improve the lives of the people around you.


Changing lives is something we do daily here at AWARE and you can read about some of our most recent accomplishments in the 2023 Annual Report. I encourage you to read through it to understand the enormous impact our team has and the importance of the services we provide. We are full steam ahead in 2024, committed to our mission to help people live independent lives.


That said, many of the people we serve are already facing a challenge impacting their access to services in 2024.  Medicaid “redetermination” is a term you have probably heard a lot about recently if you follow the news at all. If you are unfamiliar with what it is, please read this informative article from the Helena Independent Record.


January 31 marked the final day of the Medicaid “redetermination” process in Montana, which has been going on for the past 10 months. Some Montanans have experienced increased income and therefore are over the minimum income required for Medicaid eligibility; however, many Montanans lost Medicaid health benefits due to “procedural reasons”. This includes many people with disabilities who are reliant on Medicaid to help them live as independently as possible in our communities, free of involvement with law enforcement and higher cost placements like hospitals and institutions. I encourage you to learn more about it.


Over the last several months we’ve highlighted many of the services that we provide to people who are Medicaid eligible. In this issue of INK, we are proud to feature our Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) service line. AWARE has been a leader in growing access to these services across Montana, most recently expanding ABA services to Helena. I invite you to check out the rest of this issue of INK. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about ABA, get to know some of our incredible staff and celebrate a client success story.


Finally, at the end of this month the Electric City Rotary is hosting a late Mardi Gras themed event, “Tardi Gras” in Great Falls. AWARE will be the recipient of all proceeds from the event. I am looking forward to spending time meeting and engaging with all the generous sponsors of the fundraiser. I am grateful to the Electric City Rotary for seeing the value and importance of the work we do and am excited to share more about the event next month.


Thank you for taking the time to read this note. If you have any questions, I am always happy to talk. Please feel free to contact me at


Wishing you the best,

Matt Bugni CEO


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