Kansas State/Tribal Consultation Meeting Held Today at PBP Health Center

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Left to right:  Sandy Praeger, Kansas Insurance Commissioner, Joyce Guerrero, Vice Chairman of the Tribal Council, Judy Baker, Regional Director of Health and Human Services, and Kevin Meeks, Area Director of the Oklahoma City Indian Health Services.

MAYETTA:  Over 30 representatives from Native American tribes and health leaders from the state of Kansas and Oklahoma came together at the Health Center today to discuss national and state health reform issues and how it will affect Native Americans.

A special guest at the meeting was Sandy Praeger, Kansas Insurance Commissioner, who spoke about a program within the State called Health Insurance Exchanges that is  allowing individuals to dialogue about the new health insurance reform   According to Director Baker, it was the first time a Kansas Insurance Commissioner has ever met with Native American health leaders at one of their quarterly meetings.  Praeger said her office wanted to get more involved with the tribes and was pleased to have the opportunity to consult with them today.

The meeting opened with remarks from PBPN Tribal Vice Chairman Joyce Guerrero, Nancy Rios, Native American Contact for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Judy Baker, Regional Director of Health and Human Services.  Following that, Barb Langer, Ph.D., Medicaid Director, Kansas Health Policy Authority, gave Kansas Health Policy Authority Updates with Praeger’s presentation following Langer’s. The meeting then concluded with a question and answer period.

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The Kansas State/Tribal Consultation meeting was held in the conference room at the Prairie Band Health Center.