PBPN and VA Ceremonial Signing

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Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (PBPN) Chairman Steve Ortiz with Rudy Kopfler, Director of the Veterans Affairs (VA)-Eastern Health Care Center, were photographed signing a reimbursement plan agreement today that will now allow Native American veterans to receive medical care at the Prairie Band Health Center.  The agreement has been in the making since last summer.

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Those who attended the signing today were (front row, left to right) Kopfler, Ortiz, and Will McClammy (Tribal Outreach Coordinator-VA).  (Back row, left to right) Vivien Olsen (PBPN Attorney), Bill Thorne (PBP Health Center Administrator), Carrie O’Toole (PBPN Tribal Council Member),  Jim Potts (We-Ta-Se Senior Liaison), Joyce Guerrero (PBPN Tribal Council Vice Chairperson), Tom Wabnum (PBPN Tribal Council Member), and Hattie Mitchell (PBPN Tribal Council Treasurer).  

MAYETTA:  A new reimbursement agreement plan that will allow Native American veterans to receive medical care at the Prairie Band Health Center, which is an Indian Health Service (IHS) Tribal Health Program (THP) facility, is now official.  Tribal Council members along with other representatives from the PBPN and administrators from the Veterans Affairs-Eastern Health Care Center in Topeka met this morning to sign off on the plan.

In the past, Native American veterans have had to rely on getting their health care needs met at VA medical centers which are sometimes hard to reach for those who live on reservations or in rural communities. Soon, PBPN veterans, for example, will be able to use the PBP Health Center to attain their medical prescriptions and health care needs that don’t require hospitalization.

The reimubursement agreement focuses on increasing coordination, collaboration, and the sharing of resources between the VA and IHS-THP to help Native American veterans.  It was developed in 2010 and is now in the final stage of being fully implemented