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Learn what the PACT Act means for your VA benefits

Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System Hosts Tribal Veterans Representative Training

Interim Director Dr. Kimberly Denning welcomes attendees to the Tribal Veterans Representatives training on Nov. 7, 2022
Interim Director Dr. Kimberly Denning welcomes attendees to the Tribal Veterans Representatives training on Nov. 7, 2022.

Tribal Nation representatives from VISN 19 and VISN 23 visited the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee to attend Tribal Veterans Representative training Nov. 7 – 10.

Hosted by the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System for the first time since 2017, Interim Director Dr. Kimberly Denning was excited to welcome them back.

“I’m so thankful that we had the opportunity to host this training again and bring together our tribal partners to share knowledge and learn how we can better help each other,” said Denning.

The Tribal Veterans Outreach Program began in 2001 by then-Salt Lake City VA Director James Floyd and W.J. ‘Buck’ Richardson, VISN 19 Minority Outreach Program Manager. Floyd, who transferred to Oklahoma in 2012 as the EOVAHCS Director until 2015, was also present during the first day of training to welcome the attendees.

Richardson said the purpose of the training is to help the Native community understand VA benefits, health care programs and other services available to Veterans and their family members.

“Our goal is to reach out to Veterans and their family, no matter when or where they might be, to help them access the benefits that were earned through their service to this country and their respective Sovereign Nations,” said Richardson. “The program is to help in the outreach for ALL Veterans and their family members. This year’s training had a heavy emphasis on the PACT Act of August 2022.”

Approximately 12 Tribal Nations were represented including Apsaalooke, Assiniboine, Assiniboine Sioux, Blackfeet, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Crow, Gros-Ventre, Kaw, Muscogee Creek, Pawnee, and Rosebud Sioux.

Richardson said that tribes from Maine, Michigan, Montana, and Wisconsin have asked for this training next year. For more information on TVR training, contact Buck Richardson at 406-447-7547 (office) or 406-439-6331 (cell).

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