American Indian veterans can expect improved health services following a landmark agreement signed in October.
The Indian Health Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs signed a memorandum of understanding to help both agencies improve the health of American Indian and Alaska Native veterans. The agreement outlines a plan for coordination, collaboration, and resource-sharing between the agencies.
The memorandum is designed to build on a similar memorandum signed in 2003 which recognized that both organizations would achieve greater success by working together.
The the memorandum states that the “mission of the Indian Health Service, in partnership with American Indian and Alaska Native people, is to raise their physical, mental, social and spiritual health to the highest level,” and the “mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs is to care for him who shall have borne the battle and his widow and orphan.'” The VA’s mission comes from a quote from President Abraham Lincoln.