Jim Moran of Haines recently became the local contact for the Tribal Veteran Representative program.
Moran will serve as liaison between veterans and the Veterans Administration, helping veterans enroll in VA programs. Twenty-two local veterans received VA care last year, Moran said.
“My job is to get you enrolled and get your first appointment and helping people navigate the bureaucracy of getting into the system,” Moran said.
Native veterans who receive their care through Native health care facilities such as the Haines clinic should mark the “veteran” block on clinic paperwork, as the VA will then reimburse the clinic for providing the service.
“That way the money comes back to the community, so (the clinic) might be able to hire another nurse or buy more equipment,” Moran said. “Native vets get to do what they’ve always done, it’s just a difference of who pays the bill.”
Checking the “veteran” box also makes veterans eligible for broader health care, including at VA facilities, Moran said.
Pre-authorization is required for non-Native vets to receive VA-funded care at the local clinic, Moran said.
Moran said he has enrolled seven veterans under VA care since August. Moran can be reached at 314-0286.