SEARHC to help enroll veterans for VA health care

Posted: Thursday, November 04, 2010

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, or SEARHC, will partner with the Alaska VA Healthcare System in enrolling eligible veterans in Southeast Alaska so they can have access to the new VA outreach clinic.

Having a VA clinic in Juneau means veterans from Southeast will be able to stay in the region when they obtain primary care and mental health services instead of traveling to Anchorage or Seattle for these types of services. Veterans will be able to receive basic primary care, urgent care, screening services, mental health services and referrals for specialized care at the new clinic. Tribal veterans also can continue to receive care at SEARHC, if they choose.

Several SEARHC staff members recently went through training with the VA so they can help veterans complete their enrollment paperwork. There are nearly 7,800 eligible veterans living in Southeast Alaska, but only about 1,800 currently are enrolled in the VA system. SEARHC will work with the VA to reach out to the nearly 6,000 eligible veterans who are not enrolled. Many Alaska Natives serve their country through military service, and helping them access this clinic will honor that service.

Patients who are veterans wanting to enroll in the VA can call three different employees who are coordinating enrollment services for SEARHC. Cecilia Frank (364-4465) is coordinating VA enrollment for patients in Juneau, Judy Mills (966-8307) is coordinating enrollment in Sitka, and Nellie Kookesh (966-8814) is coordinating enrollment for patients who live in our other communities.

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