VA signs interagency agreement with NAIHS

<i>Courtesy photo</i><br>
From left: Dr. Franklin Freeland, Fort Defiance Indian Hospital CEO; Michael Belgarde, NAIHS Chief Information Officer; Ron Tso, Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility CEO; John Hubbard, NAIHS Director; and Dr. Susan Angell, NAVAHCS Director.

<i>Courtesy photo</i><br> From left: Dr. Franklin Freeland, Fort Defiance Indian Hospital CEO; Michael Belgarde, NAIHS Chief Information Officer; Ron Tso, Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility CEO; John Hubbard, NAIHS Director; and Dr. Susan Angell, NAVAHCS Director.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - Officials from the Navajo Area Indian Health Service (NAIHS) and Northern Arizona VA Health Care System (NAVAHCS) have entered into an agreement that will improve the health care services offered to American Indian Veterans on the Navajo Nation.

The goals of the Interagency Agreement are to provide needed outreach services to Navajo Veterans. Member of the NAVAHCS Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Outreach Team and Social Worker, George Lawson, will be operating from the Fort Defiance Indian Hospital. Lawson provides individual counseling and will begin offering group counseling services. The office space will be used to provide Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) outreach treatment services and many other services to eligible Veterans on the Navajo Nation.

In addition, Ruthie Hunter, Social Worker, will be providing PTSD counseling from the Chinle Veterans Center and the Pinon Health Center. Future plans also include moving Hunter into the office space in the Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility.

Signing the agreement were Dr. Franklin Freeland, CEO, Fort Defiance Indian Hospital, Michael Belgarde, NAIHS Chief Information Officer, Ron Tso, CEO, Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility, John Hubbard, NAIHS Director, and Dr. Susan Angell, NAVAHCS Director.

For more information, contact Hunter at the Chinle Vet Center and Comprehensive Health Care Facility at (928) 445-4860, ext. 7806, or 1-800-949-1005, ext. 7806; or contact Lawson at the Fort Defiance Indian Hospital at (928) 729-8000, ext. 8048, or (928) 729-8048.

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