1,200 veterans needed to push clinic in Marianas

Posted on Oct 09 2019

Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) listens to the issues raised by CNMI veterans who braved Super Typhoon Hagibis to raise concerns, mostly on health services, at the Veterans’ Listening Session held Monday at the American Memorial Park. (Iva Maurin)

Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) is urging veterans to sign up and register with the Veterans Health Association, in an effort to push for the establishment of a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in the Marianas.

The CBOB issue was raised during the Veterans’ Listening Session on Monday at the American Memorial Park that was jointly organized by Sablan’s office and Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), who chairs the Veterans’ Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.

CBOCs are implemented by the Veterans Health Association to make health care access easier for veterans, where they could be provided with outpatient services, as well as health and wellness visits.

“It is my intention for veterans to get the benefits, the full service that they deserve, that they have earned,” Sablan said.

Two years ago, Sablan’s office organized five resource fairsz—three on Saipan, and one each on Tinian and Rota, to get veterans to register and learn about the CBOC.

“Unfortunately, we have a little less than 500 individuals who are signed up and actively using the health administration services, and the formula is that we need 1,200 for a CBOC to be feasible,” Sablan added.

As the VHA continues to expand its network of CBOCs to include more rural locations, Sablan, who is a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, has been pushing for the CBOC for veterans in the CNMI.

In an earlier report, Sablan mentioned that veterans should have a place of their own that they can go to for care, highlighting the fact that while the CNMI has one of the highest per capita recruitment rates in the nation, the islands do not have the services that the veterans need when they come home.

Due to Super Typhoon Hagibis, congressional delegation members of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee had to leave the island Sunday, the day before the scheduled Veterans’ Listening Session.

Sablan, however, assured the veterans that the committee members will be back to hear their concerns.

Sablan’s congressional staff were also present at the listening session to take notes and document all the issues that came up during the session, which would be brought back to the committee for action.

For more information about the congressional office’s veterans registration drive, contact veterans case worker Randy Johnson at 323-2647 or email randy.johnson@mail.house.gov.

MD: Veterans Listening Session
KW: Veterans Listening Session, Congressmen Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan, Community-Based Outpatient Clinic

Iva Maurin | Correspondent
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com
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