Improvement in Indian care needs to come from ground up, Tester says at summit


by Vince Devlin

NINEPIPES LODGE – In May, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, heard testimony on poor health care services delivered to Native Americans in Montana and Wyoming.

In Montana, their average life span is two decades shorter than non-Indians.

On Tuesday morning, Tester addressed the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Health Care Summit – labeled “unique and historic” by one of its organizers – that brought together a wide range of tribes, hospitals, medical providers, insurance companies, and government agencies and officials.

Tester deflected credit for the summit to the CSKT Health Department officials who organized it, and said he looked forward to hearing the ideas that come out of the meeting.

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