Two Montanans named to National Veterans Advisory Committee

Baucus and Tester nominated Jim Ahrens and Abe Abramson

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Thanks to
nominations from Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester, two Montanans will
serve on the national Veterans Rural Health Advisory Committee.

Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake today appointed James F. Ahrens of
Cascade and Charles “Abe” Abramson of Missoula to the 13-member

The Veterans Rural Health Advisory Committee will advise the VA on health
care issues affecting veterans in rural areas.

Peake announced the creation of the advisory committee during his February
visit to Montana.  Tester, a
member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, invited Peake to Montana to see
firsthand the issues facing rural veterans.

Ahrens, former head of the Montana Hospital Association, will chair the
Veterans Rural Health Advisory Committee.

“It’s an honor to serve America’s
veterans as chair of this important committee,” Ahrens said. “I look forward to
working with the VA to make sure that the challenges veterans face in rural
areas like Montana are truly

Abramson, a 38-year Air Force veteran, served on the medical staff ethics
committee of St.
Patrick Hospital in Missoula.

"As a Veteran with service-connected health
issues, I have personally had excellent care in our VA system." Abramson said. "
Access should be barrier-free for all Veterans, and I am pleased to see this
renewed focus on the underserved in our more rural areas."