Hoskin, Warner propose largest mental health investment in tribe’s history | News

Cherokee Nation Principal Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Principal Brian Warner have committed to addiction treatment facilities, new treatment programs, scholarships, and other initiatives using the tribal opioid and e-cigarette solution funds1. We are proposing a new law that commits over a billion dollars. Village.

Hoskin and Warner’s proposal amends historic public health legislation. The 2021 law, first amended in 2022, already devotes 7% of third-party health insurance collections to physical and mental health programs, and for the construction of addiction treatment facilities, he Locking down $15 million in opioid clearing funds.

The bill would provide an additional $83 million in opioid settlement funding and approximately $2 million in settlement funding from e-cigarette maker Juul.

“In my 2022 State of the Union address, I promised to build drug treatment facilities for Cherokee people, by Cherokee people, and make the opioid industry pay for it all,” Hoskin said. I got

Hoskin and Warner also announced that their first legislative capital project will include an $18 million addiction treatment facility southwest of Tahlequah. The tribe, which previously contracted outside treatment centers to help citizens, will now be able to serve citizens internally on a reservation basis.

The Act allocates more than $100 million for “Public Health Solutions” funds as follows:

• $73 million for the Behavioral Health Capital Fund. It will be used to build facilities throughout the reservation over the next five years to meet the needs for behavioral health services, including drug treatment and prevention.

• $5 million for the Behavioral Health Scholarships fund to encourage more Cherokee citizens to enter the behavioral health field and work in tribal health systems. “Refund” program. Scholarships are available to Cherokee citizens living on and off the reservation.

• $10 million over 10 years for the Career Services Recovery Employment Program. It addresses the employment and other economic barriers faced by Cherokee Nation citizens in recovery from addiction.

• $10 million over 10 years for Behavioral Health Innovative Addiction Recovery Programs. This will enable Cherokee Nation’s Behavioral Health to develop new addiction recovery programs using the latest and most promising innovations and strategies in the field.

• A $2.8 million “Stop Smoking Fund”. Over the next eight years, we will increase public health smoking cessation programs by $350,000 annually, doubling funding for these programs.

Warner hailed the law as setting the standard for the entire Indian Country.

Rep. Dora Patzkowski, a major sponsor of the bill, said the proposal could have long-term implications for the Cherokee Nation.

“I am proud to be a sponsor of the Public Health and Wellness Fund Act,” said Pachkowski. I would like to,” he said. The proposal also includes reforming existing laws to maximize annual income available for physical and mental health programs.

“The Public Health and Wellness Fund Act is responsible for spending more than $18 million annually on essential health programs,” said Rep. Mike Dobbins. “Every dollar we spend on mental and physical health improves the quality of life for all of us and provides an immeasurable return on investment.”

The opioid settlement was the result of a historic lawsuit by the Cherokee Nation Attorney General’s Office against industry manufacturers, retailers and distributors. Other lawsuits are pending against the Cherokee Nation, the first tribe to file such a lawsuit.

The Cherokee Nation also settled last year with e-cigarette maker Juul over the company’s role in youth e-cigarettes.

“The Cherokee Nation has taken on some of the largest corporations in the United States to protect the Cherokee people from an epidemic that has claimed too many lives and has wreaked havoc on Cherokee families. “The investment by Chief Hoskin, Deputy Chief Warner and Council Cherokee Nation will help the Cherokee tribe break the chains of addiction and put many on the road to recovery,” said Cherokee. Nation Attorney General Sarah Hill said. “This has been the goal of the lawsuit from the beginning.”

Cherokee Nation Health Services is the largest tribal-run health care system in Indian Country, serving more than two million patients annually. His behavioral health system has seen more than 44,580 patients in the past year. This is the largest number of behavioral health services patients in Cherokee history.

Hoskin and Warner’s proposal will be submitted to the Council of the Cherokee Nation’s Rules Committee on January 26, and if approved, will proceed to a meeting of the Special Council later that day.

The bill is widely supported by the Cherokee Nation Council of 16 cosponsors.

The proposal is the largest investment in mental health treatment and programs in the tribe’s history.

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