WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) cosponsored Senator Joe Donnelly’s (D-IN) Community Provider Readiness Recognition Act. This legislation creates a voluntary new designation for health care providers who demonstrate a strong knowledge of military culture and medical treatments focused on servicemembers and veterans – specifically pertaining to mental health. This is especially important for Military Reserve and National Guard servicemembers who primarily rely on non-DoD/VA providers for their health care. The Iowa Senator is the lead cosponsor of the bipartisan legislation.

“Our servicemembers and veterans in Iowa and across this nation deserve health care providers who have the know-how to manage the particular needs of the military community – especially when it comes to mental health,” said Senator Ernst. “Senator Donnelly’s voluntary designation would encourage health care providers to utilize existing resources and training to ensure they deliver the quality care that our men and women in uniform deserve.”

Senator Donnelly said, “Increased demand for DoD and VA mental health services have required servicemembers, veterans, and their families to increasingly rely on private community providers. In Indiana and around the country, community providers are vital mental and physical health resources for our veterans and servicemembers, especially members of the National Guard and Reserves. I am proud to partner with Senator Ernst on the bipartisan Community Provider Readiness Recognition Act, which would strengthen the quality of care for our servicemembers and veterans by helping improve community provider access to and recognition of military cultural competency training and use of DoD-VA clinical practice guidelines.”


The Community Provider Readiness Recognition Act Requires the DoD and VA to:

  • Develop a special designation for providers who demonstrate strong knowledge of military culture and of medical treatments focused on the needs of troops and veterans
  • Create a joint, searchable online registry of providers who earn this designation
  • Update all DOD and VA online provider lists to indicate providers that have gained this voluntary designation

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