June 29, 2010

Senate Indian Affairs Committee to Mark Up Legislation, Hold Hearing on Diabetes Crisis

The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will hold a business meeting on Wednesday, June 30 to announce the agreement between Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Vice Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) to authorize the use of subpoenas in an investigation of certain actions of the Indian Health Service.
The business meeting and following hearing will be held at 9:30 AM in Room 628 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. During the business meeting, the committee will markup the following two bills:
H.R. 3553 – Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act of 2010; and
S. 3235 – Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act of 2010 (HEARTH Act of 2010).
Following action on the above legislation, the committee will conduct an oversight hearing entitled “A Way Out of the Diabetes Crisis in Indian Country and Beyond.”
The hearing will explore the high prevalence of diabetes in the United States, raise the awareness of the especially high rates of diabetes in tribal communities, discuss recent developments in diabetes research, and examine what must be done to eradicate the disease.
The hearing on diabetes will include five witnesses including noted health advocates like 3-time Olympian swimmer Gary Hall Jr. and actor Wes Studi who has appeared in “Dances with Wolves” and “The Last of the Mohicans.”
Witnesses will include the following:
Dr. Judith Fradkin, M.D., U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Mr. Wes Studi, Professional actor and Native American health advocate
Mr. Gary Hall Jr., Olympian Swimmer
Dr. Melvina McCabe, President, Association of American Indian Physicians
Ms. Caitlin Baker, Founder, CAITLINB, Muscogee Creek Tribe