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Introducing SPN



August 2019 Indiana Best Practice

In support of Strategy 3.1.1 of the Indiana State Action Plan, the Indiana State Coordinator has created the following one-page document introducing the “Ask the Question” initiative to potential partners.


“Ask the Question”

Have you or a family member ever served in the military?


The goal of this initiative is to encourage health care providers to ask their patients a simple question – “have you or a family member ever served in the military?” – and to provide these organizations with the resources and information when someone says “yes.” This initiative has found great success in New Hampshire, where it has been active since 2015. (

With the launch of “Ask the Question” in Indiana, we hope to have the following impact on Hoosier veterans and service members:

  • Provide information to patient on resources available to them based on their military service, such as the VA, National Guard support programs, and non-profit organizations
  • Identify medical or mental health issues that may be related to service background
  • Create a sense of empathy and build rapport between patient and provider
  • Open up the conversation to discover additional needs for support

Potential partners and resources in this initiative include the following organizations:

  • VA Hospital
  • Indiana National Guard and Reserves
  • Department of Veteran Affairs
  • CVSOs (County Veteran Support Officers)
  • Veteran Support Organizations


Initial Requested Support/Buy-In From Health Care Organizations

  • Commitment to train staff, especially those who are the first point of contact for patients, to ask the question, and what to do when someone says yes
  • Active stocking and distribution of veteran/service member resource sheets
  • Attendance and participation in military culture training, for staff with no military background


Initial Requested Support/Buy-In From Military/Veteran Organizations

  • Creation of veteran/service member resource sheets
  • Trainers for initial “Ask the Question” roll-out
  • Trainers for military culture training


Contact Information: Sylvia Maixner;; 402-937-5958

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