KULR: Alternative medicine for veterans

BILLNGS, Mont. –It’s a program for veterans to help heal their chronic pain without opioids. Those with the Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic say they’re committed to the cause, offering alternative therapy to help veterans live a more productive life.

George Blackard was injured during active duty in 1988 and dealt with chronic back pain for years, until he was introduced to the hard working and caring staff at the clinic.

Blackard says the treatment offered at the clinic has changed his life for the better. He tells us it’s programs like this that all veterans need to know about. He says exploring alternative options is the best way to go, not pills.

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods. The practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern, traditional and scientific methods.

Dr. Margaret Beeson is the Medical Director of the Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic. We asked her about what the VA is doing when it comes to letting veterans know about alternative treatments.

Dr. Beeson says in part, “The VA is barely aware of our program. There are some doctors out there that are interested in it, but they sort of have protocols and algorithms that they use.” Dr. Beeson tells us a lot of turnover at the VA doesn’t help with their cause. She says the best way a veteran can learn about alternative medicine programs is to be your own self-advocate and in most instances seeking those alternatives out on your own or through word of mouth from other veterans.

Senator Steve Daines toured the clinic on Friday and says he believes alternative medicine programs.

We asked Sen. Daines what he believes is the biggest problem the VA faces.

He tells us accountability and most importantly, accountability for care.

Daines says the most important goal for the VA is making sure our veterans are getting the best help possible.