Minnesotans Dr. Dickmann and Mr. Tarchand received their awards during American Legion’s 63rd Annual Washington Conference Commander’s Call today

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) met with Dr. Patricia Dickmann and Mr. Gobind Tarchand, two medical professionals from the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, who are being honored with the American Legion’s “Physician of the Year” and “Healthcare Provider of the Year” awards respectively. The American Legion has provided these awards to two Department of Veterans Affairs employees from across the nation since 2017; this year, both recipients are from Minnesota. Dr. Dickmann and Mr. Tarchand received their awards from Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Minnesota native Denis McDonough during the American Legion’s 63rd Annual Washington Conference Commander’s Call today.  

“When we ask our servicemembers to defend our nation, we make a promise to take care of them when they return home. Part of that promise is ensuring that our veterans can access the quality health care and benefits they deserve,” said Klobuchar. “I had the opportunity to congratulate Dr. Dickmann and Mr. Tarchand on their well-deserved awards and to thank them for providing exceptional health care to our veterans.” 

Dr. Dickmann, who received the “Physician of the Year” award, is the medical director of the Minneapolis VA Health Care system’s (VAHCS) opioid treatment program, addiction recovery services, and mental health homeless program. 

Mr. Tarchand, who received the “Health Care Provider of the Year” award, currently serves as the director of the Minneapolis VA’s hematology/oncology clinic and as the Minneapolis VAHCS’ facility lead physician assistant. 

Dr. Dickmann and Mr. Tarchand received these awards for their tremendous service to our veterans. One colleague described Dr. Dickmann as the “embodiment of VA values. [She] cares for each veteran with all her attention and energy.” Mr. Tarchand’s colleagues called him “one of the most highly skilled, caring, and dedicated health care providers [I] have ever worked with.”

Photos of Klobuchar’s meeting with Dr. Dickmann and Mr. Tarchand are available HERE. Video from the American Legion’s Washington Conference Commander Call is available HERE.

Klobuchar has long led efforts to ensure that veterans and servicemembers receive the health care and benefits they need. Last year, she worked to successfully pass the SFC Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act last year, historic legislation that will deliver comprehensive relief to all generations of veterans who were exposed to toxins for the first time in our nation’s history. The legislation, signed into law last August, includes Klobuchar and Senator Mike Crapo's (R-ID) Toxic Exposure Training Act, a bipartisan bill to improve education and training for Department of Veterans Affairs health care personnel to treat illnesses related to exposure to burn pits and other toxic substances.

Additionally, Klobuchar recently introduced legislation to expand access to colorectal cancer screenings for toxic-exposed service members. The Barbosa Act, named after former Army Captain Rafael Barbosa, would authorize the Department of Defense to provide servicemembers who have been exposed to burn pits or other toxins with preventive colorectal screenings. Under the PACT Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs now considers any gastrointestinal cancer as “presumptive'' or caused by service and exposure to burn pits.