Free health services offered
by Rory Doyle
Jul 07, 2013 | 4725 views | 0 0 comments | 208 208 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In its continued partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, the Delta Regional Authority will be hosting its most expansive Innovative Readiness Training program to date.

This summer's program is covering four missions and seven sites in 30 days of free health care to some of our most underserved communities and citizens.

Beginning the second week of July, reserve branches of each of the Armed Forces will be dispatching to communities in six of the Delta states to provide general medical care, optical care and glasses, dental care, and veterinary services.

This will be the fourth year the DRA has hosted IRT health missions in the region.

Mississippi Deltans can utilize the program's services beginning July 14-26 in Clarksdale, Marks, Rosedale and Tunica, along with Helena/West Helena in Arkansas.

The site for the program in Rosedale is the West Bolivar Middle School, located on 1213 Main Street.

“This initiative honors the strength and determination of Mississippi families who want to improve their health and their lives," said Christopher Masingill, federal co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority. "Not only are we continuing our commitment to these families, but we are providing a major shot in the arm to the region’s health.”

Amanda M. Richardson, DRA press secretary, said everyone is invited to make the most of this opportunity.

"The clinic is open to everyone and the military is a top notch unit who are looking forward to serving the people of the Mississippi Delta," said Richardson. "The first day of medical services will be very busy, but please don’t get discouraged — they will see you as soon as they can and if they are full for the day when you get there, they will assign you to a new day and you will be seen on that day."

In the Delta region, 19.2 percent of the population under age 65 live without health insurance and thus do not have direct access to affordable, quality health care.

In order to support these residents, DRA coordinates IRT missions, which bring military medical professionals to communities in the region for up to two weeks to provide the needed services.

DRA is also partnering with the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Small Business Administration and Enroll America during these missions to facilitate Affordable Care Act outreach and provide materials educating attendees on the forthcoming opportunity to enroll in health insurance exchanges in their respective state.

The Delta Regional Authority works to improve life for the 10 million people who reside in the 252 Delta counties and parishes in parts of eight states.

For more information, visit www.dra.gov.