Operation Healthy Delta kicks off in Heartland

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 5:07 PM CDT
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MINER, Mo. (KFVS) - A partnership involving multiple agencies is bringing a no-cost medical, dental and optical care to Southern Illinois and Southeast Missouri through June 21.

Operation Healthy Delta, an Individual Readiness Training program, is offered through a partnership involving the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Military’s Reserve Forces, the Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation (DAEOC), along with Shawnee Development Council Inc., which serves the Southern Illinois area and other agencies.

Those involved with the partnership said that uninsured or underinsured residents in need of quality health care can seek treatment at any location.

“Because of COVID, it’s kind of compounded issues with healthcare and the people that we’re seeing here and the other two sites, they may have not seen a doctor in the last year,” DAEOC Vice President Hillary Hamra said.

“You know, they need all kinds of oral health, hygiene, extractions and then regular routine dental care,” U.S. Air Force Captain Omer Sanabria said.

School physicals will also be provided at no cost to students.

No proof of insurance or identification is required for treatment.

Patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis.

The locations are listed below and include the hours of operation for all three sites:

  • Massac County High School, 2841 Old Marion Rd., Metropolis.
  • Miner Baptist Church, 416 State Highway H, Sikeston, Mo.
  • Eastwood United Methodist Church, 512 Ward Ave., Caruthersville, Mo.
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 601 Ward Ave., Caruthersville, Mo.

Hours of operation for the program are as follows:

  • June 15, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • June 16, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • June 17, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • June 18, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • June 19, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • June 20, noon to 5 p.m.
  • June 21, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The goal of the IRT program is to improve military readiness by providing trained military medical personnel with in-field emergency response training while simultaneously providing quality health care services to individuals throughout the area.

“IRT is Individual Readiness Training for us. So, we’re taking the opportunity to not only provide no-cost healthcare to the civilian population but also allows some of our medical folks to get good training that sometimes we don’t necessarily get the volume and the kind of crunch at this type of capacity, except in a deployed environment. So, it’s a nice control way for us to practice our practices and get some training,” U.S. Air Force Technical Seargent Zechariah Palmisano said.

By utilizing their extensive resources, the military is able to meet some of the area’s most urgent health needs during the medical mission.

“Some people don’t really have that great of health insurance and they don’t have anywhere to go,” Preston Sherwood said. “So this is like a great place for people to go who can get those services they need.”

For Illinois specific information, call 618-634-2201.

For Missouri specific information, call 573-838-7392 or email hr@daeoc.com.

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