Delta Regional Authority Celebrates National Rural Health Day

November 19, 2020

Chairman Caldwell joins military personnel for Innovative Readiness Training Medical Mission Initial Planning Meeting, highlights DRA health-related programs and initiatives.

CLARKSDALE, MS--Today, the Delta Regional Authority celebrates National Rural Health Day by highlighting DRA programs and initiatives working to support access to healthcare for the 10 million residents who call the Delta home.  Since 2018, DRA has invested over $3.3 million on 15 projects to update rural medical facilities and partnered on over $6.3 million in healthcare related workforce development.  

This week, DRA Chairman Chris Caldwell and DRA staff joined military personnel for Innovative Readiness Training Medical Mission Initial Planning Meetings (IPM) in Lake Village, AR; Greenville, MS; and Lake Providence, LA.

Innovative Readiness Training is a collaborative program that leverages military contributions and community resources to multiply value and cost savings for participants.  Communities typically provide materials and basic services, while military units contribute personnel and training resources.  By utilizing their extensive resources, the military is able to meet some of the region’s most urgent health needs.  IRT missions produce mission ready forces, civil-military partnerships, and stronger communities by providing quality healthcare services to communities.

Delta Regional Authority is proud to partner in the tri-state Delta Wellness Mission scheduled for July 2021.  This mission will bring medical, dental, and optical care to Delta residents in need of quality healthcare at no cost to the patients.  DRA works closely with Delta communities and the Department of Defense to assist with the application process as well as planning and implementation for the two-week medical missions.  

DRA implements two additional programs specifically focused on improving healthcare access and health systems within the Delta.  The Delta Doctors program works with the State Department to allow foreign physicians trained in the U.S. to work in medically underserved areas or health professional shortage areas within the DRA footprint for three years through a J-1 visa waiver. Last year alone, DRA sponsored and placed 160 doctors in the Delta region through this program. 

In collaboration with the Health Resources and Services Administration and the National Rural Health Resource Center, DRA enhances health care delivery in the Delta through intensive, in-depth and long-term technical assistance to rural hospitals and medical facilities. The Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program (DRCHSD) supports capacity building for quality improvement, telehealth and integration of social services, helping hospitals increase financial viability and operational efficiency.  

If interested in applying for DRCHSD or to be an IRT community, please contact DRA Health Programs Manager Christina Wade at  

About the Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to promote and encourage the economic development of the lower Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt.  DRA invests in projects supporting transportation infrastructure, basic public infrastructure, workforce training, and business development.  DRA’s mission is to help create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of those who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state region.

DRA Media Contact:
Shawna Blair
Director of Communications and Public Engagement