Delta Regional Authority to Host Three Medical Missions

August 02, 2021

U.S. Department of Defense Awarded FY2022 Innovative Readiness Training missions to West Kentucky, South Central Missouri, and Southern Illinois communities.

CLARKSDALE, MS – The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) today announced the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) medical missions to three Delta communities.  The West Kentucky (Hopkinsville), South Central Missouri (Eminence, Ava, and Houston), and Southern Illinois (Carbondale) missions will be held in Summer 2022.  DRA partners with DoD and the U.S. Military’s reserve forces to bring medical, dental, and optical care to Delta residents in need of quality healthcare at no cost to the patients.

“Having just completed a successful Delta Wellness Mission 2021, the Delta Regional Authority knows firsthand the value IRT medical missions bring to the communities they serve,” said DRA Spokesperson Shawna Blair.  “Access to affordable, accessible healthcare is not always attainable for residents in rural communities, so facilitating these services next summer in five cities throughout our region is an incredibly exciting opportunity that we look forward to providing.”  

IRT is a DoD military training opportunity that delivers joint training opportunities to increase deployment readiness while simultaneously providing key healthcare services with lasting benefits for Delta communities.  By utilizing their extensive resources, the military is able to meet some of the region’s most urgent healthcare needs.  Among the services provided during IRT missions are basic medical and wellness exams, vision exams and single lens glasses, and dental exams and extractions.

“Health care is a basic human right and should be accessible and affordable for every family,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “We are grateful for the IRT medical service mission in Hopkinsville because it will ensure more Kentuckians get the holistic care they need and deserve in their communities so they can live longer, healthier lives.”

“The mission of the Delta Regional Authority is to improve lives, and that’s exactly what Innovative Readiness Training accomplishes,” Governor Mike Parson said. “Our partnership with the Department of Defense helps increase quality health care access for citizens who need it most. IRT medical missions improve the resiliency of rural health care systems and bring life changing services to Missourians and residents across the entire Delta region.”

“Illinois is proud to partner with the Delta Regional Authority to further our mission to reduce health disparities in every corner of the state,” said Governor JB Pritzker.  “This medical mission will help advance my administration’s enduring commitment to building stronger, safer, and healthier communities in Southern Illinois, offering expanded healthcare in Carbondale and deploying training opportunities to ensure lasting benefits to our residents.  I applaud DRA for joining Illinois in recognizing healthcare as a human right and ensuring that every community can access all aspects of quality care.”

Military personnel will offer vision, dental, and basic medical services to the public at no cost to patients.  There are no income or residency requirements to receive treatment, and providers will treat patients ages three and older. Patients will be treated on a first-come, first-served basis.  

Please visit IRT.defense.gov for more information.

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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
202-515-1354
sblair@dra.gov