Department of Defense, DRA Will Host the Delta Wellness Mission 2021 to Meet Healthcare Needs

February 10, 2021

10-day medical mission will occur July 8-18th in Lake Village; two additional sites in Louisiana and Mississippi.

CLARKSDALE, MS – The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Delta Regional Authority (DRA) will host a medical mission in Lake Village, AR from July 8-18, 2021.  Through a partnership with DoD and the U.S. Military’s reserve forces, DRA supports the Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program to bring medical, dental, and optical care to Delta residents in need of quality healthcare at no cost to the patients. 

“A community’s economic competitiveness is strengthened by the health and well-being of its workforce,” said DRA Spokeswoman Shawna Blair.  “The Delta Regional Authority is proud to partner with the U.S. Department of Defense to implement IRT missions, which provide immediate healthcare services to our residents who need it most.  The unique partnership, which includes the participation of Joint military forces of both active and reserve compontents as well as additional support within our host communities, executes IRT missions at no cost to those treated.”

IRT is a collaborative program that improves military readiness by providing trained military medical personnel with in-field emergency response training while simultaneously providing quality healthcare services to communities throughout the Delta region.  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 exams, eye exams, single lens prescriptions glasses, and dental services.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for our communities and military populations to come together, especially in a time of such hardship, to work and provide healthcare, well-being, and facilitate military deployment readiness training,” said Lt. Col. Michelle Underwood, NMANG.

Host communities provide local expertise, host facilities, and on-the-ground support, while military units contribute personnel and training resources.  DRA works closely with Delta communities and DoD to assist with the application process as well as planning and implementation for the 10-day medical mission. 

“The Delta Regional Authority’s support of this medical training exercise is one more way the DRA is fulfilling its mission to improve life for the residents of the Delta. As the Department of Defense and our military reserve forces sharpen their emergency-response skills, the folks who live in the Delta will have access to first-rate health care,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson.

“This mission will provide vital health care services for Arkansans while simultaneously offering practical experience for military medical professionals. I welcome the Department of Defense and the Delta Regional Authority’s partnership that will promote health and wellness for residents of southeast Arkansas,” U.S. Senator John Boozman said.

“I’m pleased the Delta Regional Authority and the U.S. Department of Defense will hold an Innovative Readiness Mission in Lake Village. It’s important people in all regions of our state have access to quality care and this mission will provide medical, dental, and optical care to those in need,” said U.S. Senator Tom Cotton.

“The Department of Defense and the Delta Regional Authority have done an incredible job improving the quality of life of those in Arkansas’ Fourth District while simultaneously improving on military readiness. The Delta Wellness Mission is a great example of government using resources efficiently and should be an example for all taxpayer-funded programs,” said Congressman Bruce Westerman.

The Lake Village IRT mission site will be located at Lakeside High School.  Two additional IRT mission sites will occur simultaneously as part of the Delta Wellness Mission 2021:  in Greenville, MS and Lake Providence, LA.  Please visit for more information.


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