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 Greenville; two additional sites in Louisiana and Arkansas.

CLARKSDALE, MS – The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Delta Regional Authority (DRA) will hold a medical mission in Greenville, MS 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 partnership with the Department of Defense is great news for the people of the Mississippi Delta,” Senator Roger Wicker said. “This innovative program will harness federal and state resources to expand access to quality medical, dental, and optical care for Delta residents while simultaneously providing opportunities for our military members to use their medical training.”

“The medical mission in Greenville this summer is positive news for Mississippi Delta residents.  I am optimistic that by July, our primary focus will no longer be on the coronavirus, so we can instead shift our focus to this innovative project to provide basic health care at no cost to folks who need it,” said Senator Hyde-Smith.  “I look forward to the benefits to our state from this mutually-beneficial collaboration between the Delta Regional Authority and the Defense Department, and thank them for coming to Washington County this year.”

“Residents of the Mississippi Delta will be glad to participate in the Delta Wellness Mission 2021. It is my hope that innovative initiatives like IRT continue fighting to completely eliminate the alarming inequities surrounding healthcare in Delta regions,” said Congressman Bennie Thompson.

The Greenville IRT mission site will be located at Greenville High School.  Two additional IRT mission sites will occur simultaneously as part of the Delta Wellness Mission 2021:  in Lake Village, AR and Lake Providence, LA.  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
Director of Communications and Public Engagement
202-515-1354
sblair@dra.gov