DRA Invites Communities to Apply for Innovative Readiness Training Medical Missions

February 24, 2021

DoD, U.S. Military’s reserve forces to provide healthcare at no cost to patients in selected eligible communities.

CLARKSDALE, MS – The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) today invites DRA communities to submit a Notice of Intent to Apply (NOI) to host a 2023 Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) medical mission.  The deadline to submit an NOI is April 30, 2021, and eligible communities must be located within the DRA footprint of its eight-state region.

Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the U.S. Military’s reserve forces, DRA supports IRT missions to bring medical, dental, and optical care at no cost to the patients.  Host communities provide local expertise, host facilities, and on-the-ground support, while military units contribute personnel and training resources.  

“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 continue our partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense to implement IRT missions, which will deliver no-cost medical care to our residents who need it most.  We encourage eligible communities interested in hosting an IRT medical mission to submit a Notice of Intent to Apply, and we look forward to working with selected host communities.” 

To be eligible, communitites must exhibit a critical need for healthcare providers, meet rural classification by having a population of 50,000 residents or less, and demonstrate at least one of the following:  unemployment rate above the national rate during the last 24 months, per capita income of 80 percent or less of the national average, and/or a special need (natural or other major disaster or emergencies, etc).  Additional requirements can be be found on the “Innovative Readiness Training Community Readiness Checklist” located on dra.gov/irt.

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 DRA communities.  By utilizing their extensive resources, the military is able to meet some of the regions’s most urgent healthcare needs.  Among the services provided during IRT missions are basic medical exams, eye exams, single lens prescription glasses, and dental services.

Community leaders are encouraged to visit dra.gov/irt to become familiar with the IRT program and requirements.  For additional information, visit irt.defense.gov.


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