The U.S. Department of Defense, in a partnership with the Delta Regional Authority, is offering medical, dental and veterinary care to local residents in need of quality healthcare at no cost to the patients.
Soldiers from the 311th Field Hospital, an Army Reserve unit based in Blacklick, Ohio, is currently set up at Christian County Middle School and offering a wide range of medical services to the community.
“The military is partnering with the community and providing no-cost medical services,” Maj. Darcy Mooney said. “It’s a way for us to hone in on our skills, because we’re reserves and we don’t do this full time in our everyday life.”
The Western Kentucky Wellness Mission is an Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program, a DoD military training opportunity that delivers joint training opportunities to increase deployment readiness while simultaneously providing key healthcare services. 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, dental exams, extractions and fillings, and veterinary wellness.
Military personnel will offer dental, veterinary, 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.
Anyone that wants to take part is welcome to just show up at Christian County Middle School between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day through June 25.
There are approximately 161 reserve soldiers helping to provide services, many of which are doctors, nurse practitioners, dentists and vets in their civilian life. But others are getting vital hands-on training for their roles in an Army field hospital.
“A lot of our enlisted might be a lab technician here, but they work at the police department or the fire department on the civilian side,” Mooney said.
General wellness exams, sports physicals for athletes and tooth extractions are some of the most utilized procedures.
Lt. Col. Safuratu Aranmolate said that at similar trainings, dentists have done upwards of 600 extractions during the duration of the exercise.
“Our soldiers are excited to provide medical services to the local community — these are the favored missions where we can train our soldiers, build relationships with community partners, and see the impact we have in the community,” Aranmolate said.
There is even a limited pharmacy on site that can dispense a limited amount of medicines, such as antibiotics.
Veterinary services are limited to basic wellness checks, as well as animal vaccinations and deworming.
Mooney said that the close proximity of Fort Campbell is helping to make the mission easier.
“That’s where we’re staying — in the barracks there,” Mooney said. “So it’s definitely helpful that Fort Campbell is here.”