Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and Department of Defense (DOD) will be providing free medical, dental and optical screenings for the next week to Kentuckians in need of health care. Kentucky is one of four states in the DRA to receive the free health screening program, known as Innovative Readiness Training (IRT).
"Above all else, Kentuckians and all Americans should have affordable, easy access to quality healthcare," said Gov. Beshear. "Unfortunately, many residents in our rural communities do not have reasonable access to health services and go untreated for even minor issues, which can lead to more serious health problems, overall higher treatment costs and unemployment. I thank the DRA and DOD for providing the IRT clinic in Kentucky, and I encourage residents to take part in the free screenings."
Screenings in Kentucky began yesterday and will continue through Tuesday, Aug. 13 at the Old Morgan Haugh Clinic at 220 West Walnut Street in Mayfield, Ky. The clinic will be open daily from 9 a.m. -- 7 p.m. Central time, including Saturday and Sunday.
All Kentuckians are eligible to receive the free medical services, which do not include emergency or obstetrical treatments. For adults and children age two and up, medical screenings, non-emergency medical treatment, minor lab tests, prescription assistance and optometry exams are available. For adults and children 13 and up, dental exams, extractions and fillings are also available.
The IRT mission, also called the "Four-State Medical", is the first of its kind to operate in four states simultaneously while coordinating services, logistics, and resources. Services will be provided by 152 medical personnel from the U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard. This initiative is a world-class field training event for military forces and will provide significant health care services to the residents of the medically under-served and economically-depressed communities of Blytheville, Ark., Mayfield, Ky., Hayti, Mo. and Dyersburg, Tenn.
"Families in the Delta region --especially in our rural communities-- often have little access to the health care they need and deserve," said DRA Federal Co-Chair Chris Masingill. "Not only are we continuing our commitment to these families with the IRT program, but we are providing a major shot in the arm to the region's health."
The Delta region consistently suffers from poor health outcomes. Compared with national rates, 27 percent more Delta residents live with diabetes. Deaths in the Delta region from circulatory disease and cancer are 16 percent and 12 percent higher than national averages. Additionally, one out of every 5 residents in the Delta under age 65 live without health insurance.
Four-State Medical is the third of four IRT missions held this summer in the Delta region through a partnership between DRA and DOD. In July, military reservists provided health services to more than 8,000 patients in Martin, Tenn., Helena-West Helena, Ark. and four communities in West Mississippi.
About the Delta Regional Authority
The DRA is congressionally mandated to identify and provide investment to help create jobs, build communities and improve lives in the 252 counties and parishes of the Delta. In the past four years through a partnership with the DOD, more than 24,000 Delta residents have received free medical and dental care. For more information, please visit: www.dra.gov.