For many residents, health care is a luxury they can’t afford.
Shawnee Development Council, in partnership with Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corp. (DAEOC), is having an event to assist with that.
Operation Healthy Delta will be held June 15-21 at Massac County High School, bringing no-cost medical, dental and optical care to anyone age 2 and older who lives in southern Illinois or western Kentucky.
The Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the U.S. Military’s Reserve Forces is a military training opportunity exclusive to the United States and its territories that delivers joint training opportunities to increase deployment readiness while simultaneously providing key services to citizens.
Shawnee Development Council first got involved with the program two years ago when the event was held at Cairo High School, “and it was amazing. It is an amazing program. I’m glad we got involved with it,” said Deena Williams, executive director of Shawnee Development Council. “You have a wonderful opportunity coming to your town.”
The 70 military personnel will be in Metropolis from June 11-25 and housed at Massac County High School.
Located in Karnak, Shawnee Development Council, Inc., is a nonprofit Community Action agency serving Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union counties. DAEOC, also a Community Action agency, serves Missouri’s Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Scott and Stoddard counties.
“DAEOC wrote the grant and included us as an active partner (for Operation Healthy Delta),” Williams said. “We are the partner in charge of the Massac County location.”
She emphasized the no-cost medical, dental and optical care offered through Operation Healthy Delta “has no restrictions — there’s no income guidelines, no insurance requirements, no location limitations. It’s open to anybody anywhere.”
DAEOC will host Operation Healthy Delta at three sites in Missouri — Miner Baptist Church in Sikeston, Eastwood United Methodist Church in Caruthersville and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Caruthersville — simultaneously with the Metropolis event.
Uninsured or underinsured residents in need of quality health care may seek treatment at any location. School physicals will also be provided at no cost to students. No proof of insurance or identification is required for treatment.
Patients are seen on a first come, first served basis. Hours of operation are: Tuesday, June 15, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday, June 16, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, June 17, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.;
Friday, June 18, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, June 19, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, June 20, from noon to 5 p.m.; and Monday, June 21, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“This is a one-time only opportunity,” Williams said. “We encourage people who are interested or if they know someone who really needs dental help, that is a service that is most limited.”
Williams took part in the event when it was in Cairo, using the optical care option. “They did an eye check and I got a single-vision pair of glasses. The glasses are made overnight — they have the equipment at the Sikeston site to make the glasses; they’ll hand deliver them to Metropolis the next day. The individuals who get the service are going to see immediate results. It’s going to be wonderful.”