The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) announced its partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) resulted in more than $1.1 million in estimated value of services at no cost to the 2,920 patients cared for during the western Kentucky, south-central Missouri and southern Illinois Wellness Missions. 

In south-central Missouri, the project’s value was estimated at $662,643.

The medical missions brought hundreds of service members to Hopkinsville, Ky.; Ava, Eminence, and Houston; and Carbondale, Ill., during three medical training missions this summer which provided for more than 9,000 medical, dental and optical care services. 

“While the availability of quality, affordable healthcare is a challenge for many Americans, especially within our rural communities, Delta Regional Authority continues to seek solutions to combat this issue,” said Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Dr. Corey Wiggins. “Through our partnership with the Department of Defense, nearly 3,000 Delta residents were able to have a troublesome tooth extracted, receive a new pair of glasses or get a blood pressure checkup, all at no cost to them. Bringing IRT missions to Delta communities is just one way that DRA is working to create better access to quality healthcare for the people we serve.”

The Western Kentucky Wellness Mission (Hopkinsville, Ky., June 15-25), South Central Missouri Wellness Mission (Ava, Eminence and Houston, Mo., June 29-July 8), and Southern Illinois Wellness Mission (Carbondale, Ill., July 22-31) were all part of the Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program, a DoD military training program that delivers joint training opportunities to increase deployment readiness while simultaneously providing key healthcare services with lasting benefits for Delta communities. 

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, vision exams and single vision glasses, and dental exams and extractions.  Military personnel offered vision, dental, and basic medical services to the public at no cost to patients. 

A breakdown of the mission outcomes:

Western Kentucky Wellness Mission

•Total Number of Patients: 807

•Total Number of Procedures/Services Provided: 2,385

•Medical, Nutrition, Behavioral Health: 799

•Dental: 1,589

•Optometry: N/A

•Total Mission Value: $221,553.06

South Central Missouri Wellness Mission

•Total Number of Patients: 1,358

•Total Number of Procedures/Services Provided: 4,438

•Medical, Nutrition, Behavioral Health: 291

•Dental: 3,687

•Optometry: 460

•Total Mission Value: $661,643

Southern Illinois Wellness Mission

•Total Number of Patients: 755

•Total Number of Procedures/Services Provided: 2,456

•Medical, Nutrition, Behavioral Health: 318

•Dental: 1,708

•Optometry: 430

•Total Mission Value: $275,011.67


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.

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