Military kicks off no-cost medical, dental and vision clinic in Sikeston

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jonathan Padish
  • 175th Wing

A no-cost medical clinic operated by the Air National Guard, active duty Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Army and Navy Reserve began providing no-cost medical, dental and vision services in a temporary clinic at the Miner Baptist Church June 14.

The clinic, run by Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation Tri-State Innovative Readiness Training 2019, a partnership between the U.S. Department of Defense and local community organizations, is scheduled to run through June 22.

Clinic hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Hours for Tuesday and Thursday are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The clinic will be closed June 16.

Clinic hours are subject to change based on service and equipment availability and training needs.

Service members from around the country traveled to Sikeston to support the mission.

“I am very excited to be here,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Tony Meyer, an Anchorage, Alaska native and aerospace medical technician attached to the 176th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard. “IRT provides a way to re-up our skills and become versatile as aerospace medical technicians.”

Other service members echoed similar sentiments.

“I like this kind of opportunity,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Lindsay Chapman, a Terre Haute, Ind. native and clinical nurse assigned to the 181st Intelligence Wing, Indiana Air National Guard. “IRT allows me to engage the community, educate people about their medications and help them become proactive with their healthcare.”

Indeed, that community engagement is what draws service members to the mission.

“IRT means a lot to me,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Sarah Bowerfind, an Eagle River, Alaska native and aerospace medical technician assigned to the 176th Wing. “This is my favorite part of the Guard. I get to meet new people, see new places, and give back to the community.”

People lined up to receive services even before the clinic opened. By 5:30 a.m., several individuals had already arrived at the clinic.

According to U.S. Air Force Capt. Scott Klemens, an optometrist from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, there was a steady flow of people all day long.

DAEOC Tri-State IRT is a joint service medical training exercise that leverages military contributions and community resources to multiply value and cost savings for participants.