Monday, July 31, 2017
St. John the Baptist Parish – Parish President Natalie Robottom extends her sincere gratitude to the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), the Department of Defense, and Director Rhonda Lemons and the St. John Health and Human Services Department (DHHS) for hosting a successful two week, medical, dental and eye clinic at East St. John High School. The civil-military program, known as Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) , offered general medical, dental and optometry services at no cost and no insurance in mid-July. Overall, there were more than 1,000 patients served and 3,666 procedures performed at the IRT with services in St. John Parish valued at over $250,000.
Two other locations were set up in Tangipahoa and Assumption Parishes. However, the location in St. John received the most patients. Approximately, 293 pairs of glasses were distributed on site and a total of 1, 655 extractions and fillings were completed. Along with these services, all prescriptions were filled and follow up appointments with various health providers have been scheduled in the upcoming weeks.
Innovative Readiness Training promotes mutually beneficial partnerships between U.S. communities and the Department of Defense (DOD) to meet training and readiness requirements for Active, Guard & Reserve Service Members and units, while addressing public and civil-society needs. The government holds about 20 IRT missions a year across the United States, with different military branches taking the lead on various missions.
“I’d like to give praise to Ms. Brittney Lindberg, IRT Project Manager and Military Liaison with Delta Regional Authority for envisioning and coordinating the IRT clinic along with the U. S. Department of Defense for us,” said Lemons. “Because of this clinic, the lives of so many people were changed. I was indeed humbled when witnessing Dental Services. I personally want to thank the 45 people who assisted as volunteers. And of course, let me give a huge shout out to the community soldiers and my staff, for their dedication and enormous support. The IRT clinic operations could not have run smoothly without all of us working together.”
Thank you to the partners who worked with Parish President Robottom’ s Administration and Lemons including the St. John Parish School Board and Superintendent Kevin George, East St. John High School’s principal, Tobari Simon and Head Custodian, Wanda Mc Duffy; Sheriff Mike Tregre and Department Deputies, South Central Louisiana Human Services Authority counselors and case managers, the Teche Action Board and Teche Action Outreach staff, Office of Public Health and Department of Health and Hospitals. We’d also like to recognize TNT Seafood Restaurant and Lounge and Avis’s Restaurant for sponsoring special appreciation events for the military staff and providers during their stay.
Anyone who did not pick up eyeglasses can pick them at the Health and Human Services Department located at 128 Central Avenue in Reserve. “I want to reiterate my thanks and gratitude to all involved on behalf of St. John Parish,” said Parish President Robottom. “I know that most service personnel have left their homes and families to serve, both overseas, and in our communities and their selfless acts have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.”