Free health services arrive in Dover in August

Free medical care will be offered to anyone in need as part of a military training mission in Dover in August.

The Delaware Army National Guard will lead the innovative readiness training program, which will provide medical, dental, visual and other care from August 1-9 at three locations in Dover.

The event is open to everyone ages 2 and up, including out-of-state residents. No insurance or ID will be required.

The event will focus on services not included in the state’s Medicaid program, such as dental and optometric care.

About 250 members of the military will be involved in the mission, including about 30 doctors, 20 dentists and nine optometrists, according to Captain Jason Brooks, the Delaware Army National Guard coordinator for the event.

Dover officials have worked to bring the program to the city due to the high need for health services in Kent County, which has a higher percentage of unhealthy residents than other parts of Delaware.

After:Kent County COVID-19 vaccine tracker: 41% of people fully vaccinated

“In short, a lot of workers in Kent County are being left behind. They work hard, play by the rules, but after the rent they can’t afford insurance or a traditional eye or dental service, ”said Dover City Councilor David Anderson. “We are below the state and the nation in terms of income that correlates with health.”

An archive photo from the Department of Defense website for the Innovative Readiness Training medical mission.

Where to go for treatment

Three sites are being set up and will provide care from 8 am to 4 pm each day.

  • The North Dover site at 855 College Road will provide basic medical and wellness exams and psychological services. Vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, will be available.
  • The South Dover site at 955 South State Street will offer optical exams and single vision glasses.
  • The Towne Pointe site at 629 Buckson Drive will perform dental exams, extractions and fillings.

“It’s first come, first served,” said Emmanuel Ennio, IRT coordinator for Code Purple in Kent County, who helps organize the event.

Elsa Lunger, 15, receives the COVID-19 vaccine from Airmen Selena Almodovar, a U.S. Air Force medic during a Delaware public health vaccination event on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

Upon arrival, everyone will complete a registration sheet to enter the queue. If you stand in line and don’t receive care by the end of the day, you’ll be given priority for the next day, Ennio said.

The most frequented site is usually the dental clinic, and Ennio suggests arriving early, even as early as 5:30 a.m., to queue.

Organizers are looking for volunteers to help organize the event, including medical students and translators. Anyone interested in helping or donating supplies should contact Code Purple in Dover.

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