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    Ohio National Guard provides free medical care for citizens during GuardCare

    GuardCare 2015

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Michael Carden | Verenice Osorio has her teeth inspected for cavities Aug. 8, 2015 during a dental...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Michael Carden 

    196th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    By Staff Sgt. Michael Carden
    Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

    MONTPELIER, Ohio — An alcohol swab, one small tear in the corner of her eye, and it’s over. A smile spreads across the face of 5-year-old Hailey Smith as she is handed a lollipop. Her immunizations are done, she is ready for the first day of kindergarten.

    Hailey was just one of many children who received the shots required for school by receiving medical services Aug. 8-9 at GuardCare, an annual event that allows medically underserved communities to get free health screenings and immunizations from Ohio National Guard medical personnel.

    GuardCare was started in 1995 after Congress authorized the use of National Guard personnel in medically underserved communities. During that timeframe, GuardCare has provided service for more than 13,000 Ohioans in 17 counties. Screenings include physical examinations; vision, hearing and dental exams; cardiovascular health; laboratory screenings; childhood and adult immunizations.

    “It seems like every year we get an EKG where we have to recommend someone to go to the hospital for treatment,” said Capt. Jessica Taylor, officer-in-charge of GuardCare 2015, and a member of the Ohio Army National Guard Medical Detachment. “It’s a very important piece, I feel like we provide some lifesaving medical screening.”

    The Ohio National Guard partnered with the Ohio Department of Health, Williams County Health Department and Montpelier Hospital. Planning began shortly after last year’s event in Clinton County, with monthly meetings gradually becoming weekly site visits in the lead-up to the 2015 event. Planning has already started for Guardcare 2016 in Ashtabula County.

    “It’s going pretty well, we have good, professional personnel here. Many of us have worked these events for several years,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin Munsey, a healthcare specialist with the Ohio Army National Guard Medical Detachment. “We have hundreds of patients, members of the community, get access to healthcare that they normally wouldn’t get. It returns something to the community that supports us."

    For many parents, the list of things to do to get their children ready for the start of the school year can be daunting. One of the goals of GuardCare is to alleviate some of the stress.

    “It’s nice to get everything done in once place,” said Sasha King, a local resident whose two children received school vaccinations and sports physicals. “That it doesn’t cost anything is pretty awesome.”

    “I like to see the families come through, as a parent myself,” Munsey added. “For the parents, it’s that one thing we could take off their plate that any concerns they may have about their child’s health is laid to rest.”



    Date Taken: 08.10.2015
    Date Posted: 08.14.2015 17:39
    Story ID: 173274
    Location: MONTPELIER, OH, US 

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