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    Training with a Purpose

    Training with a Purpose

    Photo By Spc. Claudia Rocha | Capt. Julie Birmingham, a medical-surgical nurse assigned to the Army Reserve Medical...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Claudia Rocha 

    Exercise News Day

    COVELO, Calif. - For months, newspapers in Covelo, California, have spread the word that medical service members are returning to the Round Valley Indian Health Center for the seventh year in a row. Many Covelo residents anticipate the Army Reserve Soldiers’ arrival said Linda Lohne, the clinic manager and acting director of medical services. “In the spring we start planning this and putting the word out,” explained Lohne. “So they know when you all are coming and some folks wait to have their dental care done when the dentists from the Army are here.”

    U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers assigned to Army Reserve Medical Command’s 7221st Medical Support Unit, and Navy medical personnel assigned to 4th Medical Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve, partnered with Round Valley Indian Health Service to provide medical and dental services from July 17-28 at Covelo, California. The collaboration between the military and IHS is part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training mission, a training opportunity that ensures Reserve Soldiers maintain their combat readiness while addressing the needs within local communities.

    Since the mission’s onset, Round Valley IHS has annually requested Soldiers to return to augment the local medical and dental personnel to better serve the population. “It really broadens our scope of availability,” said Lohne. “We have a hard time getting doctors out here and we have difficulties getting physicals and general care done because we have a lack of providers.”
    While assisting the Round Valley IHC, military medical professionals are also able to sharpen their skills in a functional, real world environment. Maj. John Longley, the officer in charge of the mission explains the effectiveness of the training. “This is essential for us because you can’t predict what is going to walk in the door,” said Longley. “Sometimes training is just a different mindset, but this gives so much real world experience.” Longley said the fast-paced scenarios have pushed his Soldiers to improve and sustain their proficiency. “I have seen Soldiers fall into their roles and assigned duties in a magnificent way,” affirmed Longley.

    The Army Reserve Soldiers and U.S. Navy medical personnel serve the tribal population of nearly 5,000 people by administering general exams, school exams and physicals during the unit’s two-week-long mission. Dental services provided include exams, x-rays, general cleaning and extractions.

    In addition to treating existing health conditions, Maj. Gen. Mary Link, commanding general for Army Reserve Medical Command, said ARMEDCOM aims to enrich the community by promoting good health and dental practices. “We hope we have an impact in terms of future health needs for the people that we’re serving here,” said Link. “We’d like to ensure that we make a health education impact that they're taking to continue on with their life with the basis and background we’ve provided for them.”

    The multidimensionality of the mission demonstrates how Innovative Readiness Training is able to cultivate invaluable military training and positive community relationships within already existing resources.



    Date Taken: 07.20.2017
    Date Posted: 08.02.2017 16:03
    Story ID: 243006
    Location: COVELO, CA, US 

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