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    Healthy Cortland, Greater Chenango Cares begins



    Story by Staff Sgt. Austin Harvill 

    140th Wing Public Affairs

    Members from active-duty, guard and reserve units nationwide are coming together with community members for the Healthy Cortland and Greater Chenango Cares Innovative Readiness Training mission in Cortland and Norwich, New York.

    Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserves, Navy, Navy Reserve and active-duty Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve personnel from multiple states comprise the joint IRT team.

    The 9-day event, starting the afternoon of July 11, is part of the larger Innovative Readiness Training, which is a Department of Defense military training opportunity, exclusive to the United States and its territories, that delivers joint training opportunities to increase deployment readiness.

    Simultaneously, this IRT aims to provide key health care services with lasting benefits to the communities.

    “The services we provide cover everything from school physicals and vitals checks to tooth extractions, eye exams and animal vaccinations,” explained U.S. Air Force Maj. Amanda Hill, IRT officer-in-charge from the 140th Medical Group, Colorado Air National Guard. “Best of all, these services are at absolutely zero-cost to patients; they don’t even have to show insurance.”

    Only fully trained and qualified professionals will perform patient care, so participants are in safe hands. More importantly, that patient care is being performed by those with a passion to aid the community.

    “I volunteered for this mission because it’s a great example of what being in the guard orreserves is all about,” said Chief Petty Officer Stanyelle Billie, IRT noncommissioned officer-in-charge and senior enlisted leader from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Operational Health Support Unit Detachment S. “Providing care to those who need it most epitomizes military to service, and it’s even better we can do it on U.S. soil.”

    Cities across the nation can send in a request for an IRT mission. Of the roughly 100 cities that apply, only a fifth are accepted based on the community’s specific request for assistance and the military requirements for the year.

    While patient care is the obvious aspect of the mission, much more is gained from the experience.

    “The training aspect of [this IRT] revolves around creating a functional medical environment quickly, no matter where it is,” explained Hill. “We’re performing all of these logistical and communicative efforts to improve our responsive and capabilities.”

    Service members will conduct critical non-medical training, strategic planning and logistical movements to simulate a military medical response in a time of crisis, conflict, or disaster. Additionally, this prepares members for deployment.

    If that wasn’t enough, the training also gives members a chance to work jointly with their sister services and coordinate with civilian agencies. Combined, this teaches military members how to work in a non-contested civilian environment regardless of where assistance comes from in times of need.

    As the clinics take shape over the next few days, Hill and Billie are excited to accept patients. However, both understand the IRT team is only one part of the equation.

    “I want to say a big thank you to Cortland and Chenango officials for providing our members with a place to stay and helping us with all of our equipment,” said Hill. “Furthermore, I want to say a preemptive thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who are offering their time to make this mission happen.”

    We will be sharing ongoing information while in the area located at Additionally, social media posts tagged with #IRTsWin will feature our day-to-day interactions within the community.

    For patients, however, these efforts will largely be behind the scenes. Starting at 1 p.m. on July 11, the IRT will open their clinics. The IRT will finish with patients by noon on July 20.



    Date Taken: 07.10.2019
    Date Posted: 07.10.2019 15:13
    Story ID: 330793
    Location: CORTLAND, NY, US 

    Web Views: 118
    Downloads: 1