Days into IRT, troops perform more than 9,000 procedures
By Senior Airman Jonathan Padish, 175th WG - Maryland Air National Guard
/ Published June 20, 2019
SIKESTON, Mo. --
After five days of clinic operations, active duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen, Sailors and Soldiers deployed in support of Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation Tri-State Innovative Readiness Training 2019 have provided quality medical care to a number of community members at temporary clinics since June 14.
As of June 18, the temporary clinics at the three DAEOC Tri-State IRT sites in Sikeston, Barlow, Ky. and Cairo, Ill. have seen approximately 1,526 individual patients and performed approximately 9,554 medical, dental and optometry procedures.
The service members have performed an estimated $386,294 in no-cost medical services to the community based on fair-market value.
“It has been going very well,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Mutka Pantpurohit, the DAEOC Tri-State IRT 2019 medical officer-in-charge and a physician assigned to Expeditionary Medical Facility Great Lakes, U.S. Navy Reserve.
Halfway through the mission, the service members have fully established procedures to efficiently carry out their medical mission.
“The mindset with everyone is to zero in on their duties and perfect our processes,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Steven Martin, the Sikeston site officer-in-charge and a physician assistant for the 181st Intelligence Wing, Indiana Air National Guard.
Because of that perfection of mission processes, the service members have been able to take a proactive role in patients’ health care.
According to Pantpurohit, one particularly satisfying aspect of DAEOC Tri-State IRT 2019 has been new diagnoses for patients who were not aware of their existing health problems. For example, the service members have been able to diagnose more than 10 new diabetics. And, thanks to community partners, those patients will be able to obtain continuity of care.
That effect on patients is not going unnoticed by service members.
“You start to see people’s hearts, tears, and gratitude when they receive our services,” said Martin. “It’s eye opening. You sometimes underestimate that impact on the community.”
Indeed, the unique nature of the IRT mission resonates with traditional reservists and drill-status Guardsmen, who serve a dual role in the military and civilian worlds.
“There’s no other process the military offers where I can get training, leadership opportunities and the feeling of helping fellow Americans in times of need,” said Martin. “This is why I came into the military.”
DAEOC Tri-State IRT 2019 is a joint service medical exercise that provides real-world training to service members and medical, dental and optometry services to members of the community.