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'Medical Mission' available to Harrisburg residents now through June 27

  • Major General Mary Link, Army Reserve Medical Command commanding general, presents Kim Watson with a medallion for her service to the Southern Care Innovative Readiness Training healthcare mission underway at Harrisburg Middle School. Watson, of Harrisburg, is a senior account manager for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

    Major General Mary Link, Army Reserve Medical Command commanding general, presents Kim Watson with a medallion for her service to the Southern Care Innovative Readiness Training healthcare mission underway at Harrisburg Middle School. Watson, of Harrisburg, is a senior account manager for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
    BRETT PINKERTON PHOTO

  • Lt. Col. Milton Fowler, standing, left, observes as service members are briefed on the healthcare screening mission.

    Lt. Col. Milton Fowler, standing, left, observes as service members are briefed on the healthcare screening mission.
    BRETT PINKERTON PHOTO

  • Staff Sgt. Estella Brown-James demonstrates oral hygiene with an oversized toothbrush. Amy Smith of Harrisburg, and her son, Josh Smith, listen.

    Staff Sgt. Estella Brown-James demonstrates oral hygiene with an oversized toothbrush. Amy Smith of Harrisburg, and her son, Josh Smith, listen.
    BRETT PINKERTON PHOTO

 
By Brett Pinkerton
Contributing Writer
updated: 6/20/2018 12:13 PM

HARRISBURG -- The joint medical services of the United States Department of Defense and the Mississippi Delta Regional Authority are being offered to Harrisburg's residents June 19-June 27 at Harrisburg Middle School.

The medical mission gives medical treatment and education at no cost to local residents.

"The last time we were here (in 2014) we were able to do a mission in Harrisburg, Marion and in Cairo," said Major Sean Taylor. "We're working together with the Harrisburg community, the Regional Authority and the Army Reserves to bring this about."

The mission currently employs 40 staffers, all of whom hold positions within the U.S. Army as well as extensive backgrounds in the medical field. Several community volunteers contribute to the mission as well. The project is a recently devised endeavor on the part of the Army to assist as many civilian patients who are in need of any necessary yet costly medical attention.

"This allows us to do real humanitarian work," Taylor said.

The project consists of three major branches of treatment: medical, dental and optometry. Patients visiting the clinic will have the option of being seen in any area of specialization they require. Children also are encouraged to attend with a parent or guardian as pediatric specializations in areas such as dentistry also are offered.

Patients can also take short classes that focus on preventive issues: diet, heart health, and diabetic management. As with the treatment, the courses are free and open to all.

Staff Sgt Estella Brown-James, a licensed practical nurse with 20 years of experience, is one of the educators.

"This experience is reaching more people who wouldn't go to the emergency room," Brown-James said. "When we open our doors in an avenue such as this, it opens the door for people to step out and take advantage of that."

Brown-James says the Harrisburg community has been warm and gracious in response to the services she and her fellow servicemen and women render.

"They have been so warm," Brown-James said. "They truly appreciate our services."

The medical mission will remain stationed at Harrisburg Middle School at 312 Bulldog Blvd. until June 27.

Services include medical screenings, dental exams and extractions, as well as optometry screenings, and are free and open to members of the community from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. On June 24 and 27, the clinic will close at 1 p.m.

No appointments are made; residents are just asked to show up.

For questions or concerns regarding examinations, call (866) 611-5627.