NORWICH – Planning officials are ironing out the final details of an extensive undertaking that will bridge training opportunities for U.S. service members with the health care needs of local residents.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Chenango County Department of Planning and Development met with military personnel to discuss preparations for Greater Chenango Cares, an innovative readiness training program (IRT) that coaches service members to provide health care services during emergencies and disasters. At the same time, IRT training events all across the country provide health care services at no cost to community members in a win-win scenario.
Greater Chenango Cares will include medical, dental, optometry and veterinary services to residents of Chenango County and outlaying areas. The event is set for July 13-23 at the Norwich High School.
This will mark the first IRT exercise in the northeast.
Major William Keeney, officer in charge of the mission, said the benefit of IRT training is just as much for the community as it is for the military.
“From a health care standpoint, we not only have some of the best trained doctors, nurses and providers who are doing this in their civilian careers and are now in reserves, but we can also bring it back to our neighborhoods for those areas that might be underserved,” Keeney said. “We’re excited to be part of the Greater Chenango Cares mission here because this is actually one of the best communities involved that we have seen in a long time.”..