Free medical care will be offered to anyone in need as part of a military training mission coming to Dover in August.
The Delaware Army National Guard will lead the Innovative Readiness Training program, which will provide medical, dental, vision and other care from Aug. 1-9 at three locations in Dover.
The event is open to everyone 2 years or older, including out-of-state residents. No insurance or ID will be required.
The event will focus on services not included in the state’s Medicaid program such as dental and optometry care.
About 250 members of the military will be involved in the mission, including about 30 doctors, 20 dentists and nine optometrists, according to Capt. Jason Brooks, the Delaware Army National Guard coordinator for the event.
Dover officials worked to bring the program to the city because of the high need for healthcare services in Kent County, which has a higher percentage of residents in poor health than other parts of Delaware.
“In short, a lot of working people in Kent County are being left behind. They work hard, play by the rules, but after rent, they can’t afford eye or dental care insurance or service traditionally,” said Dover Councilman David Anderson. “We are below the state and nation in income which correlates with health.”
Where to go for care
Three sites are being set up and will provide care from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
- The North Dover site at 855 College Road will provide basic medical and wellness exams and psychological services. Vaccinations, including the COVID-19 vaccine, will be available.
- The South Dover site at 955 South State Street will offer optical exams and single-vision prescription glasses.
- Towne Pointe’s site at 629 Buckson Drive will conduct dental exams, extractions and fillings.
“It’s all first-come-first-served,” said Emmanuel Ennio, IRT Coordinator for Code Purple in Kent County, which is helping to organize the event.
Upon arrival, everyone will fill out a sign-up sheet to enter the queue. If you are waiting in line and do not get care by the end of the day, you will be given priority for the next day, said Ennio.
The busiest site is usually the dental clinic, and Ennio suggests arriving ahead of time, even as early as 5:30 a.m., to get in line.
Organizers are searching for volunteers to help run the event, including medical students and translators. Anyone interesting in helping or donating supplies should contact Code Purple in Dover.