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Rural Appalachian Communities Receive Free Health Care through Army Readiness Training Event

June 2014


 
Photo of patients receiving dental care through the Appalachian Care Medical Mission held in western North Carolina in June 2014.
More than 8,000 residents of communities in western North Carolina and neighboring states received free medical, dental, vision, and veterinary services through the Appalachian Care Medical Mission, held June 2–12, 2014. (Photo by Guy Land/ARC)

In June 2014, residents of the rural North Carolina communities of Bryson City, Murphy, and Andrews and the surrounding region received free medical, dental, vision, and veterinary services through the Appalachian Care Medical Mission, a U.S. Army innovative readiness training (IRT) event with a dual mission of giving soldiers hands-on experience while providing services to underserved communities. Between June 2 and June 12, approximately 170 active, reserve, and National Guard service members provided care to more than 8,000 patients and 2,600 animals from communities in western North Carolina and neighboring states.

The mission was coordinated by partners including the U.S. Department of Defense, the North Carolina Office of Rural Health and Community Care, the Swain and Cherokee County Health Departments, Murphy Medical Center, and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), as well as other government agencies and volunteer organizations. ARC provided support to the Murphy Medical Center for implementation of the program.

ARC will also provide support for another IRT medical mission to be held August 11–21 in Cumberland, Maryland.