Military medical might: Healthy Cortland IRT in full swing

By Staff Sgt. Austin Harvill | 140th Wing Public Affairs | July 17, 2019

CORTLAND, NY —

After only a day-and-a-half of care, members of the Healthy Cortland Innovative Readiness Training saw 292 patients and even more smiles thanks to their efforts in Homer, NY, July 11.

The 9-day event is part of the larger Healthy Cortland and Greater Chenango Cares Innovative Readiness Training, which is a Department of Defense military training mission, exclusive to the United States and its territories, that delivers joint training opportunities to increase deployment and emergency readiness.

For those potential patients still on the fence about receiving care, one of Homer’s own vouches for the services offered.

“Everyone was joyful when they saw us,” said Danielle Tracy, Homer Junior High School special education teacher. “My stepdaughter probably wouldn’t have been in to see an optometrist without this opportunity.”

Tracy continued, saying it was her stepdaughter’s first ever eye exam.

“We found out she needed glasses, which she is very excited about!” explained Tracy. “I don’t know how long it would’ve been before we found that out on our own.”

Tracy also said she intended to come back later for a dental check-up after seeing the proficiency and friendliness of the medical and volunteer staff.

That compassionate care stems from excitement and a dedication to patients, according to the U.S. Army Reserve Capt. Danielle Primerano from Hollender Army Reserve Center in Webster, NY.

“It’s wonderful to see everyone in place, patients flowing and lots of smiling,” said Primerano. “There is a general excitement in the room and patients and providers are grateful we’re here.”

Primerano continued, extolling her pride at the culmination of such a complicated and vital service to an underserved community.

“Finally seeing all the hardwork after a year of planning come to fruition is extremely rewarding,” said Primerano. “More so, I look forward to continuing to meet the community’s needs are met. After that, I hope to see more of [these missions] because I can tell they are appreciated on both sides of the exam table.”

Many appointments are on a walk-in basis with a few requiring appointments. For more information on how, when and what care is provided, go to www.healthycortland.org for those in Cortland county. For Greater Chenango Cares, go to www.facebook.com/GreaterChenangoCares/ instead.

We will be sharing ongoing information while in the area located at www.dvidshub.net/feature/IRTCortlandChenango. Additionally, social media posts tagged with #IRTsWin will feature our day-to-day interactions within the community.

For patients, however, these efforts will largely be behind the scenes. The IRT teams will open their clinics at 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The IRT sites will finish with patients by noon on July 20 the final day of the mission.