For Immediate Release February 22, 2023

Delaware County to host Department of Defense Innovative Readiness Training Program July 2023

The Delaware County Board of Supervisors is pleased to announce a joint mission of the U.S. military and the County of Delaware with an Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) mission. IRT is a federally supported program through the US Department of Defense to ready military personnel for future potential deployment missions across the nation and throughout the world. Through the IRT program, military units are paired with communities willing to partner with them as a real-world field experience.

In September 2021, the Delaware County Planning Department worked with Southern Tier 8 Regional Board, to apply for a community site IRT mission, called “Healthy Delaware”. In late 2022, “Healthy Delaware” was matched with the United States Army to host a military training operation and provide no-cost medical and veterinary services to the public. As the Department of Defense is supporting this mission through military training budgets, the services are provided at no cost to the patients.

The IRT event will be held July 11th through the 19th and will be open as a “walk in” service to any person wanting to attend, where military personnel will provide Delaware County residents with no cost health exams, youth sports physicals, eye exams and glass prescriptions, dental exams and procedures, behavioral health screenings and veterinary care for domestic household pets.

As the host community, the Walton Central School District has very graciously volunteered to provide operations space at the Walton High School Complex. Delaware County will operate a command center at New Hope Church, and the Delaware County Board of Supervisors will be providing security, managing traffic flow, assisting with patient flow and organizing continuity of care services for those in need. The Board has appointed the Director of Delaware County Planning & Watershed Affairs, Shelly Johnson-Bennett, to lead the community partnership. For additional questions, Shelly can be reached at (607) 832-5444.

Partnering with Delaware County, Delaware Opportunities will provide volunteers to assist on-site during the event and organize a community resource area where local services providers will be available to assist with long term care needs and services. If you are interested in volunteering to help with this event, please contact Delaware Opportunities at (607) 746-1600. Additionally, regional medical services through United Health Services in Walton, Bassett Health Care and Westchester Medical are participating to assist patients and provide additional services through their facilities.

To promote the event and engage volunteers, a website and Facebook page will be launched shortly.

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