POMEROY — The Ohio River Medical Mission was undoubtedly a successful that served thousands in 16 counties in four states.
This was the message that honored volunteers took away Tuesday during a volunteer celebration event at the Middleport Church of Christ Family Life Center.
The Ohio River Medical Mission was an event held June 2-11 that provided no-cost health, dental and vision services at Meigs High School.
Vision services included screenings, visual acuity and prescriptions for glasses or contacts, as well as community referrals.
Dental services included dental screenings, extractions and X-rays.
The Medical Innovative Readiness Training planned for Meigs County and the surrounding communities partnered with the 7241st Medical Support Unit, Army Reserve Medical Command from Lexington, Ky.
All mission services were provided at no charge and by trained vision professionals. There were also no age, geography, income or insurance requirements.
Veterinary services were also provided at the Meigs County Fairgrounds, with 10-12 spays and neuters done daily, depending on which surgery was needed. Animals could also receive needed vaccines and checkups.
There was a 90-pound limit on animals, and each animal coming for a spay or neuter was assessed by veterinary volunteers. Other services offered by volunteers included basic screenings, and rabies and canine/feline distemper vaccinations.
The mission was part of the Innovative Readiness Training program that provides real-world training opportunities for the nation’s military service members and units to prepare them for their wartime missions while supporting the needs of America’s under-served communities.
During the celebration, a video filmed during the medical mission was shown, with Buckeye Hills Executive Director Misty Casto and Mindy Cayton, AAA8 planner of the event, praising those who made the event possible. Jason Wilson, director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, also commended everyone on their efforts and said he knows the event will take place again in Appalachia sometime in the future.
“If we weren’t getting attention, we’re getting attention now,” he said.
According to the final numbers reported, the mission served 2,952 patients and animals. These animals and patients came from 61 towns in 20 counties in four states: Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The counties served in Pennsylvania were Allegheny and Montour counties, with Marion County, Ind., served as well. Counties served in Ohio included Athens, Fairfield, Franklin, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Licking, Lorain, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Perry, Vinton and Washington. Lastly, those counties served in West Virginia were Braxton, Cabell, Kanawha, Mason, Putnam and Wood.
People from ages 2 to 91 were served.
The estimated total cost savings to the community was $739,357, with 844 dental services completed, 703 vision services performed, 681 free pairs of glasses given, 646 behavioral health services completed and 343 medication prescriptions distributed. There were 390 volunteers who served more than 3,300 hours, which was also a value of about $77,500 to the community.
In regards to veterinary services, 986 animals were taken care of. Broken down, that was 907 exams, 41 neuters, 36 spays and one surgery. It was estimated that this amount prevented the unwanted litters of 206,000 dogs and 38,686,920 cats.
Funding partners included the Ohio Governor’s Office of Appalachia, The Sisters Health Foundation and Buckeye Hills Valley Regional Development District.
Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.
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