Clay residents will be among those in four counties that will be eligible for free medical, vision and dental coverage as part of Operation Coal County Medical IRT clinics in August.

IRT (Innovative Readiness Training) is a collaborative effort by the Army, Air Force and Navy. A joint meeting was held with community leaders last week discussing the impact the program will have in Clay, Jackson, Knox and Leslie counties.

Senate President Robert Stivers says the program is a great opportunity for the counties involved.

“This is a great opportunity for our community,” he said while speaking at the meeting.  “This is something our entire community can participate in at no cost.”

The clinics are a joint partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Military’s reserve forces, and the Kentucky Department for Local Government.

Army captain John Polos says the program will save over $1 million in local healthcare costs.

“We feel we will see 2,000 to 5,000 people,” he said.  “Word of mouth and spreading the word about this event is key to the success.”

The clinics will be on a first-come, first serve basis and open to ALL residents, regardless of income or whether they have health insurance.  The clinics in Clay County will be held at the EXCEL building behind the McDonald’s location on Muddy Gap and the Oneida Community Church.

In Jackson County the clinic will be at Grace Covenant at the Annville Institute, the First Baptist Church in Knox County and the Rockhouse Baptist Church in conjunction with the 911 call center in Leslie County.

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