By Tommy Noyes

Dennis Esaki got his blood pressure checked during a prior Tropic Care Kaua‘i mission. From June 13 to 20, Tropic Care Kaua‘i 2022 will provide physical exams, eye exams, dental exams, fillings, and extractions at no cost to the patient, and no IDs or insurance are required. Contributed photo

Tropic Care Kaua‘i 2022, a Department of Defense Innovative Readiness Training operation, is an initiative that provides military reservists with real world rapid deployment training, while simultaneously providing medical support to underserved American communities.

The Department of Health’s Kaua‘i District Health Office, in collaboration with the Kaua‘i Office of the Governor, has successfully applied to the Pentagon for IRT medical deployments to Kaua‘i in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

During these missions, medical professionals serving in the military reserves collectively provided more than 77,000 routine health procedures to address a range of significant unmet health care needs, free of charge. The estimated value of those services benefitting Kaua‘i residents is 9 million dollars.

Kaua‘i has the green light for a fifth mission, and clinical services under Tropic Care Kaua‘i 2022 will take place Monday, June 13 through Monday, June 20.

The Air National Guard will lead the collaborative effort, with Air Force Active Duty, Air Force Reserve, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Navy Reserve personnel participating in the training exercise. IRT’s purpose is not to improve on the various health care procedures being provided by medical professionals; the mission’s value is in improving military units’ ability to rapidly deploy to an overseas location and provide medical services to a large population.

The main Tropic Care clinics will be located at the ‘Ele‘ele Elementary School, Kapa‘a Middle School and Kaua‘i Community College. Additional mobile clinics will be located at Kilauea Elementary School on June 13, 14 and 15, and also at the Waimea Easter Seals office on June 17, 18 and 20. Clinic hours are 8 a.m. tp 4 p.m. every day, except Sunday and Monday, June 19 and 20, when the clinics will close at noon.

Physical exams, eye exams, dental exams, fillings and extractions will be offered.
Clinic loads have typically been heavier during the latter part of the mission, so the coordinators strongly recommend that clinic visitors come early in the day as well as early during the mission.
Additionally, the promotional flier cautions, “First come, first served — be prepared for a wait! Please bring: water, snacks, eye glasses, and a list of current prescriptions.”

Thanks to the generous support of Mayor Derek Kawakami and the County of Kaua‘i, everyone is invited to ride the Kaua‘i Bus on all fixed routes free of charge during Tropic Care Kaua‘i 2022.

On behalf of our island’s residents, all the dedicated medical, support,\ and engineering personnel in this training mission have our sincerest gratitude for improving health on Kaua‘i.

For more information on the Tropic Care Kaua‘i-2022 medical mission and other services available through the Kaua‘i District Health Office, visit https://health.hawaii.gov/kauai. Please don’t miss this excellent opportunity for Kaua‘i residents!

  • Tommy Noyes is Kaua‘i Path’s executive director, a League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor and active with the Kaua‘i Medical Reserve Corps.

 


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