LogoThe Greater Chenango Cares IRT event will again be occurring in Norwich this summer. The 10-day initiative that will offer no-cost medical, dental, optometry and veterinary care for children and adults in our region.

The event is being led this year by the Chenango United Way and its volunteers and is occurring because of a partnership between many local health and human service organizations, local government agencies and the Department of Defense.

The event will run from Friday, July 15, through Sunday, July 24, and will be held once again at the Norwich High School.

Last July, 171 service personnel, both active and reserve service members, came to our community to provide medical, dental, vision and veterinary services as a training exercise and as a way to give back to local communities. Many of those same service personnel will again be returning to Norwich this summer.

In Chenango County and surrounding communities, an average of 38% of families are medically under-insured and 18 percent of adults do not have a regular health provider. Local health departments often express a need for more medical assistance to low-income families and disabled populations, especially those who are under-insured (such as children). Many adults in our area also do not visit a dentist or an eye doctor on a regular basis.

At last year’s event, more than 2,400 individuals received no cost services, including 4,969 dental procedures, 2,799 optometry procedures, 2,520 medical procedures, 633 veterinary procedures and 873 pairs of free glasses.

In total, more than $1.4 million in no-cost services were provided to the community because of the Greater Chenango Cares IRT event. Volunteers played a key role in making the event a success.

“We were so proud of the number of people who contributed their time and talents to help us with the IRT last summer,” said Elizabeth Monaco, Executive Director of the Chenango United Way. “Volunteers helped with registering patients, moving them between clinics, helping with data entry, referrals and exit interviews and helping with parking and water distribution.”

In total, 342 individual volunteers from across the region donated more than 3,552 hours over the 10 days to fill more than 800 volunteer shifts at the Greater Chenango Cares event. The in-kind value of these volunteer hours totaled more than $81,944. For summer 2016, 400+ volunteers will again be needed to assist with the event.

According to the Chenango United Way, conservative estimates for this summer’s Greater Chenango Cares include plans to serve 3,000-5,000 individuals and pets in the various clinics over the 10 days of the event. Appointment for clinic services cannot be made until early June, when more information will be made available.“We are so

“We are so excited to be leading this event this year and helping to bring these important health services to our community again,” said Monaco. “Meeting the unmet health care needs of our communities is a growing concern and to be able to partner with so many other critical community resources is invaluable for our community. We are so grateful to everyone who is partnering with us to bring this to our community again. So many people will benefit from this awesome event.”

By martha

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