Military program provides free medical services

KAPAA — Tropic Care Kauai 2017 gets underway Monday.

Tents to house the more than 350 military medical personnel started going up this week on the athletic field at Kapaa Middle School.

Tropic Care Kauai offers free medical service, including physical exams, physical therapy, dental exams, a limited number of dental cleanings, dental fillings, tooth extractions, eye exams and single focus lens eyeglasses. No health insurance is required.

“We want people to be a part of Tropic Care,” said Toni Torres of the Kauai District Health Office. “Tropic Care is for everyone, and by visiting any of the sites, you become a part of Tropic Care.”

Last year, the free healthcare program served more than 5,000 people.

New services this year include physical exams, both for sports as well as the required physical exams to enter seventh grade under the new Department of Education requirement.

“We encourage people to take advantage of this service — early instead of waiting until it’s closer to school opening,” Torres said. “And, it’s free. The physicals also meet the requirements for sports physicals.”

Physical therapy and physical therapists are also new, Torres said.

“We will have physical therapists at all of the sites,” she said. “They can assess conditions and in minor instances, help with appropriate exercise recommendations and demonstrations.”

Services will be available at three primary clinic sites: Eleele Elementary School, Kauai Community College and Kapaa Middle School. Services will also be available at the mobile sites at Kilauea Elementary School cafeteria Monday through Thursday and the Waimea Easter Seals facility in Hanapepe June 17 through 21.

All of the clinic sites will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from June 12 through 21. On June 18 and 21, the clinics will be operating from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

To enable everyone access to the Tropic Care services, the Kauai Bus will operate with no charges during June 12 through 21 islandwide.

Torres also encourages people to visit the clinics earlier rather than later.

“If a patient requires a follow-up visit, this can be accomplished during the time Tropic Care is here,” she said. “If someone goes in the day before they leave, there is no time for follow-up work.”

Tropic Care Kauai is an exercise in Instant Readiness Training for the military medical professionals. It is a collaborative effort between the County of Kauai, the Department of Defense, the state of Hawaii and the state’s Department of Health.

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