Delta Regional Authority, Governor Robert Bentley to Launch Operation “Alabama Black Belt 2012” in Three Communities

5,000 Families to Receive Free Medical, Dental Care

250 Military Medical Personnel to Increase Alabama’s Access to Quality Health Care

HAYNEVILLE, AL – 5,000 families in Alabama’s Black Belt will receive free medical and dental care, Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill and Alabama Governor Robert Bentley announced today.

The health care initiative named Operation “Alabama Black Belt 2012” and led by military reservists, will operate for the next two weeks. This initiative is a premiere world-class field training event for military forces and provides significant to the residents of the medically under-served and economically depressed communities of Selma, Demopolis, and Hayneville, Alabama. 

Operation “Alabama Black Belt 2012” – Delivering Free Medical and Dental Care to Delta Families
 •Delivering free health and dental screenings for approximately 5,000 people across three towns
•Providing 250 medical personnel from the Air National Guard, Army National Guard, Active Duty and Reserve: Navy, Air Force, and Army with valuable and realistic training
•Closing the access to health care gap in Alabama, a state that ranks first in the nation in diabetes rates.
Chairman Masingill said, “This initiative honors the strength and determination of Alabama families who want to improve their health and their lives. Not only are we continuing our commitment to these families, but we are providing a major shot in the arm to the region’s health.”
“These health screenings will provide a valuable service for the people of this state,” Governor Robert Bentley said.  “The work of the Delta Regional Authority and medical personnel from the Armed Forces will improve the quality-of-life for people of all ages.  The services they provide in the coming weeks will make a lasting difference in the lives of people across the Black Belt Region.”

The Delta region, including the Alabama Black Belt, consistently suffers from poor health outcomes. Compared with national rates, deaths in the Delta region from circulatory diseases are 16% higher and deaths from cancer are 12% higher. Between 2002 and 2006, infant mortality rates in the Delta region were almost 41% higher than non-Delta counties.
The Delta Regional Authority is congressionally mandated to identify and provide investment to help create jobs, build communities and improve lives in the 252 counties and parishes of the Delta. In the past three years through a partnership with the Department of Defense, more than 7,000 Delta residents have received free medical and dental care.

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