Ohio River Medical Mission continues through Thursday


Animal Care Specialist Breanna Rothfus clips the toenails of puppy Zoey as her owner, Lexi Gillenwater, holds her dog still. Volunteer Jeff Darst watches the process.

Animal Care Special Susan Farrell helps wash equipment that aids in spay and neutering operations. About 10-12 spay and neuters are done a day, depending upon which operation is done. According to Frank Gorscak, Meigs County Emergency Response Coordinator and volunteer, spays take longer than neuters because they are a more internal operation.

OHIO VALLEY — The Ohio River Medical Mission will continue until Thursday, June 11, with volunteers and staff reminding everyone that no one will be turned away because of their age, address, income level or insurance situation.

ORMM medical services are available at Meigs High School, 42091 Pomeroy Pike, in Pomeroy, and veterinary services will continue at the Thompson Roush Building, located near the front of the fairgrounds at 41850 Fairgrounds Lane, right across the highway from the Meigs High School.

All mission services are free to any person who decides to come and are provided by trained medical, dental, vision and veterinary professionals. There are no appointments, and services are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis, with limited slots available each day.

Regarding veterinary services, Frank Gorscak, Meigs County Emergency Response coordinator and volunteer, said the fairground gates will continue to open at 8 a.m. every morning, with only 10-12 spays and neuters done daily, depending on which surgery is needed. According to Gorscak, the volunteer vets follow a formula that every spay (female operation) is equivalent to two neuters (male operation) because of the deeper incision and operation needed for a spay, so more spays may mean fewer operations done in a day.

There is also a 90-pound limit on animals, and each animal coming for a spay or neuter will be assessed by veterinary volunteers. Anyone having their dog spayed or neutered must bring a leash for a dog or a carrier for a cat, and may drop off their animal and come back at a later time. Other services offered by volunteers are basic screenings, and Rabies and canine/feline distemper vaccinations. All animals will be ready to go home by 5 p.m.

Anyone receiving medical or dental care at Meigs High School must fill out a form with every medication they are taking, including herbal supplements. There are still forms available for printout on the Ohio River Medical Mission Facebook page, as well as forms to fill out while attending the event. There will be volunteers to help fill out the form for anyone needing assistance.

Medical services include general health screenings, school sport physicals, dental screenings, cleanings, sealants, fillings, extractions and X-rays, vision screenings including visual acuity, screenings, prescriptions for glasses or contacts, and single-vision glasses, behavioral health screenings and community referrals.

No pain medications will be available on site, although the mission has provided a temporary pharmacy within the high school. Participants should bring a list of current prescribed medications, herbal supplements and over the counter drugs with name, strength and dose.

Mindy Cayton, program development coordinator for Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging and community coordinator, emphasized the importance of the event.

“We’re very hopeful that Ohio Medical Mission helps get people get on the road to better health, and better health maintenance and management,” she said. “We’re going to make sure they’re connected to local sources.”

Innovative Readiness Training, along with providing medical coverage for anyone who decides to attend, also provides real-world training opportunities for the nation’s military service members and units to prepare them for their wartime missions while also supporting the needs of America’s under-served communities.

The event was established after Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District and the Meigs County Commissioners secured a Medical Innovative Readiness Training event for Meigs County and the surrounding communities, partnering with the 7241st Medical Support Unit, Army Reserve Medical Command from Lexington, Ky.

The Meigs County Health Department has also assisted in bringing the Medical Mission to Meigs County. Amy Imbrosciano, health commissioner, has worked with Ohio University to bring volunteers to the medical side of ORMM, and she has worked on required licensing to get medical services done between county doctor, Dr. Hunter Douglas, and the OU medical wing to do work during the mission.

Environmental Health team members who also serve on the Meigs County Fair Board offered the Roush building at the fairgrounds as the hub for veterinary services throughout the 10-day period, including registered sanitarian Colleen Murphy-Smith and Director of Environmental Health Steve Swatzel. The health department also assisted in providing infrastructure for the military and supplies, including blankets and towels, and providing volunteer help in the veterinary and Women, Infants and Children areas, including the WIC motor home that provides WIC information as well as a place for diaper changing.

The event can also use volunteers for the rest of the mission, and all volunteers must sign a volunteer agreement. Volunteers older than 55 are eligible for benefits, including mileage reimbursement through the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program. Volunteer positions include check-in clerks, registration clerks, patient guides, veterinary assistants, check-out clerks, Ohio Benefit Bank counselors for check-out, runners and hospitality assistants.

For more information, contact Katie Alexander at kalexander@coadinc.org or at 740-992-2117.

Recorded event details are available at 1-800-331-2644 Option 6. For transportation, call 740-367-7341.

Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.

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