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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Office of the Governor, Department of Health to Host Large-Scale USVI Wellness Event

USVI Governor Albert Bryan Jr.  (Submitted photo)

At Monday’s Government House weekly press briefing, V.I. Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tai Hunte-Ceasar joined Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. announcing plans for a large-scale health event that will offer medical services at no cost to Virgin Islands residents.

The USVI Wellness Fair 2024 is being hosted by the V.I. Department of Health in partnership with the Office of the Governor and with the support of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training (DoD-IRT) Program. This program deploys a force close to 300 military healthcare professionals from across the nation to serve the USVI community. All of its members are credentialed healthcare providers.

“I told you this was pretty awesome news you were going to get for the Virgin Islands in terms of healthcare and we’re going to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible,” Gov. Bryan said.

The USVI Wellness Fair will be held territory-wide, June 1-8, to offer residents the following services at no cost:

1) Dental services including routine exams, cleanings, fillings and tooth extractions

2) Optometry services including routine exams, emergency eye exams, diabetic retinal evaluations, school vision screenings and prescription eyeglasses if needed

3) Medical screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and mental wellness

4) Pediatric Physicals including back to school physicals and sports physicals,

5) and pediatric vaccinations.

“I want to make sure that everyone gets this part, so I will repeat it,” Dr. Hunte-Ceasar said. “All of the services will be provided at no cost to all residents – insured or not.”

Additionally, an identification card or proof of citizenship will not be required to receive medical services provided at the wellness fair.

The following is the fair’s schedule for medical services:

Saturday, June 1, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Sunday, June 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Monday to Friday, June 3 – 7, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday, June 8, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Dr. Tai Hunte-Ceasar, Chief Medical Officer, VI Department of Health. (Submitted photo)

From 9 a.m. to noon, on Sunday, June 9, the VI Department of Health will offer individuals assistance in connecting to local health care. No medical services will be provided.

The USVI Wellness Fair will be first-come, first-serve, however, 20 appointment slots will be allocated at the beginning of each day specifically for the elderly and individuals with disabilities.

On May 20, the USVI Wellness Fair 2024 registration and appointment portal goes live at vibewell.health. Registration is not required, but it is encouraged to help the department with monitoring and anticipating the volume of visitors each day and to shorten the intake process.

The venues at which services will be provided are:

The Ivanna Eudora Kean High School gymnasium on St. Thomas and the Educational Complex High School gymnasium on St. Croix for dental, optometry and medical screenings.

Maj. Mu Zhang, Officer-in-Charge of the US Department of Defense-Innovative Readiness Training Program’s 2024 USVI medical mission. (Submitted photo)

For families with school age children from pre-K to college, the pediatric physicals and vaccinations will be provided at the VI Department of Health’s Maternal Child Health (MCH) clinic on each island. The dates and times are the same as the fair and both appointments and walk-ins are welcome.

The MCH clinics are located at the ElanCo Building in St. Thomas and at the Morris DeCastro Clinic at Cruz Bay on St. John. On St. Croix, the MCH clinic will provide services at the University of the Virgin Islands’ Great Hall for the duration of the USVI Wellness Fair.

“So, parents, what this means is for pediatric physicals and vaccinations, you will visit the MCH clinic,” Dr. Hunte-Ceasar said. “And for all other services such as the dental and eye exam, your family walks in at the main fair site. You can do this in one day or over a couple of days.”

To learn more about the USVI Wellness Fair visit, vibewell. health, which also provides information in Spanish, Haitian Creole, Mandarin and Arabic.

This is the IRT’s second mission in the US Virgin Islands. Last August, the IRT program deployed a 20-man medical team to provide pediatric physicals and vaccinations at our MCH clinics. 798 procedures were provided to 349 VI children.

Since the end of that first mission, the V.I. Department of Health and its partners across the Government of the Virgin Islands, the VI National Guard and the DoD-IRT team have been planning this second mission.

Maj. Mu Zhang, Officer in Charge of the IRT’s 2024 USVI medical mission, joined Governor Bryan and Dr. Hunte-Ceasar for Monday’s announcement.

“We are extremely excited to bring this large-scale, no-cost medical mission to the beautiful Virgin Islands this June,” Maj. Zhang said. “As Dr. Hunte has mentioned, we have nearly 300 healthcare professionals and support staff – 25 doctors, 20 dentists, 16 optometrists, along with many nurses and technicians – scheduled to deploy across all three islands for two weeks, from May 30th to June 11th.”

The IRT’s USVI medical mission includes members of the US Air Force Reserves from California and Massachusetts, the Air National Guard from Kansas, and the Virgin Islands Army National Guard.

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