U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – The USVI Department of Health is announcing that it has partnered with the US Department of Defense’s Innovation Readiness Training (IRT) Program to offer medical services to children aged 4 to 17, at no cost, during the first two weeks of August.

Between August 2nd and August 11th, the IRT team, working alongside the VI Department of Health’s Maternal Child Health and Immunization divisions, will provide physicals for back to school, annual physicals, and physicals for exemptions to any child who needs it. Services will be provided across the Territory.

Additionally, the IRT team will provide, at no cost, back to school vaccinations to children who are recipients of the VI Department of Human Services’ Medicaid program as well as to uninsured children.

“Every summer, the feedback from the clinics and private providers is the need for help with back-to-school physicals and immunizations,” said Dr. Tai Hunte-Caesar, Medical Director for the Department of Health. “The Health Commissioner and I immediately applied for the opportunity to fill this need when we were introduced to the Department of Defense’s IRT Program and its community service missions.”

Services will be provided at the VI Department of Health’s Maternal Child Health clinics located at Nisky Center on St. Thomas, at Caribe Home Center on St. Croix and at Morris De Castro Clinic on St. John.

The Department of Health asks that parents make an appointment by calling the clinic in their area; 340-777-8804, Ext. 2600 on St. Thomas, 340-776-6400 on St. John and 340-712-0136 or 0137 on St. Croix.

Each child must have a USVI-issued immunization card and parents must provide proper identification as well as the child’s birth certificate. Minors accompanied by guardians must present guardian documents, or a notarized letter from the parent. 

“We are truly grateful to the Department of Defense’s IRT program for providing support in an area of critical need in the Territory,” said VI Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion. “We are also looking forward to expanding the IRT team’s support to the USVI.”

The VI Department of Health is also working with the VI Department of Human Services to ensure it provides services to children participating in the Medicaid Program. 

“We are delighted to collaborate with VI Department of Health and the US Department of Defense’s IRT program to offer essential medical services to children aged 4 to 17,” said Kimberley Causey-Gomez, Department of Human Services Commissioner. “It’s a valuable initiative that highlights our commitment to the well-being of our youth, ensuring access to essential care throughout the USVI.”

IRT is a military training program, exclusive to the United States and its territories, which delivers joint training opportunities to increase deployment readiness. Simultaneously, IRT provides key services such as health care, construction, transportation, and cybersecurity, with lasting benefits for our American communities.

The US Department of Defense’s Innovation Readiness Training program is deploying a team comprised of a Medical Service Corps Officer, physicians, physician assistants, nurses, immunization technicians, aeromedical evacuation technicians, medical technician, medical program manager and first sergeant.