Operation Empower Health - Greater Savannah to provide no-cost healthcare services for thousands in the region

St. Joseph’s/Candler and Georgia Southern University are supporting the U.S. Military to provide no-cost healthcare for those in need in our region.

Savannah was selected as the flagship site for the Department of Defense’s 2018 Innovative Readiness Training Program after SJ/C and Georgia Southern submitted a proposal to host it. Dubbed Operation Empower Health – Greater Savannah, the training will have troops from every branch of the military in town to provide medical, dental, vision and veterinary services for more than 6,000 people. The services will be provided at various locations in Chatham County from May 10-18.

Key partners in Operation Empower Health are the City of Savannah, Garden City and Savannah State University, all of which will be providing space for the medical services as well as a place for the troops to bed down and eat.

Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) is a U.S. military training opportunity that provides real-life deployment training and readiness for military personnel while addressing public and civil-society needs. The military services have always brought to bear their resources to help meet some of the country’s civil needs. With IRT, the Department of Defense realizes simultaneous benefits from military training and readiness while providing quality services to communities through the U.S.

The Mission of Innovative Readiness Training

IRT builds mutually beneficial civil-military partnerships between U.S. communities and the Department of Defense to:

  • Provide high quality, mission-essential training for Active, Guard and Reserve support personnel and units
  • Deliver military readiness and partnership capacity to serve when the nation calls, at home or aboard
  • Contribute to American prosperity by meeting public and civil-society needs
  • Strengthen the bond between American citizens and the U.S. military
  • Kindle a spirit of service and volunteerism among all partners and the communities they serve

All branches of the military are involved in this year’s IRT mission including the Army Reserve’s 3d Medical Command out of Atlanta, Multifunctional Medical Battalion out of Savannah, the Navy’s Eyeglasses fabrication unit out of Virginia and the Marine Corps Forces Reserves 4th Dental Battalion out of New Orleans.

Services offered

Among the services offered through Operation Empower Health – Greater Savannah are:

  • Medical
    • Physical exams
    • Sports exams
    • Patient education
  • Dental
    • Extractions
    • Fillings
  • Vision
    • Eye exams
    • Prescriptions
    • Fabrication of glasses
  • Veterinary services
    • Spay/neuter (only at Civic Center; not available on the 11, 12, 13 or 19)
    • General exams
    • Rabies vaccinations

Download, print our Operation Empower Health flyers

In English

In Spanish


Those seeking the services of IRT may do so at the following locations:

Georgia Southern University’s
Armstrong Campus

11935 Abercorn Street
Savannah, Ga. 31419

Savannah Civic Center
301 W. Oglethorpe Avenue
Savannah, Ga. 31401


Savannah State University
3219 College Street
Savannah, Ga. 31404


Garden City Recreational Department
160 Priscilla D Thomas Road
Garden City, Ga. 31408


Hours of operation

Daily hours of operation at each site will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All are welcome, especially the under/uninsured. Services are available to those in Chatham and surrounding counties, including South Carolina. 

Learn more about the Innovative Readiness Training program on their website.


  • St. Joseph's Hospital Campus: 11705 Mercy Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419, (p) 912-819-4100
  • Candler Hospital Campus: 5353 Reynolds St., Savannah, GA 31405, (p) 912-819-6000
  • Find us on:

St.Joseph's Hospital Campus: 912-819-4100

Candler Hospital Campus: 912-819-6000