What is the Medical Reserve Corps?
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a community based volunteer unit of medical professionals who can assist local public health agencies with public health needs and who can be activated during emergencies.
Why is the MRC Needed?
After the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 and the anthrax attacks following in the fall, many Americans responded by volunteering to help. Although there were several qualified medical and public health professionals eager to help with the relief efforts, they could not be utilized because they had not been identified under the emergency management system, trained and credentialed in advance.
In response to the need for medically trained professionals who can be trained and pre-identified to respond to public health emergencies, the Medical Reserve Corps was formed in 2002, in cooperation with the White House's USA Freedom Corps.
Volunteerism is the foundation of the Medical Reserve Corps. MRC volunteers can work in coordination with existing local emergency response programs when an emergency occurs in the community.
In Warren County a primary mission of the MRC will be to assist the health department in staffing clinic sites for distribution of antibiotics or vaccines needed as a result of a bioterrorism attack or a widespread outbreak of a contagious disease.
What Are the Benefits of Volunteering?
There are a number of benefits to be gained by joining the MRC including:
- Helping Warren County to better prepare for and respond to public health emergencies
- Accomplishing rewarding work
- Getting to know your community better
- Acquiring new skills, knowledge and training
- Building references
- Earning continuing education and community service credits
- Gaining public health experience
Who Can Join the MRC?
Many types of volunteers are needed for the Medical Reserve Corps. Although people with medical training and licenses are urgently needed, people with clerical and other skills are also needed to staff clinics and provide support services. Types of Volunteers include:
||Health Care Administrators
||Medical Records Experts
|Public Health Professionals
||Medical Supply Experts
|Mental Health Practitioners
||Data Entry Professionals
||Child Care Workers
The only age restriction for MRC volunteers is that they must be 18 years of age or older. Retirees are welcome!
What Kind of Training Will I Receive as a MRC Volunteer?
MRC volunteers are encouraged to receive training and education on various topics such as incident command, bioterrorism, mass clinic operations, infectious disease and emergency preparedness and response. Volunteers can also participate in emergency preparedness drills and exercises sponsored by the Health Department.
What Level of Commitment Must I Make?
The Warren County Health Department realizes that practicing and retired professionals have many demands on their time and attempts to maintain a flexible program that requires a minimal amount of time spent attending meetings and receiving training. Many opportunities exist to receive web-based training at home via the Internet. There are opportunities for classroom training as well. Hands on training will be available through participation in emergency response exercises and mass clinic operations.
Who is Responsible for the MRC?
On the national level, the Department of Health & Human Services is responsible for developing and implementing the MRC. The Secretary of Health designated the Office of the Surgeon General to take the lead responsibility to develop a program to promote and support the development of the Medical Reserve Corps. In 2002 the Office of the Surgeon General took this responsibility. The Warren County Medical Reserve Corps is under the supervision of the Warren County Health Department and the lead unit coordinator is Christopher Hellwig.
How Do I Become a MRC Volunteer?
If you would like to join the Warren County Medical Reserve Corps an application can be obtained by clicking one of the following application links: Community Volunteer (Non-Healthcare) or Medical Professional. For more information or for questions, call Sarah Shoemaker or Tom Nigro at (908) 475-7960. For general information about the Medical Reserve Corps, you may visit the Surgeon General's web site at http://www.medicalreservecorps.gov/.