Hhs Announces Creation Of Medical Reserve Corps Units
Grants of $2 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to 42 community-based organizations will allow building of local Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) units to help local communities prepare and respond in the event of a public health emergency.
The local MRC units are comprised of local citizens, volunteers who are trained to respond to health crises. The volunteers’ responsibilities will include emergency response, logistical planning, records keeping, assisting in public health and awareness campaigns and public communications.
“The USA Freedom Corps was created to enable more Americans to make a difference in their communities,” said John Bridgeland, Assistant to the President for USA Freedom Corps. “Through the Medical Reserve Corps, health care professionals will have new opportunities to contribute to the safety and well-being of their communities through their volunteer service.”
Each local MRC unit will be established, activated, and operated by the local community, in concert with established emergency response and public health systems. They will be an important additional resource to address health problems that a local community might incur because of a natural disaster or other catastrophic event. In addition, volunteers may help with local health campaigns — such as immunizations — and health education and awareness in the community throughout the year.
The MRC initiative will provide the local organizational framework, including training, locally agreed procedures and processes, and partnership building among local organizations, including local government agencies, and non-governmental organizations (e.g., faith-based groups, hospitals, health professions organizations, the American Red Cross, academic institutions and others).
The MRC is led by the Office of the Surgeon General in HHS.