What is the Medical Reserve Corps?
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a nationwide network of community-based groups of volunteers who are interested in strengthening public health. MRC units supplement a community’s existing emergency medical response capabilities and public health infrastructure. As of 2021, there are 767 MRC units in the United States and its territories with over 190,000 volunteers. MRC units are locally based teams of medial and non-medical volunteers who can assist their community during large scale emergencies, such as an influenza pandemic, a chemical spill, or an act of terrorism. Volunteers can also work together to improve the overall health and well being of their neighborhoods and communities through education and prevention.
The MRC program was launched in July 2002 following President Bush’s State of the Union Address in which he called for all Americans to offer volunteer service in their communities and to serve a cause greater than themselves. This was in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on our country. The MRC is overseen by the U.S. Surgeon General and administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Division of Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps office (DVC/MRC).
The Lexington-Fayette County Medical Reserve Corp recruits and trains current or retired physicians, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists, nurses and others with relevant skills to help in emergencies as volunteers. Members of the Medical Reserve Corp may assist in mass dispensing clinics, provide assistance in special medical needs shelters, help with epidemiological investigations, respond to telephone inquires, or assist with public outreach and education. The Medical Reserve Corps also welcomes volunteers with skills and experience in organizational support and development.
To support the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department and community partners by building an effective volunteer corps of health-related professionals, pre-identified and pre-trained to respond within the existing emergency response structure in the event of a major public health threat or local disaster.
How do MRC volunteers help in disasters?
In Kentucky, the Medical Reserve Corps is coordinated by the Health Department, where both medical and non-medical volunteers are pre-trained, prepared and ready to respond to community health emergencies in a structured way. MRC volunteers are called upon to serve alongside of public health and emergency services professionals in shelters, in mass dispensing of medication/vaccination operations, or in disease outbreak investigations, to name a few examples.
How do I join the MRC?
It’s easy. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for application and instructions about completing the brief credential process. Or, you can visit the Join The MRC Page.