Massachusetts Medical Reserve Corps www.mamedicalreservecorps.org
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) system was founded by the federal government shorty after 9/11. The national system brings together people who have health care skills with citizen volunteers. MRC units are trained and prepared to respond as a team to emergencies in their communities. The members may provide education, outreach and various health services throughout the year.
Serving the Community
MRC units function as part of local emergency preparedness teams. They supplement existing public health resources and emergency agencies such as Red Cross, local public health, fire, police and ambulance services. The result: a collaborative, local effort prepared for large-scale public health crises. Each MRC unit is organized to best suit the unique challenges of its area. In addition, member can also choose to support communities in need in other areas of the state or country. Recruiting, training and organizing medical and public health professions to strengthen their communities through volunteerism are at the core of the MRC concept.
"It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life and with out the MRC I would not have had the opportunity. So I tip my hate and say thank you to the MRC."-Judy Scarafile, member of the Cape Cod MRC, commenting on her work as part of the Mobile Medical Team in Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
MRC volunteers offer their expertise throughout the year by supporting local public health initiatives, such as immunization and prevention activities. When there is an emergency in the community, MRC volunteers work in coordination with local emergency response programs. With an MRC unit in place, a formerly untapped community resource - medical and public health volunteers - is function and available. MRC units are located in all regions of Massachusetts. They are organized by cities and towns or regions of Massachusetts. MRC units are housed in city and town health offices, churches, hospitals, universities and emergency medical services locations. Most of the MRC units work with other local and regional emergency preparedness groups.
Who Can Join?
MRC units need medical and non-medical volunteers who are trained and ready to respond to an emergency when called to assist local health and safety officials. MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, veteranarians and epidemiologists. MRC unites also need non-medical personnel to fill key support positions, including interpreters, chaplains, office workers and legal advisors. Volunteers are provided with free training, where they learn the valuable skills needed to prepare themselves and their families during an emergency.
How Can I Volunteer?
Visit the Website at
www.mamedicalreservecorps.org/volunteer.php to find an MRC unit in your area. You can call or e-mail the contact listed for each MRC unit to get more information about its activities and how to join.
MRC volunteers receive free training in personal and family preparedness and incident command. Other trainings include pandemic planning, behavioral health, CPR and basic first aid, skills known as core competencies. Many units offer CEU credits for professionals who complete these courses.
"Medical professionals need all the help they can get from great volunteers." -Harriet "Belle" Dyer, member of the Franklin County MRC
What is MSAR?
MSAR stand for the Massachusetts System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Care Professionals. It is a secure database of pre-credentialed health care professionals from across the Commonwealth who are interested in volunteering their services in the even of a public health emergency. MSAR will only be activated during a declared public health emergency. MSAR will only be activated during a declared public health emergency, so while MRC member may be asked to assist communities on a regular basis, an MSAR activation is likely to be a very rare event. The MSAR database enables the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to select the most appropriate volunteers to deploy during an activation. Like an MRC response, there is never an obligation to respond to an MSAR activation. We encourage MRC members to join MSAR by visiting the MSAR website at www.mass.gov/MSAR. MSAR volunteers are also encouraged to sign up with their local MRC. Traditionally, MRC members respond locally, so being a member of MSAR would enable them to use their skills during a large-scale disater outside of their region.
"You'll receive more than you give and in the process you'll learn ways to assist in handling emergency situations in your community
Beverly Health Department • 90 Colon Street • Beverly, MA 01915 • Phone: (978) 921-8591 • Fax: (978) 922-5695