Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
Author: Brennan Leddy, Communications Specialist, Medical Reserve Corps Program Published Date: 12/21/2016 3:28:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery; Exercises & Trainings;
This holiday season and into the New Year, I challenge us to also think of ways that we can give of our professional skills, training, and time to serve our local communities. While there are countless ways to do so — many of which were mentioned on the November ASPR blog — the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) provides a unique volunteer opportunity to strengthen public health and improve the safety of your community.
Established in 2002, the Medical Reserve Corps began with 42 community-based volunteer units and a shared mission to build strong, healthy, and prepared communities. Today, our network comprises nearly 200,000 volunteers in almost 1,000 MRC units nationwide. From being among the first to respond to natural disasters; to organizing blood drives and vaccination clinics; to leading preparedness training exercises and engaging youth in public health, MRC volunteers are not only on the front lines of emergency response, but are continually working to reduce disaster risk and build healthy and resilient communities.
Last year, MRC units collectively participated in more than 18,000 public health, preparedness, and response activities. 2016 has proven to be equally as busy. Volunteers have stepped up across the country to support health emergencies, natural disasters, and large community events. Below are a few highlights from the year, which help to illustrate the diversity of efforts.
In 2016, MRC units:
In addition to the impact these activities have on our communities and nation, volunteerism has tangible benefits to us as individuals as well. There is a sense of pride, accomplishment, and connectedness in helping to ensure our neighborsare safe and healthy. When we look out for each other in our local communities, our nation is stronger.
If you are interested in serving your community, I invite you to join us. Find an MRC unit near you, talk to your local coordinator, ask what their needs are and how you can serve. Your neighbors, community, and nation will be healthier and stronger because of you!
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