The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) was founded by the federal government shortly after 9/11. The national system brings together people who have skills related to health care as well as citizen volunteers. They serve as a team during times of emergency or need in their own community. MRC units are trained and prepared to respond to emergencies and they provide education, outreach and various health services throughout the year. They function as part of their local emergency preparedness teams. MRC units supplement existing emergency and public health resources and agencies such as Red Cross, local public health, fire, police, and ambulance services. The result is a collaborative effort that is prepared for large scale public health crises. Each MRC conducts its role in the way that best suits the unique challenges for its area. In addition members can also choose to support communities in need in another area of the state or country, as many did during hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The Medical Reserve Corps program office is headquartered in the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General. It functions as a clearinghouse for information and best practices to help communities establish, implement and maintain MRC units across the nation. The MRC Program Office sponsors an annual leadership conference, hosts a Web site, and coordinates with local, state, regional and national organizations and agencies to help communities achieve their local visions for public health and emergency preparedness. For more information about the MRC program, please visit the national website at www.medicalreservecorps.gov.
Currently, there are approximately forty MRC units in Massachusetts. For a complete listing of MRC units, please click here.
MSAR is a statewide, secure database of precredenitaled health care professionals who are interested in volunteering their services in the event of a public health emergency. MRC units support "local" public health initiatives, while MSAR is designed to pre-credential and deploy individuals in a large-scale disaster. MRC members are encouraged to consider registering with MSAR to ensure that locally-based resources are available in the event of a declared public health emergency. MSAR members are also encouraged to register with an MRC to assist in smaller, local events that do not initiate an MSAR activation. For more information, please visit www.mass.gov/msar