Post Content

In Massachusetts we’ve come to recognize and appreciate that when emergencies happen, our local communities band together to respond. And these community-level responses are exemplified by the work done by local Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) units.

The Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of local groups of volunteers committed to improving the public health, emergency response, and resiliency of their communities. MRC units are community-based and function as a way to locally organize and utilize volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and promote healthy living throughout the year.

MRC volunteers supplement existing emergency and public health resources and fulfill medical and non-medical roles. Members include medical and public health professionals such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians, and epidemiologists as well as other community members like interpreters, chaplains, office workers, and legal advisors. MRCs also offer a great opportunity for students and retirees to get involved and support their local communities.

With 46 MRC units in Massachusetts engaged and actively working to support local public health and emergency response efforts, this past year the Commonwealth led the nation in the total number of MRC activities that were reported by states. MRC activities in Massachusetts included holding and participating in trainings, volunteering at emergency shelters, assisting at local community flu clinics, and supporting various initiatives during September’s Emergency Preparedness Month Campaign, Together We’re Ready: Massachusetts Prepared.

The most prolific units that made the top 20 MRC activity list for the nation included the Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps, City of Springfield Medical Reserve Corps, East Longmeadow Medical Reserve Corps, Worcester Regional Medical Reserve Corps, and North Shore-Cape Ann MRC Unit. Congratulations to all of the Massachusetts MRC units for their continued tireless work and commitment to providing outstanding services to their communities. To learn more about your local MRC units, visit www.mamedicalreservecorps.org. If you’re interested in signing up as a volunteer, please visit www.maresponds.org.

And that’s not the only indication of the strength of Medical Reserve Corps units in Massachusetts. In early December, the National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI) was released. The NHSPI, which is administered by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a measure of how well communities, states, and the nation are prepared for emergencies that have potentially negative health consequences. Not only did the Commonwealth score at the top of the Index, but Massachusetts also received a score of 9.9 out of 10 in the category of Management of Volunteers During Emergencies, which well exceeds the national average of 3.7, demonstrating strength and leadership in the MRCs and other volunteer programs across the state.

Written By:


Commissioner of the Department of Public Health

Tags: , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Get Vaccinated: Fight the Flu posted on Sep 22

September means back to school, football, and foliage. But it also means time for your annual flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that yearly flu vaccination should begin in September or as soon as vaccine is available, and continue throughout the   …Continue Reading Get Vaccinated: Fight the Flu

HOW ‘BOUT THEM APPLES? posted on Sep 19

HOW ‘BOUT THEM APPLES?

This is a rough time of year for someone like me, as I try desperately to hold onto summer for as long as possible. I bristle at each and every reference to Labor Day, which now apparently serves as the bellwether of summer’s demise (it   …Continue Reading HOW ‘BOUT THEM APPLES?

Goodbye berries, Hello Apples! posted on Sep 18

Goodbye berries, Hello Apples!

Saying farewell to summer fruits and vegetables can be hard. But, once you remember all of the delicious produce that the autumn harvest brings, the season just gets better and better. Apples are one of my favorite fruits of the fall. There are many varieties   …Continue Reading Goodbye berries, Hello Apples!