Sullivan Granted Official Medical Reserve Corps Status
Hundreds of Volunteers Already Involved
LIBERTY, November 2021 – As COVID-19 made clear, it takes a community to battle a pandemic. And Sullivan County plans on keeping that powerful force at the ready.
“We were looking to initiate a Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) before coronavirus hit, and that desire turned into action – as the virus rolled across the County, our volunteers rolled too, providing much-needed support to our nurses and other County employees,” Public Health Services Director Nancy McGraw recalled.
“So we submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to form an official MRC. We just received word that our application has been accepted,” she added.
The MRC program was established to provide a way to recruit, train, and activate medical and public health professionals and other volunteers to respond to community health needs during disasters and other public health emergencies. The Sullivan County MRC will continue doing what its volunteers have already been doing “unofficially”: assisting at COVID-19 vaccination clinics, delivering supplies where needed, and providing critical education to the public.
As of the end of this summer, 354 volunteers with Public Health Services had given 11,653 volunteer hours, mostly at 49 community COVID-19 vaccination clinics. Some handled paperwork, others directed participants to the correct location, and those licensed as LPNs, EMTs, RNs or MDs took on medical duties, including administering vaccines.
“They were incredibly helpful during the entire extent of the crisis,” Ms. McGraw said, “and we will continue to rely on them to step up to the plate anytime and anywhere they’re needed as we roll out booster doses and as COVID-19 vaccines are approved for children ages 5-11 years old. In addition, we will be reaching out to current MRC members soon to develop additional trainings and MRC volunteer opportunities for area residents.”
For more information or to join the MRC, visit https://sullivanny.us/Departments/Publichealth/clinicvolunteer or email VolunteerMRC@sullivanny.us