SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The Snohomish County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) recently was honored with a national award at a conference sponsored by the Office of the US Surgeon General.
On behalf of her 190-member unit, Therese Quinn-Burke, MRC Volunteer Coordinator for Snohomish Health District, received the Community Resiliency Award on June 3 at the MRC 2010 Integrated Training Summit in Las Vegas, Nev. The award recognized the effort to rapidly build volunteer capacity to assist in 10 H1N1 mass vaccination clinics throughout Snohomish County in October 2009. Quinn-Burke coordinated the recruitment and training of nearly 50 volunteers during the Fall H1N1 response, expanding the MRC unit’s capacity by 26.5 percent.
The clinics immunized 26,500 people in three days. MRC volunteers logged over 1000 hours assisting in the clinics, and MRC telephone bank staff answered more than 2000 calls in the three weeks leading up to the clinics.
MRC units are community-based and engage medical, public health, and other civilian volunteers to strengthen public health in emergencies.
“Sometimes the need is simply to advise worried people over the telephone,” said Quinn-Burke. “In other disasters, MRC volunteers are called to support medically fragile shelters and supplement health care providers. Every response requires a unique set of skills to match it, and MRC provides the range to suit just about any scenario.”
Quinn-Burke’s cadre welcomes volunteers from all health care specialties, including veterinary medicine, health education, nutrition, and medical administration and support. People who speak languages other than English are in special demand. Recruits receive training in first aid, preparedness, and event-specific training throughout the year. Volunteers also participate in disaster drills and trainings with community partners.
The Medical Reserve Corps was created in 2003 to organize a robust ancillary resource and to verify the skills of medical volunteers in a post-9/11 nation. MRC now thrives in all 50 states and four American territories, with 855 units and 207,000 volunteers.
People who are interested in volunteering with MRC may visit www.snohomishcountymrc.org
, or contact Therese Quinn at 425.388.5075 (email@example.com
). For more information on the Medical Reserve Corps, please visit www.medicalreservescorps.gov
Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about the Health District at www.snohd.org