“The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. The MRC network comprises 991 community-based units and almost 200,000 volunteers located throughout the United States and its territories”
There have been several units to come and go in the State of Maine since the inception of the MRC program; as of 2015 there were only two units left in the state. The Northeastern Maine MRC (unit 115)—one of the oldest units in the country—and the Cumberland County MRC (unit 2440) were the two remaining units ready to serve the people of Maine during times of public health emergency.
While Maine’s Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (also known as ESAR-VHP or simply as Maine Responds) was registering record numbers of volunteers across the state in 2016 there was a growing need to organize this pool of talented professionals into regional teams. Maine residents answered the call to action and have created a solution to introduce new MRC units to each of the Public Health Districts not currently being served by the Medical Reserve Corps. By recruiting directly from the pool of volunteers already registered with Maine Responds, the new units were able to staff up and hit the ground running. Leadership for each of the new units was recruited from Maine Responds as well, allowing the program to retain the local perspective and connection that is so unique to the MRC network. Through a thoughtful and innovative approach, Maine now has multiple MRC units strategically placed across the state.
Each of Maine’s MRC members still registers with the State as an ESAR-VHP volunteer through Maine Responds and in the case of a multi-jurisdictional or statewide response Maine’s MRC teams are already integrated with the state’s volunteer program. Maine Responds volunteers may be requested to deploy outside of Maine at the request of other states, nearby provinces, or upon federal request. Maine MRC teams are ready to join in such a response and to proudly serve alongside other responding organizations in an integrated and holistic approach.
For more information on the Medical Reserve Corps on a national level please visit the Medical Reserve Corps homepage.