MRC Unit Coordinator
Monmouth County Health Department Medical Reserve Corps
Freehold, New Jersey
The Monmouth County Health Department Medical Reserve Corps (MCHD MRC) unit was established in 2005. Medical and community professionals, who simply wanted to help anytime there was a need, were always ready and willing to respond. When the pandemic began, the need to help was the greatest it has ever been, and our MRC unit was more engaged in helping our community than ever before.
In February 2021, I became a co-coordinator of the MCHD MRC. The outgoing coordinator had recently retired, and I joined when there was a surge of volunteers wanting to help. I was simply amazed at the work the MRC has done around the country in the past 20 years. The number of volunteers assisting quietly, simply to make a difference in their communities, was impressive.
Many of those wanting to help during the pandemic did not know there was a national network of volunteers already in place for times like this. It was exciting to see hundreds of Monmouth County residents wanting to do something to help their community. No matter if they were highly regarded medical professionals, private citizens with multi disaster experience, retired, working, couples, or students with no experience, so many knew they wanted to help. At a time when many were being divided there was a cohesive group of volunteers coming together for the good of our community.
In September 2021 fourteen MCHD MRC volunteers were deployed to provide vaccination and support to NJ’s Afghan repatriation program at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Six community volunteers and eight medical volunteers were deployed over multiple days. In total 72 statewide MRC volunteers were on site assisting in this joint effort.
For the past 20 years, there has been a community of people from all walks of life joining forces to help their own community, a community within a community. As the 20th Anniversary of the MRC arrives, I am proud to be an MRC coordinator helping lead a group of caring volunteers serving their community with great teamwork and camaraderie.