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​ASPR Alert

Medical Reserve Corps Celebrates 20 Years of Service to America

A Look at Volunteering During Public Health Emergencies and the COVID-19 Pandemic​

​May 5, 2022​

Over the past two years of pandemic response, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a whole, including the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, alongside our state and local agency partners, have provided support across the country to help combat COVID-19, and provide tools Americans need to protect themselves. One of the best emergency response assets communities is the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), which marks its 20th anniversary this year. MRC units across the country volunteer to train and prepare to provide public health support at individual sites, such as large community vaccination clinics, or shoulder-to-shoulder with emergency management and public health officials when disaster strikes in their communities.

More about MRC:

  • Since 2020, more than 700 MRC units have been assisting with COVID-19 efforts, with volunteers donating over 3 million hours.
  • The MRC was created in 2002 and established local units of medical and non-medical volunteers capable of supporting public health needs in communities and to assist in responding rapidly to disasters and public health emergencies in their communities. Since then, the network has grown; originally supporting 42 units the MRC network now reaches approximately 750 units nationwide including in 48 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.
  • The units are managed locally and are made up of volunteers including medical and public health professionals – including doctors, nurses, EMTs, pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians – as well as other community members without healthcare backgrounds who assist with logistics and administrative tasks.
  • Check out the new Meet Our MRC Network page to find out how just a few of these volunteers are serving their communities. ​