Medical Reserve Corps Holds Annual Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 16, 2007

The fifth annual Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) National Leadership and Training Conference, hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be held in Providence, R.I. on April 17–21, 2007.

More than 500 MRC leaders from across the country will attend the conference, designed to better equip MRC units with the tools they need to effectively start and sustain their unit through partnerships.

“The upcoming MRC National Leadership and Training Conference is a great service to the local leaders of this organization. Not only will they gain greater knowledge and a better understanding of public health and emergency preparedness issues, but they will also share best practices and lessons learned with their colleagues,” said Rear Admiral Kenneth Moritsugu, M.D., M.P.H, acting surgeon general.

The agenda includes presentations from several government officials, including the Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral John O. Agwunobi, M.D., M.P.H; Dr. Moritsugu; and Rajeev Venkayya, M.D., special assistant to the president for biological defense policy. Also participating in this are experts in sustainability and training, building partnerships, and public and disaster behavioral health.

Paula Martel, program coordinator of the Southern Nevada Health District’s MRC will attend this year’s conference.

“This is an event I look forward to attending each year. It’s a great opportunity to connect with other MRC coordinators to share our successes and lessons learned. Each year I come back from this conference energized with new ideas to make our volunteer program even better,” said Martel.

Also attending from the Las Vegas MRC unit is veterinarian volunteer Dr. Jon Pennell who will present a session titled Animal Populations During a Disaster.

MRC units are based locally and direct programs comprised of medical, public health, and other civilian volunteers using their specialized skills and training to provide additional surge capacity and response support in their communities during emergencies. Throughout the year, MRC volunteers offer education and prevention services to improve the public health infrastructure of their neighborhoods and communities.

The MRC, Citizen Corps, AmeriCorps, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS), Fire Corps, Senior Corps, and the Peace Corps are program partners within the President’s USA Freedom Corps, which promotes volunteerism and service throughout the United States.

There are approximately 640 MRC units with more than 120,000 volunteers across the nation, strengthening the public health infrastructure in their communities and responding to public health, and natural and man-made disasters. For more information on the Medical Reserve Corps, please visit www.medicalreservecorps.gov.

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