Office on Disability Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers - Conference Call July 17, 2007 2:00-3:00pm

July 5, 2007

Dear Colleagues,


In September 2006, the Office on Disability facilitated an initiative with disability-based national organizations to identify volunteers for the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). The MRC resource is a national system of community based units made up of medical and non-medical professionals for the purpose of reviewing, advising, and directly supporting State Emergency Offices on all aspects of emergency preparedness and response. MRC units are cadres of public health and medical professionals and others who work on public health activities during the year and who can readily be called upon if an emergency strikes a community. Many disability organizations have become involved with this initiative. However, the full potential of volunteer involvement has not been reached. The Office on Disability is asking for all of your support in advancing this very important volunteer program.


To support States in ensuring that the needs of persons with disabilities are addressed in respective emergency preparedness plans and responses, your assistance is needed through your state and local membership organizations to enhance the numbers of volunteers becoming MRC volunteers. Volunteers are civilians, including professionals, advocates, and individuals who are knowledgeable (e.g., family members and persons with disabilities) on the needs of persons with disabilities. Volunteers are members of their local MRC, and help enhance the health and safety of persons with disabilities at times of local emergency. By volunteering ahead of time, MRC volunteers are identified, credentialed, trained, and prepared in advance so they can help immediately in case of disaster. All volunteers are needed to help strengthen the public health infrastructure and improve emergency preparedness; the needs are National in scope but can be addressed by assisting at the local level. The willingness of both new and seasoned volunteers will provide an invaluable service to help ensure that persons with disabilities are given appropriate levels of care.


I have scheduled a conference call for Tuesday, July 17 from 2:00-3:00 pm. The call's purpose is to hear from those of you who have helped enlist your membership in the MRC and to support those of you who require more information to help your membership volunteer. The conference call-in number is: 1-866-704-1652, Pass Code: 385796#.


If you any questions please contact Elena Quattrone or 202-205-4226.



I look forward to hearing from you during the July 17 conference call on this important endeavor.


Best Wishes,

Margaret Giannini, M.D., F.A.A.P
Director, Office on Disability
Health and Human Services