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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
February 16, 2006

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Tom Slater
609-984-7160


 
New Jersey announces creation of Medical Reserve Corps in all 21 counties


 

 

 

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) announced today that a Medical Reserve Corp (MRC) volunteer unit has been established in each of the 21 counties throughout the state.

 

The New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps units serve as a comprehensive clearinghouse for registering, training and utilizing citizen volunteers in preparation and response to public health emergencies in New Jersey.

 

“We know from experience that volunteers are a vital part of our emergency preparedness response,” said Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D., Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. “I am pleased that New Jersey has a strong statewide network of volunteers who will continue to help us prepare for public health emergencies, both state and local.”

 

Currently, there are 25 New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps units established and registered with the national Medical Reserve Corps program office. Twenty-two were created out of the Local Information Network Information and Communications Systems (LINCS) agencies. Three local MRC units have been established in Manalapan, Harrison and Bayonne.

 

Nearly 1,000 volunteers have enrolled in their county or local program. The NJMRC was created under the auspices of the New Jersey Citizens Corps program, a federally organized program that is designed to strengthen our state’s overall homeland security activities.

The goal of the NJMRC program is to identify and register individuals with a broad range of skills in medicine, public health and other support areas that are willing to serve and volunteer their time and expertise in their county, city or municipality in the event of a public health emergency. The New Jersey MRC program is comprised of volunteer physicians, nurses, pharmacists and others with a broad range of skills in medicine, public health or other support fields such as data entry, security and hospitality services who could respond to any public health emergency.

Volunteers may be called on during a public health emergency to perform a variety of functions needed to protect the health of New Jersey citizens, including staffing vaccination and antibiotic dispensing clinics, shelters and evacuation centers and providing emergency care.

The volunteers have been actively involved with educational and training opportunities, community exercises and drills, assisting with public health preventative activities and supporting those in need. Also, several hundred MRC volunteers from New Jersey were deployed and supported the Hurricane Katrina response and recovery efforts in the Gulf Region.

 

Individuals interested in enrolling in the NJ MRC can visit www.njmrc.nj.gov. Select the MRC unit you would like to join. People without computer access should contact their county or local health department for an application.

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