WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Public health budgets have been declining for many years, leaving many local health departments with limited resources to respond to emergencies in their communities. In the event of an emergency, local health departments rely on volunteers to bolster their ability to respond. To examine the value of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), a public health volunteer organization, The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) released the 2015 Network Profile of the Medical Reserve Corps report.
The MRC is a national network of more than 200,000 local volunteers dedicated to the safety, preparedness, and health of their communities. The MRC was created after the September 11, 2001 attacks identified a need for an organized volunteer network to assist first responders in the event of an emergency.
Now in its second decade, the MRC network's reach and impact have grown tremendously. The Network Profile shows the immense contribution MRC units make to their communities. For example, data from the report shows nearly 80 percent of units have the capability to participate in seasonal flu vaccinations and 85 percent can assist in mass dispensing activities, representing more than 800 communities that are more prepared should a pandemic flu strike the country.
The 2015 Network Profile and its companion pieces underscore what a critical asset an MRC unit can be for a local health department. MRC volunteers provide a necessary resource for local health department staff to fulfill their mission to create a healthier, safer community. Nearly 76 percent of MRC stakeholders surveyed for the Profile strongly agreed that the MRC had enhanced their jurisdictions' public health emergency response.
About the National Association of County and City Health Officials
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation's 2,800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. NACCHO has worked with the MRC Program Office within the Office Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, a federal government agency that oversees the national MRC network, through a cooperative agreement since 2006. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org.
CONTACT: Margaret Pursell (202) 507-4235 firstname.lastname@example.org
Source:National Association of County & City Health Officials