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Dated 09/08/2004

County Health Department
Looking for Volunteers

DATED: Wednesday, September 08, 2004
CONTACT: Hunterdon County Health Department 908-788-1351
CONTACT PERSON: Carl Rachel, Risk Communications & Public Information Officer
EMAIL: crachel@co.hunterdon.nj.us

County residents and licensed medical professionals are needed to serve on the Medical Reserve Corps for Hunterdon County. The "MRC" is a response team to be launched this week to help the Hunterdon County Department of Health during public health emergencies right here in the county.

Volunteers - both medically trained and non-medical support staff - are sought to assist and support essential personnel and first-response professionals and facilities should a large-scale local public health emergency occur. Events such as an influenza epidemic, smallpox outbreak, terrorist attack, chemical spill or natural disaster could require MRC volunteers to help manage mass clinics serving county residents with vaccinations or medical treatment. Medically trained volunteers - both active and retired - can be any New Jersey licensed physician, nurse, nurse practitioner, or pharmacist. This group will help with health screenings, vaccinations, medication distribution, health education and counseling. Non-medical support staff includes community residents committed to offering their help during a crisis, especially with the vital tasks of directing clinic goers, registration, distributing and collecting forms, data entry, and providing translation services.

Training programs will be provided for all volunteers.

"The MRC is an idea that emerged from national bioterrorism preparedness planning efforts," explained John Beckley, Hunterdon County health officer and director of the health department. "It's a logical 'next step' that's happening here in New Jersey and across the U.S." The New Jersey Deparment of Health and Senior Services will soon publicize MRC efforts in motion around the state.

"By establishing an MRC at the county level, we're able to 'deputize' our residents and our medical professionals both active and retired to augment the county health department staff whenever needed. We're looking specifically for volunteers who can truly be counted on in mass public health emergencies. This is an opportunity for both our medically trained and our resident population to do a valuable community service right here at home."

For more information about how you can apply to be a member of the Hunterdon County Medical Reserve Corps or to schedule a presentation about the MRC for company groups and civic organizations, send email to hunterdonMRC@co.hunterdon.nj.us, visit the MRC Website at www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/health/mrc.htm or contact Stephanie Brown at 908-806-5553.


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