Medical Reserve Corps

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) represents a national network of local groups of volunteers committed to improving the public health, and resiliency of their communities.

NACCHO works in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Medical Reserve Corps Program Office to increase awareness and understanding of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) program; promote, support, and build capacity within the MRC network; enhance cooperation between the MRC Program Office and local/state/federal authorities to support and increase MRC capacities at the local level; and expand the efforts and capabilities of local MRC units to support their community-based public health, preparedness and response initiatives.

The MRC Challenge Awards (eligible only to MRC units) aim to support innovative projects in areas that are aligned with national health initiatives that are also significant at the local level.  Proposals may draw from ASPR’s National Health Security Strategy (NHSS), the six Surgeon General’s Priorities which includes the National Prevention Strategy (NPS), CDC ‘s Winnable Battles, and the strategic plans of other partner organizations. The challenge is for MRC units to address community needs in an innovative way and then share their results with the hope that beneficial practices and initiatives can be replicated nationwide amongst the network of MRC units.

The MRC Challenge Award is a competitive award open to MRC units that meet the eligibility requirements.  MRC units interested in applying can go to  The online application period is from October 31, 2016 to December 9, 2016. 

Prepare now for the 2017 MRC Challenge Award process by reviewing the Request for Application and NACCHO's two information webinars. The first webinar covers the purpose of the MRC Challenge Award and examples of successful challenge projects.  The second webinar provides a deeper dive of the application process and how to successfully submit your project application.  

2017 MRC Challenge Award Request for Application -  Click here to download a copy.

2017 Challenge Award Questions - Click here to download the application questions and maximum word count for each question.

Getting Ready for the MRC Challenge Awards - Click here to view a recording of the first webinar conducted on August 30, 2016 or Download a copy of the webinar slides.

Taking a Deeper Dive on the MRC Challenge Award Application - Click here to view a recording of the webinar conducted on October 11, 2016 or Download a copy of the webinar slides.

Frequently Asked Questions - Click here for help on applying for the 2017 MRC Challenge Award.

See the 2015-2016 MRC Challenge Award recipients and their projects.

See a recent article on Lake County MRC.

Meet the previous NACCHO MRC Challenge Award winners and view videos featuring awardees' project updates.  

Medical Reserve Corps toolkit is a free, online collection of local public health tools produced by members of the public health community and MRC units. Tools within are materials and resources MRC unit leaders and other public health professionals can use to inform and improve their work in the promotion and advancement of the MRC and public health objectives.

Mission Ready Packages (MRPs) are a specific response and recovery resource capability that is organized, developed, trained, and exercised prior to an emergency or disaster.  The MRP template is a resource tool available for State Emergency Managers as a part of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. 

Although MRPs are intended for state to state mutual aid, the template can be adapted at the local level for MRC units to identify their MRC resource capabilities when collaborating with local emergency planners.  MRC Unit Coordinators can develop an MRP based on their local community response needs and the volunteer capabilities within their unit.  The MRP can be used as a vehicle to train and develop teams for specific response roles and missions.  Read the NACCHO Prep blog "An Ideal Match: Mission Ready Packages and the Medical Reserve Corps" for additional information on how MRC units can adapt MRPs for their local use.

Examples of sample MRPs that could be used by MRC units are available for Medical Support for Shelters and Functional Assistance Teams for Shelter Operations.  NACCHO with support of a team of local and state MRC Coordinators and Emergency Planners are currently developing additional MRPs and training resources.  Look for these additional resources in late 2017.

NACCHO conducted a webinar on MRPs for MRC Unit Leaders in September of 2016.  The webinar provided an overview of MRPs, examples of potential MRPs that MRC units could develop, and how MRPs can be used to build unit capacity and demonstrate capabilities.  You can view a recording or the webinar or download a copy of the slides.

For additional information or to provide a sample of your MRP, please contact us at

NACCHO, in collaboration with the MRC, is pleased to announce that the MRC has adopted the Competencies for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (DMPH Competencies) as the new competency set for the MRC Volunteers.

The DMPH Competency set is designed specifically for disaster and public health preparedness, response, and management. They are widely understood to define the knowledge and skills needed for a healthcare professional and/or first responder to perform a task in a safe and consistent manner.

Learn about the newly adopted Competencies for Disaster Medicine and Public Health for MRC volunteers and resources available to implement a training plan.

See the self-paced learning modules created for MRC units around the Factors for Success and Core Competencies.

The 2015 Network Profile of the Medical Reserve Corps report provides a comprehensive look at MRC unit composition, administration, and community impact, collected from a comprehensive survey administered in 2014. View the report or, if you would like to purchase a printed copy, please contact the NACCHO MRC Team.

Download infographics and from the 2015 Network Profile for use in your MRC unit's publications, on your unit's website, and more! These images are also perfect for sharing on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

The following infographic are available for download:

Download new infosnapshots from the 2015 Network Profile for use in your MRC unit's publications, on your unit's website, and more! These mini-infographics are perfect for sharing on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

The following infosnapshots are available for download:

MRC: In Touch is the monthly MRC e-newsletter. Each edition features unit activities, resources, announcements, and a calendar of events.  All volunteers are eligible to sign up to receive the monthly e-newsletter via the MRC one-way and two-way ListServs.

View back issues of MRC In Touch (July 2013-present).

To read archived issues of In Touch (August 2008 – June 2013), click here.

NACCHO has launched MRC Connect, the first social media application for the MRC network. MRC Connect enhances and simplifies information sharing about public health preparedness and emergency response best practices among 1,000 MRC unit leaders. Register for the web version at, and download the mobile application in the Apple iTunes Store or Google Play Market by searching for "MRC Connect."

View a recording of a webinar providing a demonstration of the system and access the transcript from the webinar

NACCHO in collaboration with the MRC Program office conducted a one day workshop prior to the 2016 Preparedness Summit for MRC Unit Leadership.  

The workshop was designed to provide MRC Unit Leadership with tools and resources to effectively manage and grow their MRC Unit, learn through best practices, and network with other MRC units.

Resources from the workshop include Volunteer Management 101, Emergency Law Inventory Tool, an update from the MRC Program Office, and presentations from 4 Challenge Award recipients.