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.

Through a cooperative agreement with ASPR and the MRC Program, NACCHO has sponsored 388 MRC Challenge Awards since 2013. The Challenge Awards aim to support innovative projects that are aligned with national health initiatives and provide a significant impact 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 nationally among the network of MRC units.

NACCHO is pleased to announce the Request for Applications for the 2018 MRC Challenge Awards.  Eligible MRC units may apply here between November 13 and December 11, 2017.

MRC Challenge Awards offer an insight into the MRC unit, it's capabilities to support their local community, and the impact of MRC volunteers across the country.  NACCHO is proud to share some of the MRC Challenge Award stories through the MRC InTouch newsletter, NACCHO's Preparedness Brief, and the 2017 Summer edition of NACCHO Exchange.  

Download the 2017 MRC Challenge Award Projects.

Featured 2016 MRC Challenge Award Projects:

Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program - Siouxland District Health Department MRC of Woodbury County, Iowa

Prescribe for Health- Greater Monadnock, New Hampshire Medical Reserve Corps

Mass Fatality Training - LeFlore County, Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps

Enhancing Community Collaboration & Coalition - King County MRC

See a recent article on Lake County MRC.

See all of the 2015-2016 MRC Challenge Award recipients and their project names.

Meet 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.

NACCHO is excited to launch the initial cohort of The Bob Cohen MRC Mentorship Program in September of 2017.  This initiative between NACCHO, the MRC Program, and members of NACCHO’s MRC Advisory Group, is designed to support new MRC Unit Leaders, with less than two years of experience seeking guidance, through a collaborative and supportive environment by building mentorship relationships with experienced Unit Leaders, overcoming potential challenges, and sharing resources and successes among the MRC network.

The goal of the Bob Cohen MRC Mentorship Program is to provide participants with a unique opportunity to build a one-on-one mentorship relationship with an experienced MRC Unit Leader, and network among other experienced professionals to overcome potential challenges. This program additionally provides participants with MRC related resources, guidance, and useful tools to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully manage an MRC unit.

To further expand the reach of The Bob Cohen Mentorship Program, NACCHO will share resources and tools developed or identified through the program with the MRC Network through the MRC listserv, the MRC InTouch Newsletter and the NACCHO MRC Webpage. Please see the The Bob Cohen Mentorship Program Handbook for a general overview of the program.


For any questions about the Bob Cohen MRC Mentorship Program, please contact us at mrc@naccho.org.

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.

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.

The Mission Ready Packages Resource Guide for MRC Unit Leaders provides background information on the evolution of MRPs, examples of emergency response activities that MRC units support, developing MRPs to fit local response needs, and examples of MRPs for MRC units.   The MRP Resource Guide is available for download below and can also be found in NACCHO's Toolbox.  You can search by title or select MRC toolkit from the drop down menu.

In addition, an overview of MRPs is available in an eLearning option through NACCHO University.  You can access the MRP eLearning here.


For additional information or to provide a sample of your MRP, please contact us at mrc@naccho.org.

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

NACCHO has developed resources to assist MRC Unit Leaders and Stakeholders with their communication and messaging strategies.  The NACCHO MRC Strategic Messaging Guide provides a roadmap for MRC units as they conduct community outreach and media interviews.  It touches on the history of the MRC and shares some of the facts and figures behind this extraordinary organization.

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 in collaboration with the MRC Program office conducted a one day workshop prior to the 2017 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 Adaptive Leadership, Communications, Social Media strategies, and Advocacy.