Medical Reserve Corps

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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.

NACCHO in partnership with the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Program Office, Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is pleased to announce the selection of 80 MRC units to receive the 2018 MRC Challenge Award. Over 240 MRC units across the country submitted applications for one of three funding categories, $2,500, $7,500, or $12,500. The tiered funding levels allowed MRC units to select the funding level that met their needs and those of the community they serve.

Download the list of selected 2018 MRC Challenge Award projects.

Through a cooperative agreement with ASPR and the MRC Program, NACCHO has sponsored 468 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.

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:

Sheltering Residents with Substance Dependency - South Hadley / Granby / Northampton MRC

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic - Bureau Putnam MRC

Preventing and Treating Chronic Disease - Richmond City MRC

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, 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 Developing Mission Ready MRC Units - A Resource Guide for MRC Unit Leaders provides background information on the EMAC system and the evolution of MRPs. The guide includes 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.

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 2017 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 spring 2017. View the full report and infographics at

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 on the links below.