ERAC - Medical Reserve Corps

The mission of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is to improve the health and safety of communities across the country by organizing and utilizing public health, medical, and other volunteers.

The MRC was founded after President Bush's 2002 State of the Union Address, in which he asked all Americans to volunteer in support of their country. It is a partner program with Citizen Corps, a national network of volunteers dedicated to ensuring hometown security. Citizen Corps, along with AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and the Peace Corps are part of the President's USA Freedom Corps, which promotes volunteerism and service nationwide.

MRC units are community-based and function as a way to locally organize and utilize volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and promote healthy living throughout the year. MRC volunteers supplement existing emergency and public health resources.

MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians, and epidemiologists. Many community members - interpreters, chaplains, office workers, legal advisors, and others - can fill key support positions.

MRC units are provided specific areas to target and strengthen the public health infrastructure of their communities by the U.S. Surgeon General. These are outlined priorities for the health of individuals, and the nation as a whole, which also serve as a guide to the MRC. The overarching goal is to improve health literacy and in support of this, he wants us to work toward increasing disease prevention, eliminating health disparities, and improving public health preparedness.

MRC volunteers can choose to support communities in need nationwide. When the southeast was battered by hurricanes in 2004, MRC volunteers in the affected areas and beyond helped communities by filing in at local hospitals, assisting their neighbors at local shelters, and providing first aid to those injured by the storms. During this two-month period, more than 30 MRC units worked as part of the relief efforts, including those whose volunteers were called in from across the country to assist the American Red Cross (ARC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

During the 2005 Hurricane Season, MRC members provided support for ARC health services, mental health, and shelter operations. MRC members also supported the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) response and recovery efforts by staffing special needs shelters, Community Health Centers, and health clinics and assisting health assessment teams in the Gulf Coast region. More than 1,500 MRC members were willing to deploy outside their local jurisdiction on optional missions to the disaster-affected areas with their state agencies, the ARC and HHS. Of these, almost 200 volunteers from 25 MRC units were activated by HHS, and more than 400 volunteers from more than 80 local MRC units were activated to support ARC disaster operations in Gulf Coast areas.

By becoming part of the ERAC MRC, you will enhance ERAC SMAT in its mission. ERAC State Medical Assistance Team (SMAT) is one of eight regional SMAT teams across North Carolina. Each SMAT program is registered as a regional MRC providing each team a pool of volunteer personnel to respond to disaster and community events across NC and as requested by North Carolina Emergency Management. ERAC SMAT regional MRC unit covers 29 counties in eastern North Carolina.

For more information about joining the ERAC MRC, please contact Kiplan Clemmons or Diane Dixon at 252-847-7483 or smat2vol@vidanthealth.com.