The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a community-based, civilian, volunteer program that helps build the public health infrastructure of communities nationwide. Each MRC unit is organized and trained to address a wide range of challenges from public health education to disaster response.

The Medical Reserve Corps Program Office is the national office of the MRC and is housed within the Readiness Division, Office of Emergency Management and Medical Operations, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It supports the MRC network by providing technical assistance, coordination, communications, strategy and policy development, grants and contract oversight, training, and other associated services.

The MRC network comprises more than 200,000 volunteers in roughly 800 community-based units located throughout the United States and its territories. There are 10 MRC regions and 10 regional liaisons across the United States and its territories.

MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals as well as other community members without healthcare backgrounds who want to improve the health and safety of their communities.

Why the MRC?

The need for the MRC became apparent after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when medical and public health professionals, eager to volunteer in support of emergency relief activities, found that there was no organized approach to channel their efforts. As a result, the MRC was established to provide a way to recruit, train, and activate medical and public health professionals and other volunteers to respond to community health needs during disasters and other public health emergencies.

MRC Activities

Examples of activities that MRC volunteers participate in and support include the following:

  • Promoting disease prevention
  • Improving health literacy
  • Eliminating health disparities
  • Enhancing public health preparedness
  • Assist local health departments in times of need
  • Participate in mass prophylaxis and vaccination exercises and community disaster drills
  • Train with local emergency response partners
  • Search and rescue operations
  • Veterinary care
  • Disaster clean-up and recovery support
  • And more...

Local MRC

Volunteers welcomed

The Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center welcomes volunteers who can serve during local health emergencies and/or assist with local public health needs throughout the year. Volunteers can choose to serve solely during emergencies, or they may offer their time for both emergencies and non-emergencies, i.e. flu clinics, health fairs and other community events.

Join the Cape Girardeau County MRC Unit to help strengthen the local public health infrastructure and improve local emergency preparedness.

To volunteer, start with the Missouri Volunteer Registry by registering with Show Me Response.

Show Me Response

For more information, please contact Jane Wernsman/Linda Doerge at (573) 335-7846 for the Cape Girardeau County MRC, or Juanita Welker/Kevin Cooper at (573) 238-2817 for the Bollinger County MRC.