The Medical Reserve Corps Program presented awards to the following recipients during our special April MRC Well Check Webinar on April 12, 2016.
The Community Resilience Award honors MRC units that have demonstrated contributions to resilience at the community level in their daily unit operations or through involvement in activities or events.
- NYC MRC conducted 126 events in 2015. The unit had 1,615 volunteers provide over 5,800 hours of service. They participated in 55 public health outreach events, which took place in all five boroughs of New York City. They also provided 39 trainings and their volunteers provided over 1,100 hours of service in exercises and drills. Through their many initiatives, the NYC MRC strengthened the resilience of their community through prevention, education, and volunteer preparedness.
- Livingston County MRC (MI) volunteers have performed various roles, such as nurses for blood draws, and support staff at lead testing clinics for the Flint Response. With Michigan’s new immunization waiver education program and educational requirement for Michigan parents opting out of getting their children vaccinated, the MRC stepped in to support the local health department requirements. MRC volunteers supported the seasonal vaccination effort by providing waiver education, parent consultations, phone bank calls, and scheduling appointments. By advocating, educating, and providing vaccination services to the residents in their community, they have undoubtedly made it more resilient.
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The Champion Award honors MRC units that have successfully carried out activities and initiatives over the past year that strengthens public health in their local communities. These activities and initiatives may include increasing disease prevention, eliminating health disparities, and improving public health preparedness.
- Southwest Virginia MRC in 2011 responded to increased numbers of prescription drug addiction in their jurisdiction by beginning to hold “Drug Take Back Days”. In the fall of 2015, during a one-day event, 55 volunteers worked over 183 hours in 14 different locations throughout their region to collect over 3,600 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter medications for disposal.
- Rhode Island MRC was activated by the State Department of Health to provide vaccination resources in response to cases of meningitis B on the campus of Providence College. The MRC enacted its emergency response plan and - in a short amount of time - scheduled 95 volunteers, vaccinating 3,060 students, and volunteered more than 600 hours. This was a tremendous initiative, which showed great partnership, a commitment to public health and the strength of their MRC as a team.
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Outstanding MRC Responder
The Outstanding MRC Responder Award honors MRC volunteers who have played an instrumental role in responding to a disaster or public health emergency on behalf of their MRC during the past year.
- Holley Rose is a volunteer with the Ripley County MRC (IN). During the HIV outbreak in 2015 among injection drug users in southern Indiana, Ms. Rose served as the Volunteer Coordinator in the Operations Branch of Incident Command. In this role, she worked with volunteers from more than a dozen MRC units within the state. She was an almost constant presence in the Community Outreach Center, ensuring adequate coverage by the volunteers and filling in wherever she was needed. She also worked with the needle exchange program operated by the Scott County Health Department. As the first legal Needle Exchange Program in the state, a great deal of effort went into establishing and maintaining this program in a short amount of time. While the work of each volunteer was appreciated, Holley’s work stood out as a shining example.
- Yolanda "Lonnie" Cronin, has been a volunteer nurse with the Contra Costa County MRC (CA) since 2010. This year, she went above and beyond her normal participation level, when the unit responded to the Valley Fire in Napa and Lake Counties in California.She was among the first MRC volunteers to respond. She provided more than 60 hours of service over ten days. Part of the unit operations was to provide an overnight BLS team for the evacuation encampment, and to support the Red Cross shelter with medical care. Lonni volunteered for the first shift. During this shift, she was the only RN on hand for more than 600 individuals. She offered more than medical assistance, by performing well checks, bathroom and shower assistance, and emotional support to the evacuees. She also helped the coordinator with clinic operations, scheduling, and equipment inventory. When operations changed, she was instrumental in the transition to Lake County. She co-staffed the medical clinic with Marin County MRC volunteers to ensure a smooth transition between units. Her dedication was not only to the evacuees, but to her team as well, offering her home to her teammates so they would not have to make the long commute home.
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Outstanding MRC Public Health Volunteer
The Outstanding MRC Public Health Volunteer Award honors MRC volunteers who have been actively engaged in carrying out public health activities (or a specific public health initiative) with their MRC during the past year.
- Martha "Lou" Murphy volunteered over 220 hours with the Scott County MRC (MN) in 2015. She is a true advocate of volunteers having spoken several times to the County Board of Commissioners on behalf of volunteers in Scott County. Lou volunteers at the Scott County Mobile Clinic twice a month, and is responsible for greeting residents seeking services and managing the flow of those waiting for the next available nurse. Lou’s most valued contribution is her ability to make people seeking services feel comfortable at a time when they are often struggling in many areas of their life. She also volunteers several times a month at the health department's immunization clinics.
- Patricia Andring, Livingston County MRC (MI), has been a dedicated and generous MRC volunteer since the unit was founded in 2006. She is often the first in line to help improve public health, including H1N1 and the Flint Water Crisis. She is an active volunteer leader with established community support groups such as the Immunization Waiver Support Team. She also represents the MRC on the County Emergency Preparedness Steering Committee, consisting of preparedness partners working together to ensure preparedness and response efforts for the county and to collaborate on strategies for future preparedness and wellness initiatives.
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Outstanding MRC Housing Organization
The Outstanding MRC Housing Organization Award honors MRC Housing Organizations that have served as an exemplary host agency to their MRC and have successfully supported, advocated on behalf, and helped integrate the MRC into their local community’s public health and preparedness infrastructure.
- Minnesota Department of Health has fully integrated the Minnesota Behavioral Health MRC into the local and state-wide public health, healthcare system, and emergency management preparedness, response, and recovery infrastructure. The Minnesota Department of Health has made sure the MRC is listed in the Minnesota State Emergency Operations Plan as the state level behavioral health service provider and incorporates the units in its activities and initiatives.
- Manalapan Township Board of Health (NJ) is an exemplary supporter of the Manalapan MRC/CERT unit development as well as an equal partner in MRC activity. Recognizing the value and potential of the MRC program, the Manalapan Township Board of Health supports MRC efforts such as CPR classes for the public, rabies clinics/pet license reminders, and the township's annual summer National Night Out Against Crime.
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Outstanding MRC Partner
The Outstanding MRC Partner Award honors MRC Partner Organizations (or Partnerships) that have helped support an MRC in carrying out its local mission and have provided the MRC with more opportunities to participate in public health, preparedness, and response activities. The exemplary partner has played a role in helping to raise MRC awareness and foster MRC integration into their local community’s public health and preparedness infrastructure.
- St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Nampa, Idaho has been a staunch supporter of the innovative Southwest Idaho MRC’s ReadyKamp program for two years. ReadyKamp is a 3 night, 4 day preparedness camp for middle school kids in which the FEMA Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) curriculum is delivered. St. Alphonsus has provided or paid for: graphic design of the recruitment brochures, food and beverages, advertising, instructor staff time, and also provided each camper with a complete CERT response kit that includes a backpack, helmet, gloves, goggles, duct tape, flashlight, personal hygiene kit, CERT vest, leatherman tool, and more. As a result of the ReadyKamp program, the Southwest Idaho MRC now has over 70 CERT certified youth, actively working to assist during emergencies. Thanks to this partnership, youth are becoming engaged and better prepared.
- Burlington County Office of Emergency Management (BCOEM) in New Jersey has supported the Burlington County MRC and Citizens Corps Program as a whole, since their inceptions. A prime example of the BCOEM’s support occurred last September when Burlington County provided volunteer support to Camden, NJ during the Papal Visit to Philadelphia. This was the MRC’s first overnight out-of-jurisdiction deployment. With the help and expertise of BCOEM in acquiring consolidated sleeping and dining accommodations and arranging transportation to-and-from Camden, Burlington County MRC was able to successfully deploy a fully self-sustaining unit.
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The Innovator Award honors MRC units that have initiated and carried out a novel and innovative activity over the past year that have helped build on MRC unit and housing organization efforts, engaged unit volunteers in the process, and contributed to strengthening the community’s public health, preparedness, or response system.
- Colorado Acupuncture MRC was deployed for six days at the Community Crisis Recovery Center following a shooting in late November 2015, and they utilized their unique skills to bring near-immediate relief to first responders, their families, volunteers, and community members. Volunteers provided over 200 acupuncture treatments. Approximately 25% of those treated returned for more than one treatment over the course of the deployment. Many of the first responders and community members stated that the night after their treatment was the first time they were able to sleep in days. Also, many reported that headaches and bad dreams stopped, and overall they felt better about themselves were able to process and begin healing.
- Oklahoma Region 7 – Tulsa County MRC has evolved beyond disaster relief to become involved in long term, hands-on, sustainable community projects geared to capacity building, improving local infrastructures and improving public health. They have accomplished that with a Community Garden, which they manage and use to educate members of their community on nutrition. Their bounty of produce provided the local food bank, homeless shelter and low-income senior centers with over 200 pounds of fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs.
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The Mentor Award honors MRC leaders that have successfully collaborated with other members of the MRC network over the past year to share practices, participate in activities, and carry out initiatives that have strengthened individual and collective groups of MRC units.
- Katherine McCormack serves as leader of the Capital Region MRC (CT), as well as a liaison to the State Coordinator on behalf of the 23 MRC units in Connecticut. She goes above and beyond in all aspects, including coordination of a statewide MRC leadership day; work with Connecticut HOSA-Future Health Professionals leaders for the incorporation of youth volunteers into local MRC units; partnership with Boston and Hartford marathon leaders to include MRC leaders in future events in both locations; and partnerships with Cigna Insurance Company and Eversource Power Company to advance educational and funding opportunities for volunteers. Through her leadership, she not only represents MRC units well, but also helps them to grow and sustain their programs.
- Loren Stein is the coordinator of the Oklahoma MRC Nurses. Ms. Stein became the Oklahoma MRC Education coordinator in 2007. In that role, she works with the 37 nationally recognized units across the state to coordinate training for volunteers throughout the year. As unit coordinator of the Oklahoma MRC Nurses - the statewide Oklahoma Nurses Association unit - she leads over 1,100 nurse members. In addition, she has mentored the MRC Program office staff as they implemented the revised MRC Core Competencies over the past year.
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The MRC Youth Engagement Award honors MRC units that have successfully promoted the utilization of youth (age 14 to 23) in their local mission and has provided young people with opportunities to participate in public health, preparedness, or response activities. The exemplary youth engagement program will have played a role in raising awareness and education about health, response, and resilience related subjects to youth in the community by incorporating young people in unit programs, activities, and initiatives.
- For over three years, the West Tennessee MRC has partnered with the Covington High School HOSA to disseminate information about public health initiatives and promote emergency preparedness in the community. In 2015 alone, the partnership lead to the hosting of a blood drive at the high school, an alcohol awareness program during the September 11 football game, and a recruitment effort leading to 22 new MRC members. Additionally, the HOSA and MRC volunteers worked with the local fire department to educate the community on locking up prescription drugs, handing out free smoke alarms, and promote the wearing of seatbelts.
- Despite the challenges that can come with working with students, including high turnover of membership each year, the Maquoketa High School HOSA MRC unit is always engaging in a variety of interesting unit activities. The unit regularly engages in public health activities, such as regular CPR/First Aid training and blood pressure clinics, but also engages in emergency preparedness by serving as "victims" in a full-scale exercise or educating themselves on the Ebola outbreak. They provide a local face for the MRC by going out in the community and engaging with a variety of partners.
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MRC Picture of the Year
The MRC Picture of the Year highlights photographs of MRC volunteers in action at public health, response, training, or other events. The words Medical Reserve Corps or the MRC logo should be clearly visible and displayed correctly.
- The photo depicts the LaSalle County MRC (IL) coordinator, Bethanie Albrecht, demonstrating to one of the LaSalle County Sheriff's Office deputies how to use nasal naloxone as part of the LaSalle County Naloxone Program. The sheriff's office has all personnel involved with patrols, investigations, and administration trained in the use of this overdose medication.
- The photo is from the Mount Prospect Medical Reserve Corps (IL) training on February 11, 2016 on the creation of durable, reusable silicon moulage. The unit wanted to be able to drill without having to spend hours in advance getting "made up," for mass casualty drills with a variety of wound types, burns, impalements, and embedded debris. Therefore, wounds were created with layered silicon in two ways. The first was to apply the silicone on clothing that could be worn for a drill and secondly on filled nitrile gloves for shape that could then be peeled off and adhered to skin later with a special adhesive. This unique form of moulage developed by the leadership team and the artistic nurses of the Mount Prospect MRC is shown in this great photograph.
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Elizabeth Fitch Memorial Leadership Award
This award was established in memory of Elizabeth Fitch who served as a MRC unit leader, MRC Regional Coordinator in Region 4, and MRC National Technical Assistance Coordinator. This award recognizes individuals who exemplify the outstanding passion, commitment and spirit of volunteerism, partnership, and leadership that Elizabeth embodied and inspired in others.
- Dave Nichols, Public Health Reserve Corps of Seattle-King County MRC (WA) leader, is an exemplary leader of the MRC network. Mr. Nichols has played a significant role in helping to raise MRC awareness and foster MRC integration into the state and local public health and preparedness infrastructure, as well as strengthen relationships with other organizations, build awareness of the MRC brand, and provide constant and consistent support to the MRC network. We are grateful for his leadership with the MRC and the valuable assistance and resources provided over the years through listserv messages and mentoring of many new unit leaders.
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National Partner Award
The National Partner Award honors those that supported MRC units in carrying out their local missions and have provided MRC units with more opportunities to participate in public health, preparedness, and response activities.
- Disaster Distress Hotline is an exemplary partner in our mission and endeavors. They have played a significant role in helping to raise the MRC network’s awareness of the impact that disasters can have on behavioral health. The information they have provided strengthens the MRC network. The MRC Program is grateful for their willingness to collaborate and offer expertise with the MRC network, and for the tremendous assistance and resources provided.
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