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2015 MRC Program Recognition Awards

The Medical Reserve Corps Program presented awards to the following recipients during our special April MRC Well Check Webinar on April 7, 2015.

Community Resilience

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.

  • Dallas County Medical Reserve Corps (TX) had 95 volunteers serve 641 hours in support of Dallas County's Ebola response with an estimated total economic volunteer impact of over $13,000. Volunteer efforts included supporting a call center, creating localized CDC informational materials, attending community outreach training sessions, and canvassing neighborhoods.

  • Hudson Regional Health Commission (NJ) has been supporting Hurricane Sandy related recovery issues in its local community from 2014 and onto 2015 by assisting with community assessments, education, and enhanced training opportunities on recovery issues like mold and healthy homes.

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The Ambassador Award honors MRC units that have successfully carried out activities and initiatives over the past year that meet the Department of Health and Human Services Priorities for Public Health, including improving health literacy, increasing disease prevention, eliminating health disparities, and improving public health preparedness.

  • Jackson County MRC (WV) has started and supported the 5-2-1-0 Get Up & Move Program to decrease obesity in its community. MRC volunteers receive training on reducing obesity rates by encouraging families and creating a culture that values healthy nutrition and active lifestyles. Volunteers participate monthly in implementing activities such as family preparedness, bike safety, Zumba, Yoga, and family nights.

  • Adams County Medical Reserve Corps (IL) supported many public health activities in 2014 such as their “Moovin and Groovin Walking Program” that recorded 48 million steps, Family Fun Friday Nights that were held every Friday for a year, collecting 700 socks for donation to those in need, hosting a health literacy training for the community, establishing a community bike rack, coordinating a Biggest Loser Contest, and supporting a fruit and veggie fair at an elementary school.

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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.

  • Denise Galvin, Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps (MA), has been a MRC volunteer since 2005 and has supported responses for Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Earl, Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Sandy, Blizzard NEMO, and Winter Storm Juno. During Blizzard NEMO, she came to the shelters after her day coronary care catheter lab job with only a few hours of sleep to support shelters from 11pm to the morning for 4 days in a row.

  • Dr. Karen Woncik, Snohomish County Medical Reserve Corps (WA), volunteered over 130 hours in response to the SR 530 slide that hit in March 2014 near Oso, Washington. She assisted with an emergency call center and then later supported the medical needs of the Sauk-Suiattle Tribal Clinic, which was isolated by the slide. She had to drive into the next county making a one-way trip of nearly 100 miles from her home to get to the clinic, which she did on two separate occasions staying for a few days at a time.

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Outstanding MRC Public Health Volunteer

The Outstanding MRC Public Health Volunteer 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.

  • Luke Esquibel, Albuquerque-University of New Mexico Medical Reserve Corps (NM), is the volunteer unit leader of the Albuquerque University of New Mexico MRC (NM). He voluntarily dedicates hundreds of hours each year to manage and coordinate 400 volunteers. Luke has led the MRC to conduct between 5,000-6,000 flu vaccinations and childhood immunizations each year with drive through shot clinics. He is actively involved in working with youth to teach them how pandemics are spread, through his Zombie Apocalypse Game. He has also taught and certified hundreds in CPR and proper hygiene. This past year, he ensured first aid assistance for 9 activities, including the Bataan Memorial Death March that involves over 7,200 participants.

  • Hilary Ho Sang, Virginia Beach Medical Reserve Corps (VA) is a retired nurse who has been a MRC volunteer since 2010. She has supported numerous health fairs and flu clinics in the community and provided free flu shots, blood pressure screenings, and education to underserved populations. Hilary has also served on medical teams at local marathons and supported WIC at the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health’s outreach events. In addition, she has become an instructor so the unit could offer Psychological First Aid Training to volunteers.

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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.

  • Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency has advocated on behalf of the Cumberland County Maine MRC by designating it a special response team under the Maine EMA umbrella, which has allowed for workers compensation and liability coverage for the unit. Their efforts to help the MRC address its legal and logistical barriers has allowed for the MRC to be more resilient and respond in times of need.

  • Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County has played a major role in the success of the Miami-Dade County MRC. They have provided financial, communications, and legal guidance, as well as human resources and personnel support. Some examples are the legal department assisting with contract writing for grants, the public information officer drafting and releasing news to the public, and the human resources department reviewing volunteer background checks for the MRC.

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Outstanding MRC Partner Organization (or Partnership)

The Outstanding MRC Partner Organization (or Partnership) 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.

  • AmeriCares is a nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization that delivers medicines, medical supplies, and aid to people in need around the world and across the U.S. The organization has been a longtime supporter of Region VI MRC units having supported Oklahoma MRC units with their response to tornados, inviting Texas MRC volunteers and the Regional MRC Coordinator to attend a training workshop, and supporting Charitable Clinics in Arkansas that have recently become MRCs. The organization has worked to establish partnerships with MRCs before disasters to allow for faster distribution of materials in the event of a disaster.

  • Greenbrier East High School HOSA's Krystal Hughes & Abundance Hunt have partnered with the Greenbrier Valley MRC (WV) on many activities to improve the health and safety of the local community. Some of their activities include distributing bags to be used as home emergency kits and checklists to parents at a safe trick-or-treating event, assisting with the leading of a walking event during the MRC’s community get fit campaign, participating in CPR and Shelter Training, and representing their HOSA chapter and the MRC at past state and national level HOSA competitions.

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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.

  • Onate High School Jr MRC (NM) is comprised of all student volunteers that came up with the idea to create multiple age appropriate curricula for elementary students on the topic of emergency preparedness. The first program implemented this year was on fire safety that the students presented to 83 4th graders. The program included a variety of stations for the children to learn and run through, which was met with great success and is now a permanent part of the program.

  • Medical Reserve Corps of Hennepin County (MN) serves a population of 1.2 million which also includes several large ethnic cultures, one of which is the largest Liberian population outside of West Africa. In early 2014, the MRC had begun to form Cultural Service Units (CSU) that was more culturally representative of certain geographical regions in the Metro area so that they could be trained and utilized in their communities bridge gaps in communication. Last fall, a CSU was particularly instrumental in assisting the county and state health departments disseminate needed information to the Liberian population during the #Ebola crisis. CSU volunteers were also integral to mitigating rumors and decreasing stigma about Ebola by providing their communities with accurate health information.

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The Mentor Award honors MRC units 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.

  • Medical Reserve Corps of El Paso (CO) and unit leader Frankie Gales are always willing to help fellow MRC units whether by sharing documents like their MRC Application or extending invitations for units to participate in trainings and exercises. The MRC of El Paso County secured grant dollars to purchase over 5,000 “I'm not scared when I'm prepared” bags that after distributing in her area were then shared with MRCs in surrounding areas.

  • Public Health Reserve Corps of Seattle/King County (WA) led by Dave Nichols mentors several Washington MRC units, providing guidance for new unit leaders and ongoing support to existing unit leaders. He is always thinking of nearby unit leaders, leveraging resources through inclusion in trainings and exercises. Dave is a key contributor to State and Regional MRC workshops, often serving as a presenter. Dave is also usually the first to respond to requests for information on the MRC listserv, sharing great advice and resources.

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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.

  • New Orleans Medical Reserve Corps (LA) unit's photo shows a MRC member helping to lift and transport a patient on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras 2015. The MRC worked in conjunction with New Orleans EMS to run two first aid stations during the most hectic days of the celebrations.

  • Upper Merrimack Valley Medical Reserve Corps (MA) unit's photo shows MRC volunteer Gail Johnson, RN demonstrating the use of an AED to Town of Westford residents. This was the first time the MRC was empowered and able to provide this training to the general public and at no cost.

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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.

  • Paula Martel is the now retired MRC Coordinator for the Medical Reserve Corps of Southern Nevada. As an exemplary member of the MRC network, Paula 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. She has also strengthened relations with other organizations, built awareness of the MRC brand, and provided constant and consistent support to the MRC Network.

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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.

  • National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH) has played a significant role in helping to raise awareness of the MRC, as well as strengthened, updated, and informed the MRC core competencies, engaged and emboldened the importance of youth engagement in volunteerism and preparedness, and supported work in relation to the NHSS and Implementation Plan.

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9/10/2015 10:21:18 AM