Medical Reserve Corps needs help

Published 9:00 pm Monday, April 1, 2013

To the editor:

Have you ever thought about the different ways that physical, physiological, emotional and mental health affects everything you and those around you do? Have you wondered how one person could make a difference by taking action in his or her community regarding public health preparedness and response?

There is one sure way to make an impact in your community — get involved.

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As we celebrate National Public Health Week this week, the Medical Reserve Corps would like to invite the citizens of Suffolk to come together in supporting public health in their community. During the past year, our local communities have benefited from volunteer support through the Virginia Department of Health Medical Reserve Corps program.

Medical Reserve Corps volunteers have supported a wide variety of activities, such as responding to natural disasters, giving vaccinations at seasonal flu clinics, organizing rabies clinics, participating in community health fairs, administering blood pressure screenings to the underserved and providing medical services to the homeless and precariously housed.

By taking advantage of their collective power, Medical Reserve Corps volunteers have been actively involved in protecting the health of Virginians since 2003.

The Medical Reserve Corps helps to strengthen communities by establishing a system for both medical and non-medical volunteers to offer their expertise throughout the year and to support public health professionals during times of need. In an emergency, volunteers with a wide variety of skills are needed to assist with the public health response and recovery.

The Medical Reserve Corps continues to grow and actively engage with emergency response and public health needs in our communities. Currently in Virginia, there are more than 10,000 volunteers serving in 31 units. Of those totals, there are 1,768 volunteers serving eight units in Hampton Roads.

We encourage Suffolk residents to take action by becoming Medical Reserve Corps volunteers.

To learn more about how you can make an impact and get involved, please visit


Jim Steil

Western Tidewater Medical Reserve Corps Coordinator