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Medical Reserve Corps Now In All 50 States


Thursday, Aug. 31, 2006 - The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), a national network of locally based medical, public health, and other volunteers who help strengthen the public health system of their communities, has reached a new milestone. With the recent registration and approval of the North Dakota Public Health Emergency Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps in Bismarck, N.D., the MRC is now present in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Guam, Palau, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The program is housed in the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General in the Department of Health and Human Services. It began as a demonstration project with 42 communities in July 2002. The following year, an additional 124 communities were added to the project. Since 2003, the program has grown to more than 460 MRC units in communities across the country with over 85,000 volunteers providing medical and public health support. MRC continues to expand its strength and reach as local, state and national officials and response partners recognize the program and its large pool of volunteers as an asset beyond measure.

“The MRC program has exceeded all expectations,” said RADM Kenneth Moritsugu, Acting Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service. “Its growth has been nothing short of extraordinary. Many communities in our nation are now healthier and safer because they have created an MRC unit.”

MRC units are available to respond when disaster strikes their community. By working with preparedness, response, public health, and other partners on an ongoing basis, MRC units become part of the local response mechanisms. MRC volunteers train and exercise their skills to ensure that they can benefit the community when needed.

The MRC is a partner program with Citizen Corps, which is dedicated to hometown security. Citizen Corps, along with national service programs like AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Learn and Serve, and the Peace Corps, works with USA Freedom Corps, an office of the White House charged with building a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility in America. The MRC program is also proud to be a National Preparedness Month Coalition member. (See for more information about National Preparedness Month)

MRC units across the country work to strengthen the public health infrastructure in their communities throughout the year, and respond to public health, natural, and manmade disasters as needed. For more information on the MRC, visit


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