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Cambridge Medical Reserve Corps Seeks Volunteers

November 11, 2006

The Cambridge Public Health Department is seeking volunteers for a regional Medical Reserve Corps that would help out during major emergencies.
Practicing or retired nurses, doctors, pharmacists, physician assistants, dentists, veterinarians, public health workers, allied health professionals, social workers, and interpreters are among those being recruited. People without medical training are also needed for a variety of tasks. Volunteers will receive free training on topics ranging from first aid and CPR to planning for pandemic flu. Many trainings offer continuing education credits for health professionals.
U.S. citizenship is not required to be a Medical Reserve Corps volunteer.
The Region 4b Medical Reserve Corps serves Cambridge and 26 other Boston-area communities including Somerville, Arlington, Watertown, and Brookline.
“After 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, we learned how important it is to identify, train, and credential volunteers before disaster strikes,” said Alison Minkoff, coordinator of the Region 4b Medical Reserve Corps. “Because of this program, we know who our volunteers are and what skills they have.”
Minkoff added that volunteers can also assist with routine public health activities such as flu clinics and health screenings.
“This is a great opportunity for people who want to give back to their community and learn new skills,” said Minkoff. So far, more than 2,000 volunteers have signed up for the Region 4b Medical Reserve Corps.
A free orientation for interested volunteers will be held in Cambridge on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. and again on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 10:00 a.m. at the Windsor Street Health Center in the second floor conference room. The health center is located at 119 Windsor Street between Central and Kendall squares.
General information is also available on the health department's Region 4b Medical Reserve Corps web page.
Medical Reserve Corps, a component of USA Freedom Corps, was created in 2002 to promote volunteerism and service in the United States. As of November, 500 local MRC units had been established nationwide.

Suzy Feinberg, MPH
Public Information Officer

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