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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
August 05, 2005

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Donna Leusner
609-984-7160


 
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SENIOR SERVICES LAUNCHES NJ MEDICAL RESERVE CORPS


 

 

Recognizing the need to recruit and coordinate volunteers to assist during a public health emergency, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS), in partnership with state county and local health departments, has launched a statewide program that actively involves citizens in helping our communities and state respond to a terrorism event or natural disaster.

The New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps (NJMRC) will be a resource of volunteer physicians, nurses, pharmacists and others with a broad range of skills in medicine, public health and other support fields such as data entry, security and hospitality services who could respond to any public health emergency.

The program is designed to identify and register individuals who are willing to serve and volunteer their skills, expertise and time within their county, city or municipality during a public health emergency. The NJMRC was created under the auspices of the New Jersey Citizens Corps program, a federally organized program that is designed to strengthen our state’s overall homeland security activities.

“Our preparedness plans are only as strong as our volunteer base,” said Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D., Commissioner of the Department of Health and Senior Services. “Individuals who register for the New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps will be integral members of the collaborative partnerships that exist between our county/local public health agencies and their local offices of emergency management.”

Health care professionals and community volunteers can register for the NJMRC. Any licensed or certified health care professional, practicing or retired, who lives or works in New Jersey, can apply for membership in an MRC. Other residents who have an interest can also apply to the program.

New Jersey counties and municipalities have already established Medical Reserve Corps chapters. Interested individuals can register online at www.njmrc.nj.gov. Select the county or municipality you would like to join. People without computer access should contact their county or local health department for an application.

Volunteers may be called on during a public health emergency to perform a variety of functions needed to protect the health of New Jersey citizens, including staffing vaccination and antibiotic dispensing clinics, shelters and evacuation centers and providing emergency care.

Volunteers will be required to participate in training and education programs which will be established and outlined by the New Jersey DHSS and provided by county and local health agencies.

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