The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), in partnership with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response and Rallyware, a San Francisco-based technology startup, have launched MRC Connect, the first social media application for the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). MRC Connect enhances and simplifies information sharing about public health preparedness and emergency response best practices among 1,000 MRC unit coordinators across the United States and most U.S. territories.
MRC Connect was developed to strengthen the ability of MRC unit coordinators, volunteers, and local health departments to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies including diseases like Ebola and the flu, natural disasters such as hurricanes, and acts of terrorism.
MRC Connect is similar to Facebook and LinkedIn. It has a web component and a mobile application that is now available for download in the Apple iTunes store and in the Google Play market. The application is currently available to 1,000 MRC unit leaders, and future versions will be accessible to more than 200,000 volunteers nationwide as early as 2015.
"The Medical Reserve Corps is a nationwide network of volunteers who serve as a valuable resource in emergency preparedness and response for local health departments and to all people in their communities," said NACCHO Executive Director Robert M. Pestronk. "In this era of declining preparedness funding and decreased local health department staffing levels, MRC Connect is a great tool to strengthen MRC unit coordinators' ability to share best practices, which will ultimately help local health departments fulfill their mission to improve the health and safety of all people in their communities."
About the Medical Reserve Corps
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a national network of more than 200,000 volunteers committed to improving the public health, emergency response, and resiliency of their communities. The MRC is organized into more than 1,000 local units. NACCHO has worked with the Division of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response, a federal government agency that oversees the national MRC network, through a cooperative agreement since 2006. Nearly 70 percent of MRC units are housed within local health departments, many of which have faced severe budget and personnel cuts, and often rely on MRC volunteers to continue public health and emergency preparedness activities in the community and respond when disasters strike.
About the National Association of County and City Health Officials
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation's 2,800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org.