If you are looking for a way to give back to the community and feel you have a skill that could help people in times of need, the Kane County Health Department will host its second Medical Reserve Corps orientation meeting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave. in downtown Elgin. The first orientation was held last month in Aurora. The October meeting is being held in Elgin to allow residents in the northern areas of Kane County to volunteer for the reserve corps.
Volunteers include community members, medical and public health professionals, such as physicians, nurses, dentists, veterinarians, interpreters, chaplains, office workers, retail sales people, and many more. Anyone can volunteer.
The need for a national Medical Reserve Corps became apparent after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when thousands volunteered in support of emergency relief activities, and found that there was no organized approach to channel their efforts. Local responders were already overwhelmed and did not have a way to identify and manage these spontaneous volunteers, and many highly skilled people were turned away.
As a result, the Medical Reserve Corps was established to provide a way to recruit, train, and activate volunteers. Recent events around the country are a reminder of the need for trained, organized volunteers to rapidly respond to incidents.
Today, the Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of local groups of volunteers committed to improving the health, safety, and resiliency of their communities. The units successfully identify, screen, train and organize volunteers and utilize them to support routine public health activities and augment preparedness and response efforts.
The Medical Reserve Corps is more than a collection of people looking for ways to give back and volunteer their time to make a difference in their communities. It is a gathering of people across the county, each with specific skills, training and experience that makes them an invaluable public health resource.
If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about the Medical Reserve Corps in your community, RSVP to Claudia Reginato at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to invite other members of the community who might be interested.