PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
November 8, 2012

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Hurricane Recovery Volunteer Opportunities for Health Care Professionals

Healthcare professionals interested in helping with New Jersey's response to Hurricane Sandy can register with the New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps (NJMRC) program.  The NJMRC Program is a statewide county-based program that is comprised of healthcare professionals and community health volunteers.

"In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Department has received many inquiries from people looking to volunteer in New Jersey's response and recovery efforts," said Health Commissioner Mary E O'Dowd. "We encourage any healthcare professionals interested in helping to join the Medical Reserve Corps-this program provides an incredibly valuable resource in supporting and caring for those impacted by the storm."

The NJMRC Program is designed to help identify and register individuals who are willing to serve within their local area. Volunteers will be used through county and local health agencies as part of the emergency management system in that region. Every county is the state has at least one MRC unit.

All 25 NJMRC units have been helping with Hurricane Sandy response and recovery efforts.  Volunteers have been serving at shelters across the state, have helped staff hotlines and have distributed food and water in local communities.

Both health care professional and community health volunteers are welcomed to join the NJMRC Program. Any licensed or certified health care professional, practicing or retired, living or working in New Jersey can apply to be a member of the Medical Reserve Corps. Residents, who are 18 years of age and older, that have an interest in health care issues and are willing to serve in the event of a public health emergency are also encouraged to apply.

Individuals can submit an application online to volunteer for an MRC Unit where they reside or work. Once the application is submitted, an NJMRC Unit Coordinator will be in contact.  Contact information for all NJMRC Unit Coordinators in New Jersey is available on the NJMRC website.

Currently there are more than 5,800 volunteers statewide in 25 MRC units. Health care professional makes up approximately 3,800 of the volunteers and more than 2,000 are community volunteers.

New Jersey's MRC program has also developed a national reputation since it was formed in 2005 and is a great example of a state and local partnership that directly strengthens our communities. New Jersey was the first state to have a MRC in every county.  During and after Hurricane Irene last year, hundreds of volunteers worked more than 40,000 hours in response and recovery activities.

For more information, visit the NJMRC registry website at www.njmrc.nj.gov