The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) program was founded in July 2002. It is part of a national initiative that provides a structure for volunteers to offer their expertise and serve as a team during times of emergency or need in their own community.
Each MRC is a local volunteer unit that brings together people who have medical, public health, behavioral health or other skills to supplement existing health and emergency response personnel. This team of volunteers is trained and available to respond locally in a public health emergency.
MRC units exist across the country, in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Each MRC unit conducts its role in the way that best suits the unique challenges for its area. Members may also choose to support communities in need in other areas of the state or country, as many did during hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Program is the national office of the MRC and is housed within the Office of Emergency Management's (OEM) Partner Readiness and Emergency Programs (PREP) Division, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The MRC Program supports the MRC network by providing technical assistance, coordination, communications, strategy and policy development, grants and contract oversight, training and other associated services. It functions as a clearinghouse for information and best practices to help communities establish, implement, and maintain MRC units in order to achieve their local visions for public health and emergency preparedness.