Volunteer opportunities available via state websites

September 25, 2015 Commentary, Letters to the Editor Print Print
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letter to editorTo the Editor:

The Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps provides medical and non-medical volunteers with a wide variety of opportunities to make a difference in the health of their communities, and is Oklahoma’s only statewide medical volunteer program.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health sponsors the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps trained cadre of medical, public health, and community volunteers. The OKMRC supplements existing response systems, and is made up of not only medical professionals but also people without a medical background.

In the event of a catastrophic health emergency many people will be affected. The largest response the public health system is responsible for is organizing and staffing a mass dispensing or mass immunization effort. Oklahoma has named this effort MIPS, with stands for Mass Immunization/Prophylaxis Strategy. Although public health employees will be utilized to staff this effort, many more people will be needed to make the response a success.

In addition to a catastrophic health emergency, the OKMRC may also assist with:

  • Disaster Response
  •  Drills and Exercises
  •  Preparedness and Wellness Education
  •  Public Health Initiatives

OKMRC volunteers receive uniforms and state issued identification badges. Training opportunities are offered throughout the state, including First Aid/CPR, Psychological First Aid, Basic Disaster Life Support and Core Disaster Life Support. OKMRC volunteers gain valuable response experience and are recognized at the local, state and national levels for their contributions. For more information, or to apply for membership, go to www.okmrc.org

The Emergency System for Advance Registration for Volunteer Health Professionals is another federal program designed to pre-identify volunteer medical professionals. In Oklahoma, the ESAR-VHP program was combined with the already established OKMRC.

To streamline the registration process, there is no separate ESAR-VHP program in Oklahoma. The ESAR-VHP registry is the OKMRC database. For more information on ESAR-VHP, visit www.phe.gov/esarvhp.

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