Upstate News

April 7, 2005
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

SUNY Upstate seeks to enlist local health care professionals in Medical Reserve Corps

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Nearly 18,000 thousand licensed health care professionals in Central New York, including physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and veterinarians are being surveyed by the Department of Emergency Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University to determine their interest in volunteering for the Central New York Medical Reserve Corps (MRC).

The office of U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Richard H. Carmona, M.D., MPH, has awarded SUNY Upstate a three year $50,000 grant to establish and administer the MRC for the Central New York region including Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego and Tompkins counties.

According to MRC Project Director Jay M. Scott, the corps will provide an organized way for medical and public health volunteers to offer their skills and expertise during local crises and throughout the year.

“The MRC will play an integral role in our local and regional preparedness and response strategy,” said Scott. “MRC volunteers can assist during large-scale emergencies, such as an influenza epidemic or an act of terrorism and will strengthen the overall health and well being of our neighborhoods and communities.

In addition to providing direct patient care, Scott said the MRC may also provide support in the areas of logistics, communications and counseling.

MRC volunteers will be offered training in disaster management, incident command strategies, local disaster plans, recognition of biological and chemical contaminants, CPR and other pertinent areas.

The MRC is a component of SUNY Upstate’s Center for Emergency Preparedness, a program of the Department of Emergency Medicine, headed by William Grant, Ed.D

The center’s goal is to ensure that Central New York is prepared to respond effectively to medical and health care needs in crisis situations. The center has collaborated with Albany Medical College, the University of Rochester and SUNY Buffalo College of Medicine to establish The Academic Health Center Consortium for Mass Casualty Management to address emergency preparedness issues on a regional basis. Consortium members share information, undertake research, conduct training and seek funds to collaborate on bringing an academic perspective to mass casualty management.

Licensed health care professionals who did not receive the survey and who are interested in volunteering for the MRC are encouraged to call the MRC office at 315- 464-4365.

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