Philadelphia Medicine Summer 2018 - 28

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Feature

Doctors Give Back
Through the Philadelphia
Medical Reserve Corps
By: Kathleen Daingerfield Fries, MPH

I

n addition to being the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia
seems to have become the unofficial City of Special Events.
The biggest event in early 2018 was the Super Bowl parade for
our beloved Philadelphia Eagles. After the amazing victory, many
attended the parade through Center City.

Whether watching it from the crowds or on television, many
probably didn't notice the three medical tents set up to help anyone
in the crowd who may need care. These three tents, staffed by the
Philadelphia Fire Department-Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
and the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), served 200
patients that day, many suffering from hypothermia due to the cold
temperatures.
The MRC also works alongside EMS at other special events,
including the Philadelphia Marathon, the Broad Street Run, the
Wawa Welcome America! 4th of July festivities on the Benjamin
Franklin Parkway, and in medical tents set up for special events like
the 2016 Democratic National Convention and the 2015 papal visit
associated with the World Meeting of Families. Working these special
events is just one way for volunteers to give back to the city. Joining
the MRC provides that opportunity for physicians and other health
care professionals, as well as a large cadre of non-medical volunteers.
Working with the MRC is one of the most meaningful experiences
I have in medicine. Serving our communities is an essential role
of physicians. I have the ability to flex my thinking, foundational
medical school learning, and problem solving to run a tent with who
knows what coming next and who knows when advanced level of
care/transport will be available. The MRC events let me practice
the theory and the drills of emergency planning so I know we can
handle the unexpected events if we have to. There is nothing else
like the MRC for the experiences in collaboration, communication,
and flexibility.
-Dr. Kent Bream, Physician & 12-year MRC Volunteer
28 Philadelphia Medicine : Summer 2018

The Medical Reserve Corps and What We Do
The MRC is a volunteer organization ready to help Philadelphia
during a public health emergency or disaster. In addition to supporting the city's special events, volunteers also support evacuation
shelters during severe weather events, participate in mass prophylaxis
and vaccination exercises and disaster drills, and train with local
emergency response partners.
The Philadelphia MRC is managed by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), which handles all MRC volunteer
registration, credentialing, training, and deployments. Our 2,500
MRC volunteers give their time when they can; there is no minimum
time commitment. Beau Sanchez, the MRC's Coordinator, encourages
everyone to get involved: "We welcome everyone, including practicing
or retired medical professionals and public health professionals, as


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