Philadelphia Medicine Summer 2018 - 29

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well as community members with no medical training. Anyone
can volunteer and contribute their time, knowledge, and skills."
In the event of a bioterrorist attack or an infectious disease
outbreak, MRC volunteers would be called upon to staff medication
or vaccination centers to provide prophylaxis or vaccine to the
public or to a targeted population. The staff demand can be large,
and we look to physicians to take leadership roles to ensure that
each person receives the correct medication or vaccine.
Dr. Steven Alles, the Director of the Division of Disease
Control at PDPH, has been with the MRC since its founding in
2005. "Saving lives in a true health emergency will come down
to available health responders and a robust, deployable, trained
local Medical Reserve Corps. Our MRC here in Philadelphia
trains and exercises to respond to an anthrax scenario, but we also
use the MRC and their vast skillsets at vaccination clinics for first
responders and their families, in exercises to help the Philadelphia
Department of Public Health test our surge capacity, and to staff
medical tents at special events alongside the Philadelphia Fire
Department-Emergency Medical Services.
"We truly rely on the MRC to bolster the health and preparedness
of Philadelphians. The MRC is an invaluable resource to the city
of Philadelphia, and a great way for physicians to give back to our
community through volunteerism, collaboration, and education."

Special Activation: The Disaster Assistance
Services Center
MRC volunteers also participated in the City's Disaster Assistance
Services Center (DASC), which was activated by the Office of
Emergency Management in the fall of 2017 to help evacuees from
Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. At the DASC, volunteers
helped connect evacuees with primary care, making appointments
and directing them to necessary health care services in Philadelphia.
Jamie Huot, a registered nurse, said, "I grew up not too far
from the initial DASC site. It's where I learned to speak Spanish,
working at the corner deli. I wanted to help however I could." The
DASC brought together many services to help the evacuees. Huot
noted, "Interdisciplinary collaboration is so important in medicine."
The MRC also has a role in the city's evacuation shelters, providing
medical care to those displaced from their homes during severe
weather events.

Smiling Philadelphia MRC volunteers participating in an
evacuation shelter exercise.

Get Involved
"I knew that the work I did caring for people mattered. I knew that
I had accomplished something. I knew that I contributed my little
bit to our Philadelphia community," said Dr. Bream after the Eagles
parade ended. Interested in this meaningful volunteer experience?
Join us at our next new volunteer orientation on September 12 from
5:30-7:30 pm. We are now accepting registrations at the following link:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NVO_MRC_9_12_18.
Our new volunteer orientations cover the MRC's mission, public
health preparedness, and mass prophylaxis operations. Attendees
learn about personal preparedness, including how to keep yourself
and your family safe and ready. We offer free continuing medical
education credits at most trainings. To find out more, visit phila.gov/
mrc or call 215-685-6861. *
Kathleen Dangerfield Fries is Assistant Program Manager
for the Bioterrorism & Public Health Preparedness Program
of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. You can
contact her at (215) 685-4510 or at Kathleen.fries@phila.gov.

Summer 2018 : Philadelphia Medicine 29


http://philamedsoc.org https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NVO_MRC_9_12_18 http://www.phila.gov/mrc

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Philadelphia Medicine Summer 2018

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