Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers Serve in Many Ways

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 | 10:57am

NASHVILLE – When flooding, deadly tornadoes or other disasters strike in Tennessee, there’s a dedicated group of volunteers ready to provide assistance. They’re members of the Medical Reserve Corps, a network of community-based volunteers who can support critical work to restore health and safety during and following emergencies.

“The Medical Reserve Corps provides an opportunity for persons with medical or healthcare training and those with no previous training but a desire to help others to come together as part of an emergency response team if needed,” said Tennessee Department of Health Emergency Preparedness Director Paul Petersen, PharmD. “The Medical Reserve Corps provides nearly all Tennesseans opportunities to contribute their skills and talents if a crisis occurs.”

Persons interested in volunteering may do so online at

The online registration process allows the Tennessee Department of Health to identify those with skills, talents or interests that could be of value in protecting or preserving public health during an emergency. While medical professionals are important members of the Medical Reserve Corps, so are those who can assist with a variety of other services including language translation, crowd control, sheltering operations, information technology services, data entry/medical records management, social support and other functions.

MRC volunteers are provided opportunities for orientation and training. These vary by the service an individual can perform and allow him or her to be a part of the 18,000-member statewide Medical Reserve Corps.

“Almost everyone can contribute in some way during an emergency,” said MRC System Manager Randy Gowler. “You don’t have to be a doctor or nurse to help; you just need a desire to help others. As a member of the Medical Reserve Corps, you’ll have a sense of pride in knowing you are among those who stand ready to make a difference if others need assistance.”

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments. Learn more about TDH services and programs at