2010 Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers Honored
By Barbara Fox, Office of Communications
MRC Medical Volunteer of the Year Rasma Olins, right, accepts her award.
Volunteers with the Medical Reserves Corps (MRC) program were recently honored in an awards ceremony held at the Kentucky Department for Public Health in recognition for their volunteer work to help Kentuckians build stronger communities.
Award winners for 2010 included:
Non-Medical Volunteer of the Year - Christy Davis, Scottsville MRC, Allen County
Soon after joining the MRC in 2007, Christy Davis coordinated a donation center to assist displaced families from tornado damage in 2008. She also volunteered at a special needs shelter outside of her county during the 2009 ice storm. Davis has been described as an integral part of the leadership of Allen County’s MRC units, giving tirelessly of her time and efforts to ensure their success.
Medical Volunteer of the Year - Rasma Olins, Louisville MRC
Rasma Olins, an 83-year-old retired nurse, has been actively participating with the MRC program since September 2009. She assisted with the Louisville-Metro’s H1N1 vaccination campaign by staffing walk-in clinic coordinated with Urban County Government and a mass clinic at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in November 2010, where 19,000 immunizations were given during a two-day period. Olins also worked nine school immunization clinics in the month of January 2010.
MRC Unit Leader of the Year - Jean Caudill, Northern Kentucky MRC
Jean Caudill has served as the MRC Unit Leader for three years. In that capacity, she has developed volunteer manual, standard operating guidelines for the program, and maintained a filing system for every volunteer. Caudill also developed a re-badging process for existing volunteers to continue in the program. In addition, she coordinated a training program which includes volunteer orientation specific to medical and non-medical volunteers, psychological first aid, CPR and biological agents. She also served as a volunteer coordinator during the H1N1response.
MRC Unit of the Year - Green River District MRC
The Green River District MRC unit was recognized for its significant role in helping to raise MRC awareness and foster MRC integration into the local community's public health and preparedness infrastructure. Since the unit was formed in 2005, attendance at monthly meetings has grown from five volunteers in 2009, to about 40 in 2010. The unit maintains representation from all seven counties in the district and works closely with community agency partners such as local Emergency Management, NOAA’s National Weather Service, Red Cross and the Daviess County School Board. They hosted a “Construction Event” to plan trainings, community events, outreach and activities. They also held a Point of Dispensing (POD) Moving Event, where volunteers moved, organized and inventoried preparedness supplies in a permanent location. The unit also developed a patch program with FEMA, Citizens Corps and Girl Scouts, which encouraged girls to take preventative steps and actions toward being safe. The program also allowed the girls to learn about insect-borne diseases, fire alarm use, infection control, family communication planning, public health and safety. Due to the program’s success, the unit is working on a patch program for Boy Scouts. In remembrance of September 11, 2011, the unit hosted a Terrorism 101 training in conjunction with the Daviess County Sheriff; dedicated to the victims and heroes of 9-11.
Since 2003, the MRC program has grown rapidly across the U.S. Sponsored by the Office of the Surgeon General, MRC programs have been developed to supplement existing local public health and emergency preparedness initiatives. In Kentucky, all 120 counties are now covered by a registered MRC, with most units sponsored by local health departments in conjunction with local emergency management agencies.
The Kentucky Health Emergency Listing of Professionals for Surge (K HELPS) program was designed to complement existing local MRC programs by working together with local health departments, and has been recognized at the national level for excellence.
For more information, visit the K HELPS/MRC program web page.