FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 22, 2021
Cheryle Rodriguez, Public Information Officer
Virginia Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers Recognized by Governor Ralph Northam
for COVID-19 Response Efforts
Governor’s proclamation cites dedication and resilience of thousands of volunteers
(RICHMOND, Va.) — Throughout the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 pandemic response efforts, thousands of trained Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers have assisted with testing and vaccinating Virginians. Governor Ralph Northam issued a proclamation on December 21, 2021 recognizing the “superb efforts” of these dedicated volunteers, whose efforts are coordinated by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
“The efforts of the Virginia MRC members have been critical to the COVID-19 response. Many worked alongside staff of our local health departments in vaccination, testing and contact tracing,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. “We are extremely grateful for the many dedicated Virginians who stepped up to serve and assist with efforts to protect the health of Virginians.”
The Virginia MRC program was established in 2002 to support VDH with public health emergencies. Volunteers are trained in emergency management, mental health preparedness, disease investigation, CPR and bioterrorism response. Many are licensed health care providers.
In April 2020, the Governor issued a call for additional volunteers to assist with the COVID-19 response. The proclamation notes that between January 2020 and November 2021 more than 17,600 Virginians stepped forward to serve their community as new Virginia MRC volunteers.
“Virginia could not have successfully responded to the pandemic without the support of Virginia Medical Reserve Corps volunteers,” the Governor’s proclamation states.
Throughout the pandemic response, Virginia MRC volunteers completed over 72,400 hours of training. Overall, Virginia MRC volunteers logged a total of 673,777 hours in support of the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 response. The estimated monetary value of that service is more than $21 million.
“During the COVID-19 response, the Virginia MRC launched the largest ever mobilization of volunteers to augment public health response missions and support over 80 public and private health care facilities around the Commonwealth,” said Jennifer Freeland, Assistant State Volunteer Coordinator for VDH. “Our volunteer mass vaccination workforce enabled Virginia to become a leader among southeastern states in vaccinating adults with at least one dose.”
The 22 Virginia MRC units across the state are made-up of medical and non-medical volunteers. The units participate in emergency and non-emergency public health activities. Virginians 18 years and older can apply to be a volunteer.