CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – The Hamilton County Health Department is getting help fighting the battle against hepatitis A from a local volunteer organization.
The Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of volunteers organized locally to improve the health and safety of communities.
The MRC has both medical and non-medical volunteers.
Volunteer Joye Wessells and others were given training to work in outreach clinics around Hamilton County, administering Hep A vaccines to those in high risk communities.
“I thought the response was excelent because we went to them where they were that day. We probably were able to give injections where people otherwise wouldnt have gotten them,” said Wessells.
The network of MRC volunteers is large and volunteer coordinators expect the number of volunteers needed to keep growing as the outbreak continues.
Coordinator Maegan Kerr said, “our MRC unit consists of about 475 volunteers both medical and non medical. For this outbreak we’ve used about 15 volunteers so far, however we do expect to be hosting more vaccine clinics where we will need more volunteers.”
The hep A response is the current focus of the MRC, but it is not their only mission.
“Historically, our MRC unit has responded to tornadoes, like back in 2011 and 2012,” said Kerr. “We’ve also assisted with flu clinics, but we really want to prepare our volunteers for any emergency that may occur here.”
To register for the MRC follow this link: https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/cedep-emergency-preparedness/volunteer-mobilizer.html.