For Release: April 06, 2020 – Jamie Dukes, Office of Communications (405) 271-5601
In an effort to prepare for medical surge and prolonged response to COVID-19 in the state, the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) is recruiting volunteers to serve in medical and non-medical positions.
Lezlie Carter, OKMRC state coordinator, said volunteers are needed to serve in multiple capacities, but there is an increased need for those with medical training. Licensed medical professionals may be needed to assist with triage, supplementing hospital personnel, monitoring critical patients, assisting with transporting patients and providing critical care in the field.
“We are preparing for a surge to our state’s medical system,” said Carter. “It is important for us to begin processing new volunteers now so they are properly registered and trained for their role within the OKMRC.”
Other functions include specialty services such as the Stress Response Team where licensed mental health professionals provide behavioral and emotional support at hospitals, shelters, phone banks, community outreach teams, first responders and more.
Volunteers without medical training are needed for warehouse support, record keeping and administrative duties. All volunteers must be at least 18 years of age, live or work in Oklahoma, agree to a comprehensive background check and complete the OKMRC training.
Coordinated through the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), the OKMRC is the state’s only medical and public health volunteer program comprised of specialty teams and county units operating under the authority of local county health departments. The program has an established system to identify, train and organize medical and public health professionals, as well as volunteers from the public to supplement and support ongoing response operations and personnel.
The concept of the Medical Reserve Corps was created in 2002 after many Americans wanted to know how to help with the recovery efforts from Sept. 11, 2001. It has since evolved into a nationwide program.