Volunteers are needed to meet the health care demand from COVID-19 in Virginia.
Earlier this month, Gov. Ralph Northam announced details of a statewide effort in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health’s Virginia Medical Reserve Corps to recruit medical and non-medical volunteers in the fight against COVID-19. It is estimated up to 30,000 volunteers are needed to provide support for the expected surge in hospitals and long-term care facilities throughout the state.
Northam’s office and that of the MRC are working with colleges and universities to reach out to students, especially those enrolled in health and medical degree programs. The administration is also reaching out to individuals who have recently filed for unemployment benefits and have relevant experience, and is coordinating with hospitals, health systems, and professional associations to help recruit their community members.
The MRC is a force of volunteers who support the community in the event of a public health emergency. Local units are comprised of teams of medical and public health professionals who, along with community members, support ongoing public health initiatives and assist during emergencies.
About 14,700 have people signed up with the MRC, nearly a third of them in the past couple of weeks, and about half of the volunteers have professional medical experience. Training at higher education institutions is available for Virginians who want to learn basic medical skills to volunteer, upskill current health professionals to transmission intensive care or medical-surgical units, and short courses on ventilators usage.
Nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students are particularly encouraged to apply. Non-medical volunteer positions that are needed include logistics, communication, coordination, technology and other support.
For more information or sign up to become an MRC volunteer, visit vamrc.org.