In a nationwide follow-up to 9/11 events, and as part of Sonoma County's emergency planning and response system, in 2003 the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors instituted a local health-medical disaster response volunteer corps known as the Medical Reserve Corps. Housed in the Dept of Health Services (DHS) Public Health Preparedness, the primary mission of the Sonoma County MRC is to help protect the community in a public health disaster.
This group consists locally of about 425 trained health care professionals including nurses, physicians, CNAs, and pharmacists; mental health professionals such as psychologists, social workers, and psychiatric technicians; and a variety non-medical personnel, all of who desire to serve as volunteers to protect public health in our community during health-related emergencies.
DHS recruits and trains MRC volunteers to staff mass vaccination and prophylactic medication dispensing sites, and to function as surge personnel in evacuation shelters, hospitals, alternate care sites, and other venues in a large health emergency. In a disaster, volunteer roles may be defined with the help of community planning partners. Public Health facilitates training and exercises for MRC members. CEUs are offered when possible.