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A Special Message from the Surgeon General - Richard H. Carmona

                                                                                                                        Printable Version

Photo Tommy G. Thompson

Tommy G. Thompson

Supporting and Guiding Our Nation's
Medical and Public Health Volunteers

Dear Colleagues and Fellow Citizens:

Strengthening the health and wellbeing of our communities has always been the mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But since September 11, 2001, our understanding of the health and medical risks we face as a nation has changed dramatically.

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) plays an integral part in our preparedness and response strategy. It provides an organized way for medical and public health volunteers to offer their skills and expertise during local crises and throughout the year. Locally-based MRC volunteers can assist during large-scale emergencies, such as an influenza epidemic or an act of terrorism. MRC volunteers also work to strengthen the overall health and wellbeing of their neighborhoods and communities.

The Medical Reserve Corps is an important component of the Citizen Corps and the USA Freedom Corps. President Bush created the USA Freedom Corps in response to the outpouring of community support in the days following September 11. The President asked all Americans to volunteer 4,000 hours of their time — about two years — to serving others.

We ask you to help us build the best possible volunteer medical and public health corps. By strengthening our communities, we also strengthen our nation.


Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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