The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is a staff division of the Office of the Secretary of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
ASPR leads the NationÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂs efforts to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to and
recover from the adverse health effects of public health incidents.
ASPR focuses on preparedness planning and response; federal emergency medical operational capabilities; countermeasures research, advance development, and procurement; and grants to strengthen the capabilities of hospitals and health care systems in public health emergencies and medical disasters..
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) was developed by the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG), within the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) in March 200 2. It was subsequently authorized by Congress in the 2006 Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act.
In 2013 the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (P.L.
113-5)amended section 2811(c)(2)(D) of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, to direct that the ASPR shall have authority over and responsibility for the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) pursuant to section 2813 of the PHS Act.
ASPR continues to support and promote a strong and viable MRC program and network while utilizing existing infrastructure, both at headquarters and throughout the Regions.
At the headquarters level, the ASPR/Office of Emergency Management MRC program supports the MRC network by providing technical assistance, coordination, communications, strategy and policy development, grants and contract oversight, training, and other associated services.
The MRC program office does not have command and control over MRC units or the MRC network.
The MRC program office supports information sharing between units on best practices and situational awareness to senior Departmental leadership of local activities to state, regional, and national level leaders and partners.
The MRC is a national network of volunteers organized in local community-based groups and committed to strengthening public health, reducing vulnerabilities, improving local preparedness, response and recovery capabilities, and building community resilience.
At the local level, MRC units are primarily based and aligned with local health departments.
MRC units function as a method to locally organize and utilize volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and support steady-state healthy living initiatives.
MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals and other community members without healthcare backgrounds.
MRC units bolster their community public health and emergency response infrastructures by providing supplemental personnel when needed.
MRC units provide their local community with more autonomy so they are not as reliant on state and national resources to meet their needs.
MRC units are sponsored by a variety of local governmental and non-governmental organizations.
The majority of MRC units are sponsored by local health departments; other organizations that sponsor/house MRC units, include emergency management agencies, local non-profits, and universities.
MRC units are encouraged to establish and maintain partnerships with key local community/governmental stakeholder groups and to integrate in the local public health, medical and emergency services infrastructure.
Local groups with which MRC units partner include the health department, Emergency Management agency, American Red Cross chapter, hospital/health system, fire department/agency, law enforcement agency, EMS agency, and other local governmental agency/departments.
Statutory Authority Sections 1703, 2811 and 2813 of the PHS Act, as amended Purpose This 5-year Cooperative Agreement continues the partnership between the Public Health Foundation and the MRC Program, and is intended to enhance, manage, and promote MRC-TRAIN.
Implementation Applicants must address all activities and strategies listed below in their application.
Evaluation and Performance Measurement Applicants must identify at least 2 activities to achieve each of the following objectives:
Provide access to quality training by extending the subscription of MRC-TRAIN for five additional years.
Expand the use of MRC-TRAIN by identifying additional courses available to MRC learners, linking those courses to the MRC Core Competencies, and increasing course provider outreach in order to promote greater use and adoption of these standards Each Activity must have corresponding outputs and outcomes identified.