Trust For America's Health Recommends Minimum MRC Strength

Without consulting any officials of the Medical Reserve Corps program, Trust For America's Health (TFAH) has released a report specifying the minimum MRC strength needed for community resiliency.

The 124 page Ready or Not? Protecting the Public's Health from Disease, Disasters, and Bioterrorism, 2007 report used a minimum
threshold of 14 Medical Reserve Corps volunteers per 100,000 persons as
the performance measure for community resiliency. Robert J. Tosatto, Director, Office of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps in the Office of the Surgeon General stated in a December 19 e-mail to MRC Leaders "We did not participate in, nor
were we even aware of, the development of this indicator. In October
they had asked us for information about the number of MRC
volunteers...which we were happy to provide." Capt. Tosatto went on to say "I think this measure is arbitrary and fairly artificial at this point. We have never promoted a 'quota' for the number of members that an MRC unit should have or that a state should have a certain number of MRC volunteers/100,000 people. MRC units are community-based and we believe that it is best for the unit leaders to determine and set their own recruitment goals...based on the needs of their community and the availability of potential volunteers."

Discussion of the relationship between MRC strength and community resiliency can be found in the report's section on "Indicator 8: Community Resiliency" (pages 39-42). The full report can be downloaded at http://healthyamericans.org/reports/bioterror07/BioTerrorReport2007.pdf (it's over 1 megabyte long, so the download may take a while).