Could the current "swine flu" outbreak presage a new pandemic?

The best information out there is still "maybe." This strain of swine flu is new, including genetic components of prior swine, avian, and human influenza viruses. It is difficult to predict how contagious and how virulent any new disease organism might be.

MRC GEM Recognized at National Conference

MRC GEM was well-represented, and received a national award, at the first-ever Integrated Medical, Public Health, Preparedness, and Response Training Summit held recently in Dallas, Texas.

Gwinnett Seniors Need Heaters

Be a part of Project AWARE (Added Warmth Assistance for Residences of our Elderly). Gwinnett County Senior Services (GCSS) and the Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services are working together to assist senior citizens with staying warm during the bitter cold weather months.

Survey of Seven Major Cities Shows Hospital Emergency Surge Capacity Virtually Nonexistent

A study commissioned by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform concluded that U.S. hospital surge capacity is inadequate to deal with the "predictable surprise."

CBRNE Training Sept. 20, 2008

Member Lynda Flage led the first part of our new in-depth CBRNE training on September 20, 2008. MRC GEM members were instructed in awareness, safety, PPE, and recognition of various chemical agents.

CDC Releases Personal Accounts of Pan Flu

CDC released a new web site containing the Pandemic Influenza Storybook, the personal recollections of survivors, families, and friends. This is fascinating reading and gives us a better idea of what we might face in a future pandemic. The site is available at

MRC GEM Helps with MD, RN, non-medical staffing

MRC GEM members helped with the MD, RN, and non-medical needs of the Lawrenceville, GA Gustav evacuee shelter. Members remain on standby to provide additional assistance if needed both for Gustav victims and for those who might be displaced by Hanna.

MRC GEM Prepares to Assist With Gustav Evacuees

MRC GEM members may be called upon to help with shelter staffing as Georgia prepares to receive what may be as many as 10,000 evacuees forced out of their homes by Hurricane Gustav.

MRC GEM Members deliver presentation to Gwinnett Technical College Medical Assistants

On August 16 2008, over 20 students and graduates from Gwinnett Technical College’s Medical Assisting Program attended a presentation given by, MRC GEM Executive Director Sherwin Levinson (Executive Director)and VP of Operations Tony Varamo (VP Operations)on Federal, state and local organizations available to assist with emergency preparedness.


Mmmm, summer! Those long, sunny days, with plenty of time for relaxing at the lake or pool, catching up on your "honey-do" list around the house, traveling, or pursuing educational opportunities. Here's what your MRC GEM unit has been up to this summer:

DHS Medical Chief Warns of Large-Scale Anthrax Attacks

Speaking to a congressional panel, the chief medical officer for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned:

the risk of a large-scale biological attack on the Nation is significant. We know that our terrorist enemies have sought to use biological agents as instruments of their warfare, and we believe that capability is within their reach.

Eastern KY Tests Drive-Through POD

On June 30, Knox County Health Department tested the concept of a drive-through POD in a simulated anthrax exposure exercise. As part of the exercise, East Tennessee Regional Health Department set up a dispensing operation in a high school gym. Local SNS plans and hospital surveillance systems were also tested. See the Knoxville News Sentinel for more details.

Member Survey Completed

A total of 23 members completed our online survey. Results show that we're doing many things right. For example, almost 80% like Saturday mornings for training and exercises. But members would like to see us become more active in the community, providing first aid stations and information booths at festivals, health fairs, and other events. Please click here for full results.

No-Cost SunTrust Donation Offer Extended!

Make a $100 donation to your favorite charity without spending a dime! Please consider participating and having SunTrust donate $100 to MRC GEM (or another charity). We just received the donation from opening our own business checking account. This really works!

FDA Advice: Avoid Certain Supplements from Total Body Formula!

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says you shouldn't consume Total Body Formula in the flavors of Tropical Orange and Peach Nectar, or Total Body Mega Formula in the Orange/Tangerine flavor. These products may cause significant hair loss, muscle cramps, diarrhea, joint pain and fatigue.

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