NACCHO Funds 43 Innovative Community Projects through MRC Challenge Award

by Tahlia Gousse, Senior Program Analyst, Public Health Preparedness and Katie Roulston, Program Associate, Public Health Preparedness

NACCHO, in partnership with the Division of Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps (DCVMRC), has selected 43 Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) units to receive 2014-2015 NACCHO MRC Challenge Awards. More than 175 MRC units across the country applied for the award. After a competitive two-tiered review process, NACCHO selected 43 MRC units to receive the award. The selected units were awarded $15,000 each, totaling $645,000 distributed through the program.

The Challenge Award aims to focus innovation in areas that are aligned with national health initiatives that are also significant at the local level. MRC units could propose projects that employ a number of approaches, such as educational programs, formation of unique partnerships, community outreach, and creation of innovative tools or systems. Unit leaders were also encouraged to use this opportunity to evaluate their programs and translate the processes and outcomes through research.

Beginning in spring 2015, the Challenge Awards will fund projects that benefit local communities in one of four focus areas: Disaster Risk Reduction, Chronic Disease Prevention, Partners for Empowered Communities, and Mental and Emotional Wellbeing. Each of this year’s Challenge Award winners will document their project’s processes, successes, and lessons learned on NACCHO’s MRC Awards website.

This is the second year that NACCHO has run the awards program. The following themes were identified among the 2014 Challenge Award projects: education, partnerships, youth engagement, and vulnerable populations.

MRC Challenge Awards

Focus Areas of 2014 NACCHO MRC Challenge Awardee Projects

The full list of Challenge awardees and their projects follows:

  • University of Minnesota MRC, Minneapolis, MN Medical Reserve Corps Behavioral Health Response Enhancement: A Collaborative Training Approach
  • Albuquerque-University of New Mexico MRC, Albuquerque, NM Public Health Action Curriculum for Teens
  • Oklahoma Region 7- Tulsa County MRC, Tulsa, OK From the Ground Up Community Garden
  • Florida Keys MRC, Marathon, FL School Primary Care Clinic
  • Woodford County Health Department, Versailles, KY Step-By-Step to a Healthier Woodford County
  • Berkshire MRC, Great Barrington, MA Recruiting Professionals and Training Volunteers for MRC Functional Needs Response Teams – A Capacity Building Model
  • Upper Merrimack Valley MRC, Westford, MA Strengthening the Community Fabric to Prevent Domestic and Self-Inflected Violence
  • Brookline MRC, Brookline, MA Brookline Youth Wellness Project
  • Boston MRC, Boston, MRC Boston MRC Ready, Safe, Healthy Train-the-Trainer Model
  • Maryland Responds MRC, Baltimore, MD Innovative Partnership for Reducing Disaster Risks in Maryland
  • Erie Regional MRC, Erie, PA Healing Wounds, Mending Minds – Psychiatric First Aid Training in the Greater Erie Region
  • Rhode Island MRC, West Greenwich, RI NOPE-RI Naloxone and Overdose Prevention Education Program Online Enhancement
  • Niagara County MRC, Lockport, NY Supporting Lactating Women’s Right to Express Milk in the Workplace in an Effort to Improve Mother and Child Health
  • Lake County MRC, Painesville, OH Stanford Chronic Disease Self Management Program (CDSMP) in Collaboration with MRC Volunteers
  • Miami-Dade MRC, Miami, FL Miami-Dade Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers to Meet Hospital Credential Standards
  • Alachua Area MRC, Gainesville, FL Taking it to the Streets – AAMRC goes mobile
  • Maui County MRC, Honolulu, HI Targeting Preparedness and Health Education to Maui’s Marginalized Communities
  • Metrolina MRC, Charlotte, NC Disaster Preparedness for Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Barren River Area Development District (BRADD) MRC, Bowling Green, KY BRADD Project Pet Ready
  • Knox County MRC, Barbourville, KY Know Where To Go
  • New Orleans MRC, New Orleans, LA Building Resiliency in New Orleans’ At-Risk Populations
  • St. Johns MRC, St. Augustine, FL Public Health Strategic Planning in the Neighborhood: A Community Collaboration Approach to Preparing Local Neighborhoods for Public Health Emergencies
  • North Central Idaho MRC, Lewiston, ID Utilization of MRC Volunteers to Implement the National Diabetes Prevention Program
  • Portage County MRC, Ravenna, OH Portage County Heroin Education Program
  • Tri-County MRC, Aledo, IL Keeping the Faith-Community Sustainability
  • Greater Taunton MRC, Taunton, MA Mental Health First Aid for Dual Diagnosis (MHD & substance abuse)
  • Ledge Light Health District MRC, New London, CT Seniors Standing Strong: A Falls Risk Home Evaluation Program for Seniors
  • Wayne County MRC, Fairfield, IL County vs County Reigniting Rivalry for Good Health
  • Montgomery County MRC, Norristown, PA Montgomery County Worksite Wellness Program
  • Eau Claire County MRC, Eau Clair, WI Saving Lives: One QPR At A Time
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast MRC, Gulfport, MS Table Discipline: Obesity prevention program for Families
  • Pomperaug Health District, Southbury, CT MRC and CDSMP: The Perfect BALANCE
  • Orleans County (NY) VALOR MRC, Albion, NY Orleans Community Garden Project
  • Jackson County MRC, Murphysboro, IL Building Community and Business Resiliency Through Disaster Risk Reduction
  • American Samoa MRC, Pago Pago, AS JR MRC — Talk. Share. Prepare.
  • Michigan Veterinary MRC, Lansing, MI Zoonotic One Medicine Table Top Exercises and First Responder Operators Training with Animal Decontamination
  • Colorado Muslim Society, Denver, CO Chaplaincy and Emergency Preparedness Training for Islamic Center Leaders in Colorado
  • Stone County Public Health Volunteers, Galena, MO Show Me Better Health Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
  • McDonough County Health Dept MRC, Macomb, IL Field Monitoring and Communication Outpost
  • Cumberland County MRC, Toledo, IL Alerting Cumberland County
  • AzTRN, Hamden, CT Enhance Mental Health Response to PTSD and Other Psychological Injuries
  • Baldwin County MRC, Robertsdale, AL “Breathing Treatment and Cooling Stations”
  • Kittitas MRC, Ellensburg, WA “The expansion of a successful peer education program in Kittitas County schools

Local health departments can benefit from the expertise and innovative thinking of MRC volunteers. If your local health department does not have an MRC unit, learn more about the benefits of housing an MRC unit and how MRC volunteers augment the local health department workforce:

About Tahlia Gousse

Tahlia Gousse is a Sr. Program Analyst on NACCHO's Public Health Preparedness Team. Her work focuses on the Roadmap to Ready Mentoring and Training program as well as general program evaluation and training design.

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