Poughkeepsie... Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro congratulates the Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess County (MRC), who have been honored by the National Medical Reserve Corps with a 2022 Community Response Award for outstanding COVID-19 vaccine response.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Community volunteers are the heart of Dutchess County, serving their fellow residents in so many ways. From the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Dutchess MRC volunteers were involved in the County’s response to an unprecedented crisis. When the much-anticipated vaccine became available, without hesitation, these dedicated men and women pivoted to take on the herculean task of vaccinating all eligible Dutchess County residents. We honor and celebrate these volunteers for their service, ensuring our vaccine PODs ran smoothly.”
The Dutchess County MRC’s team of volunteers have been trained to assist existing medical response organizations and professionals to respond to large-scale disasters and events. A critical part of the County’s COVID-19 response, more than 500 volunteers contributed more than 40,000 hours – compared to 4,200 hours in all of 2019. This included giving over 22,000 hours at over 150 vaccine clinics, administering over 60,000 vaccinations to County residents at County-operated Points of Distribution (PODs) and community clinics for underserved groups in urban areas, those with limited access to transportation, and those with special needs. The MRC’s Vaccine Assistance Appointment Team (VAAT) also assisted those without access to computers or transportation arrange appointments, transportation, and other services. Additionally, MRC volunteers spent thousands of hours assisting the County’s Department of Behavioral and Community Health with contact tracing and case investigation, community outreach, delivering groceries to those in isolation, assembling thousands of items of personal protective equipment (PPE) for distribution, and more as part of the COVID-19 response.
The MRC’s rapid and successful COVID-19 vaccination response can be attributed to the extensive POD Planning Team, which developed rapid deployment training required to be completed by all members, as well as members’ years of practice successfully operating flu and other vaccination PODs throughout the county. One such clinic series was held just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic for the homeless and transient populations in the cities of Poughkeepsie and Beacon. In preparation, volunteer nurses were skill-checked and updated on their training and were thus prepared to quickly transition to administering COVID-19 vaccines.
“We are grateful to the many dedicated volunteers of the Dutchess County Medical Reserve Corps who prepare for and respond to the needs of Dutchess County residents in times of significant events. The professionalism, camaraderie, and commitment of our dedicated volunteers truly epitomizes the spirit of volunteerism and everything that is good about what happens when strangers come together to help others,” said Dutchess County MRC Coordinator Joe Ryan.
For more information about the Dutchess County Medical Reserves Corps, visit www.dutchessny.gov.