MRC members participated in a large regional full-scale exercise designed to test response capabilities following a structural collapse in downtown Minneapolis.
MRC members participated in an exercise of the Biohazard Detection System in Hennepin County. One of the primary goals of the exercise was to test the antibiotic screening and dispensing of US postal employees following detection of anthrax at a postal office.
The U of M MRC established a Pharmaceutical Repackaging Team at the request of the Minnesota State Health Department designed for rapid deployment in the region should there be a need to repackage medicine during a public health emergency. In all, 150 team members were trained and drilled on specific procedures.
Members of the Pharmaceutical Response Strike Team were deployed to assist at a Hennepin County medicine collection event.
Behavioral Health Team members assisted in the aftermath of a tornado in North Minneapolis.
Thirty seven U of M MRC members assisted Boynton Health Service during the seasonal influenza clinics held in September and October of 2009. Over 100 MRC members assisted Boynton Health Service during H1N1 immunization clinics held from November 2009 through February 2010. Members served as ushers, registrations clerks, supply staff and injectors.
N95 Respirator Fit Testing
The N95 Respirator Fit Testing Strike Team was deployed in August and September. Members of this strike team participated in the fit testing of Student Health Advocates, University Minnesota Police Department officers and Emergency Medical Technicians.
In June, 18 U of M MRC members assisted the Minnesota Department of Health with the implementation of the Cities Readiness Initiative Postal Plan. Members screened postal workers’ health assessment forms and assembled antibiotic kits.
Spring Flood Response
At the request of the Minnesota Department of Health, three U of M MRC members joined MRC members from around the state to assist in the Red River Valley flood response efforts. Two registered nurses and one emergency medical technician were deployed to assist with the care of displaced nursing home residents at a hospital that received the evacuated residents.
AED Service Project
Four student members have been deployed to assist the University’s Department of Emergency Management in a service project. MRC members assisted with the yearly maintenance updates of approximately 150 Automatic Electronic Defibrillators located on the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses. The maintenance updates included the changing of expired batteries and pads and running a test cycle.
On October 28, 2008, the University of Minnesota (U of M) Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) in partnership with Boynton Health Service, U of M School of Nursing, U of M School of Pharmacy and Minnesota Visiting Nurses Association participated in mass immunization efforts that will likely result in a new Guinness World Record™ for the most flu shots administered in one day. Eighty-five members of the U of M MRC, along with 19 nurses from the Minnesota Visiting Nurses Association administered 3956 at one of the four sites strategically placed around the campus. The total vaccines administered across all four campus sites was 11,810, well beyond the previous record of 3271 established in 2006 by Centra Care Hospital of Sanford, Florida.
The U of M MRC immunization clinic site was established in a large heated tent on a heavily traveled plaza in the heart of the Minneapolis campus. MRC members served as injectors, ushers, supply staff and post injection area monitors. By activating the MRC, the university also tested aspects of its emergency response plans.
In response to a request from the Iowa State Veterinarian via the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, the U of M MRC deployed 9 members of its Veterinary Medicine Response Strike Team to aid in the medical care of small companion animals housed in an animal rescue shelter following the severe flooding of the Cedar Rapids Iowa area. Three teams consisting of College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians and students were deployed for periods of 3 to 5 days. As many as 700 small animals were housed and cared for during peak shelter operations. Along with providing daily treatments, the team assessed the animals, inserted microchips and examined incoming animals. Larissa Minicucci, DVM/MPH Program Director, served as the Veterinary Medicine Response Team leader and assisted in coordinating the response.
Two U of M MRC members were deployed as part of a behavioral health team assisting the Cottonwood area school children and first responders involved in a tragic bus accident.
In response to requests from the University of Minnesota Medical Center (UMMC) and the City of Minneapolis, the U of M MRC deployed 22 members to aid in medical and behavioral health efforts in the hours and days following the bridge collapse. Members of the MRC’s Mental Health Crisis Response Team responded immediately by providing support at the UMMC emergency room and Family Assistance Center the night of the collapse. The Mental Health Crises Response Team continued their response efforts at the City of Minneapolis Family Assistance Center located initially at the Holiday Inn and subsequently at Augsburg College. Team members conducted 1:1 interventions with family members and facilitated group defusings with first responders and other response personnel.
U of M MRC volunteers were deployed in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita through the American Red Cross and Minnesota Lifeline, a joint mission with the American Refugee Committee, Mayo Clinic, College of St. Catherine, and others. A total of 68 members traveled to the Gulf Coast Region, and many additional volunteers, and other U of M staff, assisted with the massive incident command and support activities in Minnesota over the course of 3 months.
Following the announcements of unexpected seasonal influenza vaccine shortages, the Minnesota Department of Health established an emergency hotline to answer questions from concerned citizens across the state. Call volume quickly escalated beyond existing capacity, and the U of M Medical Reserve Corps, received a request to assist. Approximately 35 MRC student volunteers assisted with the hotline which was in operation for 31 business days. At its peak on October 19th, the hotline received 1,712 calls.