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Peoria IL seeks volunteers for medical corps

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  • Peoria IL seeks volunteers for medical corps


    Volunteer Corps

    The Peoria City/County Health Department is looking for a total of 400 volunteers for its new Medical Reserve Corps. Volunteers from both medical and non-medical backgrounds would help respond and assist to public health emergencies in the area.

    - Two informational meetings about the group will be at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 9 and 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at the health department, 2116 N. Sheridan Road, Peoria.

    - Those interested must be over the age of 18 and will need to complete several emergency management courses as well as attend a few hours of disaster assistance training each month. Training is free.

    - Call Jason Marks with the health department at 679-6020 by Dec. 5 if you plan on attending. Otherwise, visit to express interest

    Peoria seeks volunteers for medical corps
    Group would tackle widespread illnesses, disaster recovery

    Posted Nov 27, 2008 @ 01:08 AM
    PEORIA ?

    The Health Department is looking for a few good men and women to serve their country and county. Four hundred of them to be exact.

    Following the example of the federal government, the Peoria City/County Health Department is forming a medical reserve corps, a group of civilian volunteers who will serve and assist during public health emergencies in the area. The health agency is seeking individuals with both medical or non-medical backgrounds. The idea behind a volunteer-staffed medical corps came from President Bush, who founded the program in 2002 in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    At the time, the country saw a large offering of support from health professionals and others but there was no organized framework to channel any of their efforts. The corps seeks to give people a chance to serve while capitalizing on Peoria's medical expertise.

    The agency has mailed letters and issued news releases to drum up interest in the new initiative.

    Those wanting to join will undergo training courses and possibly help out in mock disaster drills with the health department and other agencies.

    "There is a whole training program that the government has developed," said Wanda Aberle, director of nursing at the health department. "So everyone is speaking the same language."

    Some of the training would be "just in time" training, Aberle said, meaning officials will give simple, narrow scope tasks to volunteers when they needed it.

    As for possible jobs, the corps could be used to tackle widespread illnesses like influenza or help out with recovery efforts from natural disasters. Depending on their medical knowledge, some could even help with tracking the spread of a virus.

    The program is sponsored by the Office of the Surgeon General. There are 45 active medical reserve corps in Illinois and almost 800 throughout the country.

    Aberle admitted recruiting 400 volunteers is a "lofty goal" but said their services would be needed. The health department counts about 130 employees to Peoria County's estimated 183,000 residents.

    Frank Radosevich II can be reached at 686-3142 or