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October 2014 www.medicalreservecorps.gov
Featured Article
New Castle MRC Raises Awareness about the Role of Volunteerism in Healthy Communities

The New Castle MRC (DE) participated in the Delaware stop of the 2014 Cabot Community Tour on June 16 in Wilmington. The Cabot Community Tour is a five-week tour sponsored by Cabot Creamery Cooperative along the East Coast and ran from May 17 through June 21, beginning in Jacksonville, FL and concluding in New York City. Throughout the six-week tour, dozens of events celebrated the far-ranging impact of volunteers in the communities that they serve and brought awareness to healthy communities that are shaped by health, nature, and volunteerism.

The New Castle MRC Coordinator and one volunteer hosted an MRC table at the event where they raised awareness about the MRC and distributed disaster preparedness information to attendees, including seniors and people with special needs. The Delaware MRC State Coordinator invited the New Castle MRC to participate in the event, which was sponsored by Volunteer Delaware.

It is important for the MRC to have a presence at events that connect the missions of local community volunteer organizations to the broader spectrum of volunteerism and healthy communities. To learn more about the national-level events MRC unit leaders are attending, join MRC Connect and explore the discussions in the application's various event communities.

MRC/NACCHO Connections
Apply Now: NACCHO MRC Awards
The 2014-2015 NACCHO MRC awards process opened on September 30 and will close on November 7. This year, NACCHO is again offering two awards: the Capacity Building Award, which provides $3,500 in funding to eligible units, and the Challenge Award, a competitive award that aligns with community health initiatives. Challenge Awards will be made available for $15,000 each. To learn more about each of the awards, review the Request for Applications document.

NACCHO has updated learning resources to help you get ready for the awards. View the “Proposal Writing Tips for the MRC Awards” video to get an overview of how to write a winning proposal. Further, last year's Challenge Award winners have posted video and blog updates to inspire your application for the Challenge Award. As a reminder, all units must have updated their unit profile on www.medicalreservecorps.gov by October 31 to be eligible for the awards.

Are you ready to apply for the awards? Visit http://mrcnaccho.org to preview the application questions and to start your application.

Announcements
Register for MRC Connect Today!

NACCHO is excited to announce that the new application for the MRC, MRC Connect, is now ready for use! Visit http://mrcconnect.org to get started using the first application for the MRC. Join nearly 250 of your peers who are using MRC Connect to share resources, best practices, photos, updates and more. On MRC Connect, you can complete tasks to earn points; post announcements to all users or users within your interest areas; and private message others.

First time users will need to register for an account on MRC Connect. To get help registering for MRC Connect, view this video. Users who have already created an account on MRC Connect will not need to re-register and can log in using your username and password, or reset your password if you have forgotten. To get a more in-depth view of the system, access a recording of the webinar presented by NACCHO in August.

Please note: At this time, MRC Connect is only open to unit leaders, State Coordinators, and Regional Coordinators. Stay tuned for further information on how to download the mobile application. For questions about MRC Connect, visit the Help and Resources page on the application or email mrc@naccho.org

Integrate Volunteer Radiation Professionals into MRC Units
The Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD) brings together radiation professionals in state and local governments and is dedicated to developing and improving radiological preparedness in U.S. communities. The CRCPD has supported incorporating volunteer radiation professionals into existing health volunteer response programs for the past several years. CRCPD's initiatives and support offer an opportunity for MRC units to expand recruitment efforts for radiation professionals and develop radiation preparedness and response specialties. To learn more about CRCPD's efforts and to stay updated on future opportunities, visit their website.
 
MRC units have started to incorporate radiation response activities into their missions. For examples of MRC units further developing capacity in radiation response, download this overview from MRC GEM in Georgia and read an article about the Key Lime Rad radiological exercise in Florida (page 7).
Citizen Corps Partner Programs Webinar Recording Now Available
The Program Offices of the National Citizen Corps Partner Programs hosted a webinar on August 28 to provide updates on the programs and useful tools and resources. A recording of the webinar is now available. View the webinar to learn more about the ongoing collaboration among the Community Emergency Response Team, Fire Corps, National Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers in Police Service, Citizen Corps, and the MRC. Presenters also shared updates on communications efforts, promising practices, and resources for local organizations. Watch the recording now.
Request for Applications: Reducing Disparities in Breastfeeding through Peer and Professional Support
NACCHO is pleased to offer a funding opportunity for at least 70 local health departments and community-based public, private, nonprofit, or faith-based organizations to provide peer and professional lactation support to African American and underserved women and infants. The goals of this project are to increase implementation of evidence-based and innovative breastfeeding programs, practices, and services at the community level specifically focused on peer and professional lactation support to breastfeeding mothers in predominantly African American communities; and to develop and maintain public health partnerships critical to building community support for breastfeeding. Award funding will be up to $25,000 per year to support project activities. Applications must be submitted no later than October 10, 2014 at 6:30PM EDT. For more information, view the request for applications
Please contact Alyson Jordan, NACCHO’s MRC Communications Specialist,
with any questions or suggestions for the newsletter at 202-783-5528 or at ajordan@naccho.org.
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