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Governor Northam Issues a Call for Medical and Non-Medical Volunteers to Meet COVID-19 Health Care Demand



Harrisonburg, Va. - Governor Ralph Northam today announced a statewide effort in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health’s Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) to recruit medical and non-medical volunteers in the fight against COVID-19. An estimated 30,000 volunteers are needed to provide support for the immediate surge in hospitals, long term care facilities, and alternate care sites throughout the Commonwealth.

“Tens of thousands of caring and committed healthcare professionals are working on the frontlines in Virginia hospitals to help patients who have contracted serious cases of COVID-19," said Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) president and CEO Sean T. Connaughton. "At a time when the healthcare delivery system is working to maximize treatment capacity to meet the steadily rising number of patients, there is a critical need for volunteers to join the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps to supplement the efforts of active healthcare providers. This is especially important as the Commonwealth moves forward with increasing medical surge capacity in anticipation of patient overflow when COVID-19 infections reach their peak in the weeks ahead.”

The MRC is a force of dedicated volunteers who stand ready to support the community in the event of a public health emergency. Local MRC units are comprised of teams of medical and public health professionals who, along with community members, volunteer their skills, expertise and time to support ongoing public health initiatives and assist during emergencies throughout Virginia.

Universities and colleges are working with the Governor’s Office and the MRC to reach out to students, especially ones enrolled in health and medical degree programs. Training at higher education institutions is available for Virginians who want to learn basic medical skills to volunteer, upskill current health professionals to transmission intensive care or medical-surgical units and short courses on ventilators usage.

Nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students are particularly encouraged to apply. Non-medical volunteer positions include logistics, communication, coordination, technology and other support.

“The success of our COVID-19 crisis response depends on our ability to mobilize a dedicated healthcare workforce, and we are counting on Virginians across the Commonwealth to lend a hand,” said Governor Northam. “Signing up to volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corps is a great opportunity to support your fellow citizens and help us save lives.”

“Whether you have a background in health care or just want to serve your community, Virginia needs you,” said Chief Workforce Advisor to the Governor Dr. Megan Healy. “All Virginians are welcome in the fight against COVID-19, and we will need a wide range of talents to enhance the Commonwealth’s medical surge capacity during this time of crisis.”

"We have all been inspired by the generosity of so many individuals in Virginia since COVID-19 began impacting the Commonwealth," said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey, MD. "We need all hands on deck as we expand our health system capacity in the weeks ahead. Now more than ever, joining the MRC is a great way to take action and give back to your community in a meaningful way." 

For more information and to become an MRC volunteer, please visit For more information about James Madison University’s response to COVID-19, please visit

Media contact: Mary-Hope Vass,


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Published: Friday, April 10, 2020

Last Updated: Monday, February 15, 2021

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