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National Preparedness and the MI Volunteer Registry

The Michigan Volunteer Registry is part of a national network of state based systems designed for the advanced registration and credential verification of volunteers needed to help augment patient care and medical surge capacity needs. The system provides a secure, electronic environment for volunteers to indicate their profession, skills, interests, experiences, and contact information.

Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, behavioral health, emergency medical services personnel, ancillary support staff, and other individuals interested in helping are encouraged to register. An Emergency Credential Level (ECL) will be assigned to each volunteer depending on their employment, qualifications, and other factors in order to coordinate a successful response. The ECL helps to determine what role a volunteer would fill, should their level of expertise be matched with a local, regional, or state request for volunteers.

The Michigan Volunteer Registry is expected to play an important role for public health and medical emergency pre-planning efforts in addressing medical surge capacity. In the wake of disasters and public health and medical emergencies, many health professionals are eager and willing to volunteer their services. While volunteers who arrive on the scene may be ready to jump in, relief efforts are often hampered by a complicated and time-consuming credential verification process. Every minute spent verifying a volunteer health professional’s credentials is a minute that could be spent with patients.

To meet the extraordinary demands of a large-scale emergency, hospitals and other healthcare providers will depend upon the services that volunteers can provide. The Michigan Volunteer Registry provides hospitals, public health, and healthcare organizations access to qualified and credentialed personnel. There is no obligation to respond.

Volunteers may select from a variety of organizations and indicate their affiliation and deployment preferences. Authorized Michigan Volunteer Registry personnel can query the system and notify volunteers from a particular affiliation of a deployment opportunity. Volunteers can also have access to topical information regarding specific events, exercises and drills, or general knowledge and training.

The Michigan State Medical Society encourages members to participate in the Michigan Volunteer Registry, helping to build a pool of pre-identified volunteers. It is essential to verify the health professional volunteers who arrive at the scene of an emergency are credentialed to ensure that patients receive the best quality of care and to help ensure an effective coordinated response.

If you are interested in registration to help support an emergency response, please go to http://MIVolunteerRegistry.org and follow the steps. You may also contact a Registry administrator at (866) 636-6324 or help-MIVolunteerRegistry@michigan.gov.

Register now. You can make a difference.

Posted in: Volunteer Opportunities, State Government News, Hot Topics

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