FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 4, 2008

CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, (908) 527-4419

 

Union County Medical Reserve Corps Receives Training in Psychological First Aid
Volunteers instructed on all aspects of public health emergency response

Elizabeth - More than 40 members of the Union County Medical Reserve Corps have received training in the specialized field of Psychological First Aid. The training provides an overview of the psychological impact of a disaster on survivors, disaster responders, and their families.

“In emergency response, we have recognized that physical harm is just one element of a traumatic situation,” said Freeholder Chairman Angel G. Estrada. “The psychological impacts of a disaster can be devastating, and we want our responders to be able to take any steps possible to help people who may be affected.”

The Union County Medical Reserve Corps is a community-based, volunteer organization that is prepared to assist local health agencies during public health emergencies. It includes medical and non-medical personnel such as nurses, pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians, interpreters, chaplains, office workers and legal advisors. Volunteers are provided with training to qualify them as members.

The Psychological First Aid training session, conducted in March, was taught by Union County resident Margaret Pipchick, who is a Medical Reserve Corps volunteer.

Ms. Pipchick is an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a New Jersey Disaster Crisis Counselor. She participated with the Red Cross in the World Trade Center disaster and was deployed to Texas during Hurricane Rita.

The Medical Reserve Corps is a specialized part of Citizen Corps, a nationwide project of the Department of Homeland Security to engage community-based volunteers in community safety.

To get more information about the Union County Medical Reserve Corps or to volunteer, contact Ella Shaykevich, Medical Reserve Corps Coordinator, at 908-518-5620 or mrc@ucnj.org.