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North Carolina Needs You – Please Volunteer as a Health Care Worker

Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced the need for health care workers. In a letter, Dr. Cohen states, “We are facing an unprecedented crisis from COVID-19 that has already had devastating consequences internationally. With the virus now spreading in North Carolina, we need to bolster our health care system to ensure we can care for those impacted by the virus. A crucial part of that effort is recruiting volunteers to supplement our health care workforce. We are asking for your help to meet these needs.”

The letter continues as follows:

North Carolina has built a medical response capability through our state’s Health Care Coalitions (HCCs) that can augment all levels of care to citizens affected by a disaster event. The capability includes medical supplies and equipment, as well as volunteer health care and medical professionals who are willing to deploy to affected areas or facilities to provide patient care. This response is provided through the State Medical Response System (SMRS), which recruits and manages volunteers in the following areas:

• Clinical (physicians, advanced care providers, nurses, EMS) • Clinical Support (pharmacy, imaging and respiratory care) • Non-clinical support (facility maintenance, safety, and administrative)

We are also asking volunteers to provide medical supplies if they are able, including personal protective equipment.

If you are able to volunteer, please register though the NC Training, Exercise, and Response Management System (NC TERMS). That system can be accessed through: https://terms.ncem.org/TRS/. Once you create a personal profile, you will need to access the request for team membership from the response profile page. Click join a team; select ESF8 – Public Health and Medical Services; then select COVID 19 Medical Response Volunteers. From there you will need to select the team you wish to join and click “Request Membership.” As we need your help to respond to the evolving crisis, you will be vetted then onboarded through Temp Solutions, the temporary staffing agency of NC Office of Human Resources prior to assignment. According to NC General Statute 166A individuals providing health care services as part of a State Medical Assistance Team designated by the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services will be considered an “emergency management worker” and will be subject to the Immunity and Liability provisions outlined in 166A-19.60.

Local Health care Facilities affected by COVID-19 and in need of support can request assistance through their local (county) Emergency Management program. Local (county) Emergency Managers may have the ability to fulfill the support requested within the county. State operated facilities should work through their state agency to route staffing support through their agency to the State Emergency Operations Center. Health care facilities seeking assistance should work with their local county Emergency Managers and be prepared to provide detailed information of the need (avoid requesting specific assets to allow maximum flexibility and increase the likelihood that the request can be filled). Depending upon the type of request and the scope of the event, an affected facility may receive help from any or all of the HCCs. All requests for assistance, including supplies, equipment or personnel, are reviewed by the HCCs, Office of Emergency Management Services (OEMS) and North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM).

Thank you for your commitment to protecting the health and wellbeing of all North Carolinians.

Mandy Cohen MD, MPH Secretary

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