July Update

Even during the quiet summer months, the unit is still moving along. Here is some progress to share for the month of July.

1. Some of our members attended a class at Saints Memorial Medical Center in Lowell, to acquire hands-on practice with personal protective equipment and decontamination procedures. The class was offered through a partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Department of Fire Services. The material was of special interest to anyone who may be providing assistance at hospitals during a disaster.

Bill Cahill getting duct-taped into his gear.

Cahill and Nancy Burns, in their first layer of protective attire.

Donna Cox, of the Board of Health for the City of Lowell, completing the look.

A close-up of Burns with respiratory protection.

2. The new coordinator for MRCs across Massachusetts was introduced at the statewide quarterly meeting, held at the Wyndham in Westboro on July 28. Regina Villa is the owner of Regina Villa Associates, which was contracted as the statewide coordinator for the MRCs. Villa is a nurse by training, with a master's degree in public health administration, and has been running a firm specializing in environmental and public health issues for 28 years.

In her new role with the MRCs, Villa observed, "There are such interesting things going on at the local level, I'm really looking forward to supporting these activities."

The state and regional coordinators were among the presenters at the latest statewide MRC meeting. Left: Jennifer Frenette, Region I MRC Coordinator for USDHHS. Right: Regina Villa, MA MRC Coordinator.

Jennifer Frenette, Region I MRC Coordinator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was also on hand to report on the MRCs from a New England perspective. Frenette represents units in MA, RI, ME, NH, VT, and CT. "The sharing of information among the statewide units links and unites us in our region," said Frenette. "It's great that Massachusetts has recognized the need for a state coordinator, which also helps me to unify all six New England states." The state of New Hampshire has also recently hired a state volunteer MRC coordinator.

3. Another series of training classes is being launched, starting with a triage class on Saturday, August 20. Remember to check the calendar and training section on this web site periodically for updates.

Upper Merrimack Valley Medical Reserve Corp, 55 Main Street, Westford, MA 01886