Children's National has been selected by the Washington, DC, Department of Health to establish a Pediatric Medical Reserve Corps (DC-PMRC), the first of its kind in the country. Developed after 9/11, Medical Reserve Corps throughout the country help organize and prepare community volunteers for disasters, but each Corps' scope is much wider than managing the needs of community children and families during a disaster.
The Washington, DC, Pediatric Medical Reserve Corps is primarily focused on providing pediatric support services to the Washington, DC, community in preparation for, response to, and recovery from disasters, pandemic, special events, and mass-casualty events involving children and families. The DC-PMRC team is equipped to respond to local emergencies for pediatric patients and families in the event of a situation that overwhelms the community's ability to respond.
"It's important that Washington, DC, be prepared to meet the needs of children and their families in the case of a city-wide emergency," said Joelle Simpson, MD, MPH, Medical Director for Emergency Preparedness at Children's National Health System and an Emergency Department physician who is leading the DC-PRMC. "At Children's National we want to do what is right for all children, so our goal is to establish this Pediatric Medical Reserve Corps with the ultimate goal that it could be replicated in communities around the country and world."
The Washington, DC, Pediatric Medical Reserve Corps leadership is comprised of staff at Children's National. The Emergency Medical Services for Children program has been a key liaison for the leadership group, offering both staff and resource support. The group welcomes more members on a rolling basis and currently collaborates with the other two Medical Reserve Corp groups in Washington, DC, to develop training exercises and other educational opportunities.
Children's Emergency Medicine and Trauma Services is the only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and serves as the regional referral center for pediatric emergencies.