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    Chapter 3: MDRMRC Unit Administration

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    ​A. Maryland Responds Volunteer Registry

    The Registry is administered and maintained by the MDRMRC State Program. The MDRMRC State Program provides Unit Administrators with training and technical assistance for utilizing the Registry, as needed. This section provides a basic overview of the volunteer management functions of the Registry. Refer to the Volunteer Registry − Administrator Protocols​ and the Registry’s online “Help Center” for more detailed instructions. Management of volunteers through the Registry is a shared responsibility between the MDRMRC State and local Unit Administrators and provides a unified mechanism for volunteer coordination and management. 

    Through the Registry, volunteers receive notifications from the MDRMRC State Program and local MDRMRC Units creating increased opportunities for involvement. Notifications for regional, statewide, or national deployment, training, or exercise opportunities will come from the MDRMRC State Program. Notifications regarding local deployment, training, or exercise opportunities will come directly from the local MDRMRC Units. 

    The Registry serves as an advanced registration database allowing Unit Administrators to quickly identify and activate volunteers during a public health emergency. In addition, the Registry allows for:
    • The registration of both medical and non-medical volunteers
    • Individual volunteer access via a password protected, secure website
    • Management of licensure and credential information
    • Collection of volunteer contact information, skills, professional, and training information
    • Searching or filtering of volunteers by various domains (e.g., name, trainings, location, profession, etc.)
    • Messaging for general communications, emergency activations, drills, and alerts 
    • Management of local MDRMRC Units (“Organizations”)
    • Document sharing
    • Creation of volunteer groups 
    • Exporting data and generating detailed reports
    • The ability to manage deployments and shifts via the Mission Manager and Schedule Manager functions
    • Access to the system 24/7

    Future plans include using the registry for verifying information on accreditation and privileges in hospitals or other medical facilities. The features and capabilities of the Registry continue to evolve. Registry system success is based on Unit Administrator use and input. Suggestions for Registry improvements can be sent to mdresponds.health@maryland.gov. 

    The State Administrators are your primary contacts for support or questions regarding the Registry. In the unlikely event that State Administrators are unavailable, and you require immediate emergency assistance with the Registry, contact the Registry vendor, Juvare Support Center. See “Juvare Support Center Contact Information” (Appendix E) for further details. 

    Unit Administrator Access to the Registry 

    To utilize the Registry for volunteer management, prospective Unit Administrators must complete the required steps set forward by the State Program. These steps ensure that all new Unit Administrators understand the roles and responsibilities of the State Program and the local Unit. See the “New Unit Administrator Registry Access” (Appendix D). 

    As part of these requirements, new Unit Administrators must complete the Maryland Responds New Unit Administrator Orientation training provided by the MDRMRC State Program. This training provides an overview of the MDRMRC and covers how to use the Registry to manage, activate, and communicate with MDRMRC volunteers. Contact the MDRMRC State Administrators at mdresponds.health@maryland.gov for more information about the training. 

    Once a Unit Administrator completes the requirements for gaining access to the Registry, their account will be upgraded by a State Administrator from a “Responder” account (default), to a “Local Administrator” account, enabling them to view and access all the volunteer profiles registered with their Unit.

    MDRMRC Unit Organization Details ​

    In the Registry, an MDRMRC Unit is referred to as an organization. As such, the “Organizations” tab in the Registry allows you to organize and manage the volunteers registered with your MDRMRC Unit. 

    When a new volunteer completes the online application through the Registry, they are required to join an organization. Outside of recruitment, this may be your first and primary contact with volunteers. Thus, it is important to closely monitor and manage your Unit’s organization in the Registry. In short, the “Organizations” tab on the registry allows Unit Administrators to: 
    • Edit organization details (e.g., states your Unit’s mission, upload your Unit’s logo, etc.)
    • View membership status breakdown 
    • Quick access to view accepted, pending, and rejected volunteer memberships  
    • Run administrative reports

    For detailed instructions on how to perform these tasks, please refer to the Volunteer Registry − Administrator Protocols. The Administrator Protocols cover instructions for main functions of Administrators but is not comprehensive of all tasks. For instructions or help on tasks not mentioned in the Administrator Protocols, sign into the Registry and access the “Help Center” by clicking the link in the upper right corner of the page. Questions can also be emailed to the State Administrators at mdresponds.health@maryland.gov. 

    Volunteer Notification Drill

    MDRMRC Unit Administrators should conduct, at minimum, one volunteer notification drill annually (this is included in the LHD PHEP funding conditions of award; see Section D of this chapter). This drill will enable Unit Administrators to assess how many volunteers could be available to deploy locally in a real world emergency. See “Volunteer Notification Drill Instructions” (Appendix F​).​

    B. MDRMRC Unit Volunteer Management Plan

    All MDRMRC Units should have a volunteer management plan to steer their annual activities (this is included in the LHD PHEP funding conditions of award; see Section D of this chapter). This plan should address the following topics: ​
    • Unit organization
    • Recruitment
    • Registration, screening and selection
    • Training and exercise
    • Volunteer utilization
    • Recognition and retention
    • Volunteer protections

    The MDRMRC State Program provides Unit Administrators with guidance for developing their MDRMRC Unit’s volunteer management plan throughout this Guide. For a template, see MDRMRC Unit Volunteer Management Plan – Template. Unit Administrators are not required to use this specific template. To better coordinate, state, jurisdictional, and local volunteer management efforts, all MDRMRC Units should update their volunteer management plan and submit it to the MDRMRC State Program on an annual basis. 

    C. Local MDRMRC Unit Organizational Structure​

    Each Maryland county and Baltimore City is has a local MDRMRC Unit. Local MDRMRC Units are administered by the LHD in that jurisdiction and operate under the authority of the local Health Officer. Under the local Health Officer’s authority, Unit Administrators determine when the Unit will deploy locally and which activities warrant volunteer activation. The overall management of the local MDRMRC Unit is usually determined by the public health emergency planner who may assume the role of the MDRMRC Unit Administrator or appoint a qualified staff member to this position.  

    D. LHD PHEP Funding Conditions of Award​

    Every fiscal year, OP&R publishes the LHD conditions of award for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Cooperative Agreement. Conditions of award for the MDRMRC Units will be included to fulfill the requirements for PHEP Capability 15: Volunteer Management. These conditions may change from fiscal year to fiscal year. Contact the MDRMRC State Program at mdresponds.health@maryland.gov if you are unsure what the MDRMRC conditions of award are for the current fiscal year.  ​

    E. Register with the National MRC Network

    MDRMRC Units are encouraged to register with the National MRC Network. Registration gives MDRMRC Units eligibility for funding opportunities (when available) relating to MRC capacity building based on a competitive awards process. In the past, these awards have ranged from $5,000 to $20,000. To register and potentially receive funding, there are certain programmatic procedures and regular reporting requirements with which Units must comply. Among other requirements, MDRMRC Units registered with the National MRC Network must update their Unit activities at least quarterly on their Unit’s online profile. 

    If you are interested in registering with the national MRC Program, email the State Administrators at mdresponds.health@maryland.gov. State Administrators will provide you with an introduction to Maryland’s national MRC Program Regional Liaison. 

    For additional information on registering your MDRMRC Unit with the national MRC Network, visit https://mrc.hhs.gov/leaderFldr/Lead

    For instructions on updating your MRC Unit profile, visit https://mrc.hhs.gov/leaderFldr/NewMemberResources#Unit.  

    F. Local MDRMRC Unit Activity Reporting​

    The MDRMRC State Program requires that all Units report their Unit’s activities quarterly via one of two mechanisms: ​
    1. If your Unit is registered with the national MRC Program, submit your quarterly activity reports by accessing your Unit’s online account on the national MRC Program website at: https://mrc.hhs.gov/Account/Login.aspx​. For assistance completing the activity report, please contact Maryland’s national MRC Regional Liaison, Melissa Watt, at melissa.watt@hhs.gov or at 312-353-3563.
    2. If your Unit is not registered with the national MRC Program, reference “Instructions for Reporting MDRMRC Unit Activities” (Append​ix G​) to submit your quarterly activity reports. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please contact the MDRMRC State Program at mdresponds.health@maryland.gov.