TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — COVID 19 has stretched our medical system. Volunteers with medical know-how are stepping up to help.
It will take a massive effort to get the COVID vaccine to everyone who wants it. Volunteers will be a crucial part of making that happen.
The drive up vaccinations at Tucson Medical Center are part of the drive to immunize medical professionals. Vaccinations for the general public are still in the future. But for this effort, and for the broader vaccine campaign coming later, many of the people on the other end of the needle will be volunteers.
The Reserve Medical Corps of Southern Arizona organizes and certifies medical professionals volunteering their skills for the good of their community.
Pharmacist Keith Boesen is the President of the Southern Arizona Corps. He says, “A lot of them are retirees who still have their active license and are looking to stay involved with the training that they spent their entire career with. A lot of them, like myself, have a full time job just found this avenue for volunteering, rewarding and exciting. And I find it very important, so it runs the gamut, but many are either retired or those who just, you know, work part time and are looking to stay involved in something new and exciting.”
Boesen says after 9-11 the Federal government organized Reserve Medical Corps across the country to have extra medical workers pre-qualified and ready to help when emergencies break out. He says in Southern Arizona, the Corps has about a hundred volunteer doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical professionals.
Boesen says with a big vaccination push about to get even bigger, they could use volunteers across the region who know how to give vaccinations and know how to get vaccines ready to use.
“And this is something obviously it's, it's, it's at a scale like this It really has never been done before we're excited to be involved with it. It's an exciting program, I think the drive thru clinic and what TMC has been able to do is quite remarkable and they're looking to increase their capacity as well as the county itself.”
Medical skills are not needed for some important volunteer jobs like organizing traffic through vaccination sites or checking people in for their shots.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO VOLUNTEER?
You can reach the Reserve Medical Corps of Southern Arizona at this link.
The State of Arizona accepts volunteer applications for medical professionals and people without medical experience at this link.