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A Special Message from the Surgeon General - Richard H. Carmona

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Tommy G. Thompson

Dear Colleagues and Fellow Citizens:

Our nation changed forever on September 11, 2001.  But the thousands of volunteers who so selflessly helped others during that national tragedy inspired us.

Many of our nation's most respected organizations were ready to serve.  And many more people asked, "What can I do?"

President Bush created the USA Freedom Corps in response to that outpouring of support in the days following September 11.   The President asked all Americans to volunteer 4,000 hours of their time - about two years - to serving others.

The Medical Reserve Corps is one way that health professionals can volunteer to strengthen both their communities and their nation.   Locally-based Medical Reserve Corps Units can assist during large-scale emergencies, such as an influenza epidemic, a chemical spill, or an act of terrorism.  Medical Reserve Corps volunteers also work to improve the overall health and well-being of their neighborhoods and communities.

Local officials are developing their own Medical Reserve Corps units because local officials know best what their individual communities need.

Working together, we are strengthening our communities and, in turn, strengthening our nation.


Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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