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Deschutes County Health Services emergency preparedness coordinator named ‘Outstanding New Leader’

Deschutes County

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Deschutes County Health Services Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Carissa Heinige recently received an Outstanding New Leader award at the 2024 Medical Reserve Corps National Summit.

The MRC is a national network of medical and non-medical volunteers who promote preparedness and help to improve the health and safety of their communities when a health-related crisis, emergency or natural disaster occurs.

Deschutes County joined the national MRC network in 2023. Heinige serves as the Unit Director of the County’s MRC, alongside her duties as Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.

“This prestigious award is given to individuals who show exceptional integration and engagement during their first year of leadership in the National MRC Network,” said Heather Kaisner, Deschutes County Public Health Director. “Carissa Heinige deserves this honor because she has played a pivotal role in establishing the Deschutes County MRC and propelling it into a new phase, dedicated to supporting the medical needs of our community.”

Through Heinige’s leadership, the Deschutes County MRC has in one year successfully enlisted more than 100 volunteers to serve on the unit. While the volunteers receive training to be ready to respond if a crisis occurs, Heinige has also engaged them to participate in other “blue sky” activities like assisting with county health fairs, building preparedness kits for vulnerable communities, and supporting a crisis intervention training with local law enforcement.

The MRC National Summit is an annual event that is hosted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). More than 600 MRC leaders attended this year’s summit, which took place from May 22 to May 24 in Chicago, Illinois.

Article Topic Follows: Deschutes County

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