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SMVP Reaches 700 Volunteers

On March 16, the State Managed Volunteer Pool (SMVP) reached an unprecedented milestone. Annie Tran, a 23-year-old pharmacy student at Pacific University in Hillsboro, became the registry’s 700th volunteer.

She joins SMVP volunteers currently residing in 31 of Oregon’s 36 counties, including registered nurses, physicians, acupuncturists, dentists, massage therapists, paramedics, chiropractors, and many others ready and willing to be activated in the event of a Governor-declared emergency or state-sanctioned exercise.

“I want to help out the community. I’ve done a lot of service before – immunizations and all those activities – and this is the perfect opportunity to continue do so in the local community,” said Tran. “I also want to help out in emergency situations. Before, I’ve only donated money. I didn’t know that I could actually do other things.”

Indeed, nearing her May 2013 graduation, the pharmacy student has a lot to offer in emergency situations. To show its appreciation for her service, SERV-OR had a few things to offer as well.

To commemorate her as the 700th volunteer, Tran was awarded an emergency blanket, flashlight, and preparedness booklets. Upon discovering that she was number 700, Tran said that she was in “awe.”

“I never win things. Even though it’s small, it’s an accomplishment for me,” she said with a laugh.

Officially launched in 2008 as a part of the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP) – a federal program created after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and designed to establish standards for using medical volunteers during disasters – the SMVP has witnessed an exponential growth during its brief existence. In its first year, there were a mere 12 volunteers. Since then, 688 have been added.

“The 700th volunteer is an exciting milestone that is a testament to the Oregon Health Authority’s commitment and efforts to market, recruit, train, and build a strong emergency volunteer program to protect all Oregonians,” said Akiko Berkman, Oregon’s State MRC Coordinator and ESAR-VHP Project Officer. “Having as many licensed health providers that are registered, pre-credentialed, and pre-trained will only increase our ability to respond and to save lives.”

With that said, the SMVP’s well on its way towards 800.

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