Skip Navigation Archive: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services www.hhs.gov
Archive: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality www.ahrq.gov
Archive print banner
Assessment of the Medical Reserve Corps Program

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: https://info.ahrq.gov. Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to www.ahrq.gov for current information.

Appendix G: Master Interview Guides for Key Informant Interviews

MRC Unit Coordinator

Introduction

Before we get started I'd like to tell you a little bit about the Assessment of the MRC Demonstration Project and the purpose of our interview today. In FY 2002, the Office of the Surgeon General initiated the MRC Demonstration Project to facilitate the formation of local units whose membership would include volunteer medical and public health professionals who could respond to local emergencies and disasters, as well as address broader public health needs in their communities. RTI International, a nonprofit research firm based in North Carolina, has been contracted to evaluate the MRC Demonstration Project from its period of implementation from 2002 to 2005, assess its feasibility and potential for replication, and provide recommendations for enhancing the program overall.

As part of this evaluation, we are conducting case studies of six MRC units that represent the diversity of the MRC Program with regards to unit size, housing institution, emergency response experience, and public health initiatives. For the case study, we will be conducting key informant interviews with up to six stakeholders from each unit. Unit stakeholders include MRC unit volunteers, the MRC coordinator, the MRC State or regional coordinator, and representatives from MRC unit partner institutions (for example hospitals, health departments, churches, or universities). The focus of the case studies will be to provide lessons learned and best practices in the functional areas of internal coordination, external coordination, and volunteer relations during the demonstration period for the years 2002-2005.

In order to accurately document your comments, we'd like to tape record the interview. These tapes are for our own note-taking purposes only and will be destroyed at the end of the project. You will also have an opportunity to review and edit a written summary of our interview. Do we have your permission to tape the interview?

[IF OK, PROCEED, IF NO, JUST TAKE NOTES]

We will be preparing a report that presents the findings from all the key informant interviews from each case study. In order to protect your confidentiality, your comments will in no way be linked to your name. We may, however, use a generic description of the source of a comment such as "a unit volunteer." As this is a voluntary interview, you can decline to answer any questions or end this interview at any time with no consequences to you.

Before we begin, do you have any questions about the project or this interview?

Stakeholder Background

To begin, we'd like to learn a little about you. Could you briefly describe your history and involvement with the (insert unit name) MRC unit?

Unit Genesis/Design/Purpose

Who led the effort to establish the MRC and what were the factors that contributed to its initiation?

What was the goal or purpose of the MRC unit during the demonstration period? Was this a view that is shared by the volunteers and external partners? Has that viewed changed over time?

Was the MRC duplicative of other local preparedness and response initiatives or complementary? What unique need(s) did it fulfill?

External Coordination

What types of relationships were established between the MRC unit and other organizations?

  • What organizations?
  • Were the partnerships
    • Formal or informal?
    • Info sharing?
    • Strategic planning?

Emergency Deployments

As you know, the goals of the MRC involve enhancing surge capacity; however, people may interpret that term in different ways. Before we engage in a discussion about the MRC unit's support of emergencies, we'd like to know, what does surge capacity mean to you?

What kinds of emergency deployments did the MRC unit support during the demonstration period?

Was the MRC unit specified in the State and local emergency plan in place from 2002-2005? Why or why not?

How well did MRC volunteers understand activation protocols and local response plans for emergency deployments? What kinds of activities did you engage in to orient them?

How did the MRC work with other agencies and organizations during emergency deployments? What helped or hindered that process?

How did you communicate with the MRC (or volunteers) during emergency deployments? What helped or hindered communication?

What types of efforts were made to ensure MRC volunteers would have liability coverage in the event of a deployment?

Organizational Factors

What was the leadership structure of the MRC unit during the demonstration period?

What were the skills and background of the MRC leaders? How could leadership have been improved during the demonstration period?

What was the degree of turnover in leadership positions?

What was the nature of the relationship between the unit and the [name of the sponsoring organization]?

What kind of resources or in-kind supports did the [name of the sponsoring organization] provide? Other external partners? What resources or supports were lacking?

How often did the MRC unit meet? What was the level of attendance? What contributed to good/poor attendance?

Who was involved in developing the MRC's written plan of action?

Communication Factors

What types of systems did the MRC unit use to track and update information on volunteers, contacts, and partners? Were they useful? How could they have been improved?

How did the MRC routinely communicate with its volunteers?

  • Phone?
  • Mail?
  • E-mail/Web?

Staffing

What professions are represented in the MRC unit? What professions or skill sets does the unit need?

Has the size of the MRC unit been adequate? Does the unit need to be bigger/smaller?

Training and Technical Assistance

What kinds of training and technical assistance did volunteers (or unit leaders) receive?

Was the training and technical assistance provided adequate? If not, why and how could it have been more so?

Recruitment and Retention

What procedures were established to verify the credentials and background of MRC volunteers? How could they have been improved?

How did volunteers learn about and become members of the MRC unit during the demonstration period?

What was the level of turnover of MRC volunteers during the demonstration period? What were the major reasons volunteers dropped out?

  • Meeting time/location?
  • Time commitment?
  • Left the area?
  • Skills and interest not compatible with MRC goals?

What strategies did the MRC unit employ to retain volunteers?

Community Health Deployments

What types of community health activities were carried out by the unit during the demonstration period?

What was the level of interest and participation in these activities among the MRC volunteers?

How could the MRC units have been more effectively utilized to address public health needs in the community?

MRC State/Regional Coordinator

Introduction

Before we get started I'd like to tell you a little bit about the Assessment of the MRC Demonstration Project and the purpose of our interview today. In FY 2002, the Office of the Surgeon General initiated the MRC Demonstration Project to facilitate the formation of local units whose membership would include volunteer medical and public health professionals who could respond to local emergencies and disasters, as well as address broader public health needs in their communities. RTI International, a nonprofit research firm based in North Carolina, has been contracted to evaluate the MRC Demonstration Project from its period of implementation from 2002 to 2005, assess its feasibility and potential for replication, and provide recommendations for enhancing the program overall.

As part of this evaluation, we are conducting case studies of six MRC units that represent the diversity of the MRC Program with regards to unit size, housing institution, emergency response experience, and public health initiatives. For the case study, we will be conducting key informant interviews with up to six stakeholders from each unit. Unit stakeholders include MRC unit volunteers, the MRC coordinator, the MRC State or regional coordinator, and representatives from MRC unit partner institutions (for example hospitals, health departments, churches, or universities). The focus of the case studies will be to provide lessons learned and best practices in the functional areas of internal coordination, external coordination, and volunteer relations during the demonstration period of 2002-2005.

In order to accurately document your comments, we'd like to tape record the interview. These tapes are for our own note-taking purposes only and will be destroyed at the end of the project. You will also have an opportunity to review and edit a written summary of our interview. Do we have your permission to tape the interview?

[IF OK, PROCEED, IF NO, JUST TAKE NOTES]

We will be preparing a report that presents the findings from all the key informant interviews from each case study. In order to protect your confidentiality, your comments will in no way be linked to your name. We may, however, use a generic description of the source of a comment such as "a unit volunteer." As this is a voluntary interview, you can decline to answer any questions or end this interview at any time with no consequences to you.

Before we begin, do you have any questions about the project or this interview?

Stakeholder Background

To begin, we'd like to learn a little about you. Could you briefly describe your history and involvement with the (insert unit name) MRC unit?

Unit Genesis/Design/Purpose

Who led the effort to establish the MRC and what were the factors that contributed to its initiation?

What was the goal or purpose of the MRC unit during the demonstration period? Was this a view that is shared by the volunteers and external partners? Has that viewed changed over time?

Was the MRC duplicative of other local preparedness and response initiatives or complementary? What unique need(s) did it fulfill?

Emergency Deployments

What kinds of emergency deployments did the MRC unit support during the demonstration period?

Was the MRC unit specified in the State and local emergency plan in place from 2002 to 2005? Why or why not?

What types of efforts were made to ensure MRC volunteers would have liability coverage in the event of a deployment?

Organizational Factors

What were the skills and background of the MRC leaders? How could leadership have been improved?

What was the nature of the relationship between the unit and the [name of the sponsoring organization]?

What kind of resources or in-kind supports did the [name of the sponsoring organization] provide? Other external partners? What resources or supports were lacking?

Staffing

What professions are represented in the MRC unit? What professions or skill sets does the unit need?

Has the size of the MRC unit been adequate? Does the unit need to be bigger/smaller?

Recruitment and Retention

What was the level of turnover of MRC volunteers during the demonstration period? What were the major reasons volunteers dropped out?

  • Meeting time/location.
  • Time commitment.
  • Left the area.
  • Skills and interest not compatible with MRC goals.

Community Health Deployments

What types of community health activities were carried out by the unit during the demonstration period?

How could the MRC units have been more effectively utilized to address public health needs in the community?

Return to Contents

MRC Partnering Agency

Introduction

Before we get started I'd like to tell you a little bit about the Assessment of the MRC Demonstration Project and the purpose of our interview today. In FY 2002, the Office of the Surgeon General initiated the MRC Demonstration Project to facilitate the formation of local units whose membership would include volunteer medical and public health professionals who could respond to local emergencies and disasters, as well as address broader public health needs in their communities. RTI International, a nonprofit research firm based in North Carolina, has been contracted to evaluate the MRC Demonstration Project from its period of implementation from 2002 to 2005, assess its feasibility and potential for replication, and provide recommendations for enhancing the program overall.

As part of this evaluation, we are conducting case studies of six MRC units that represent the diversity of the MRC Program with regards to unit size, housing institution, emergency response experience, and public health initiatives. For the case study we will be conducting key informant interviews with up to six stakeholders from each unit. Unit stakeholders include MRC unit volunteers, the MRC coordinator, the MRC State or regional coordinator, and representatives from MRC unit partner institutions (for example hospitals, health departments, churches, or universities). The focus of the case studies will be to provide lessons learned and best practices in the functional areas of internal coordination, external coordination, and volunteer relations during the demonstration period.

In order to accurately document your comments, we'd like to tape record the interview. These tapes are for our own note-taking purposes only and will be destroyed at the end of the project. You will also have an opportunity to review and edit a written summary of our interview. Do we have your permission to tape the interview?

[IF OK, PROCEED, IF NO, JUST TAKE NOTES]

We will be preparing a report that presents the findings from all the key informant interviews from each case study. In order to protect your confidentiality, your comments will in no way be linked to your name. We may, however, use a generic description of the source of a comment such as "a unit volunteer." As this is a voluntary interview, you can decline to answer any questions or end this interview at any time with no consequences to you.

Before we begin, do you have any questions about the project or this interview?

Stakeholder Background

To begin, we'd like to learn a little about you. Could you briefly describe your history and involvement with the (insert unit name) MRC unit?

Unit Genesis/Design/Purpose

What was your understanding of the goal or purpose of the MRC unit during the demonstration period? Do you think that initial goal or purpose changed over time?

Was the MRC duplicative of other local preparedness and response initiatives or complementary? What unique need(s) did it fulfill?

External Coordination

Can you describe for me more specifically how you worked with or interacted with the MRC unit during the demonstration period?

  • What kinds of activities did you engage in?
    • Training and technical assistance?
    • Info sharing?
    • Strategic planning?
  • How often did you meet and for what purpose?
  • How formal was your relationship? Did you have an MOA or other contractual alliance?

Emergency Deployments

The next of set of questions deals with the MRC unit's activities involving emergency deployments. But before we continue, we'd like to get your definition of "surge capacity." As you know this term means different things to different people. So what does the term surge capacity mean to you?

To the extent that you know, what kinds of emergency deployments did the MRC unit support during the demonstration period? Please describe.

[IF DEPLOYED] Did your agency work with the MRC during the emergency deployment? If so, what helped or hindered that process?

[IF DEPLOYED] How did you communicate with the MRC (or volunteers) during emergency deployments? If so, what helped or hindered communication?

[IF DEPLOYED] How well do you think the MRC volunteers performed in their deployment? What if anything could have been improved?

Did your agency facilitate or become involved in training activities designed to orient volunteers in emergency deployment and activation protocols? If yes, what was your overall opinion of those activities?

  • Was there sufficient participation?
  • Did the volunteers build their capacity to respond effectively?
  • Could these activities have been improved?

Overall, how well do you think the MRC Program was integrated into the State and local emergency preparedness and response plans? Did that level of integration change over time?

Organizational Factors

What were the skills and background of the MRC leaders in place during the demonstration period? Were those skills/background adequate? Do you think the leadership could have been improved?

What kind of resources or in-kind supports did the MRC receive from your agency?

What resources or supports do you think were lacking, generally speaking?

Community Health Deployments

Do you know if the MRC was engaged in any community health activities during the demonstration period? If so, please describe.

[IF COMMUNITY DEPLOYED] Did your agency work with the MRC on any of these community health activities?

Could the MRC units have been more effectively utilized to address public health needs in the community? If so, how?

Wrap-Up

Overall, how successful do you think the MRC unit was in achieving its stated goals and objectives? Why?

If this MRC could start over, should it have done anything differently?

Return to Contents

MRC Volunteer

Introduction

Before we get started I'd like to tell you a little bit about the Assessment of the MRC Demonstration Project and the purpose of our interview today. In FY 2002, the Office of the Surgeon General initiated the MRC Demonstration Project to facilitate the formation of local units whose membership would include volunteer medical and public health professionals who could respond to local emergencies and disasters, as well as address broader public health needs in their communities. RTI International, a nonprofit research firm based in North Carolina, has been contracted to evaluate the MRC Demonstration Project from its period of implementation from 2002 to 2005, assess its feasibility and potential for replication, and provide recommendations for enhancing the program overall.

As part of this evaluation, we are conducting case studies of six MRC units that represent the diversity of the MRC Program with regards to unit size, housing institution, emergency response experience, and public health initiatives. For the case study, we will be conducting key informant interviews with up to six stakeholders from each unit. Unit stakeholders include MRC unit volunteers, the MRC coordinator, the MRC State or regional coordinator, and representatives from MRC unit partner institutions (for example hospitals, health departments, churches, or universities). The focus of the case studies will be to provide lessons learned and best practices in the functional areas of internal coordination, external coordination, and volunteer relations during the demonstration.

In order to accurately document your comments, we'd like to tape record the interview. These tapes are for our own note-taking purposes only and will be destroyed at the end of the project. You will also have an opportunity to review and edit a written summary of our interview. Do we have your permission to tape the interview?

[IF OK, PROCEED, IF NO, JUST TAKE NOTES]

We will be preparing a report that presents the findings from all the key informant interviews from each case study. In order to protect your confidentiality, your comments will in no way be linked to your name. We may, however, use a generic description of the source of a comment such as "a unit volunteer." As this is a voluntary interview, you can decline to answer any questions or end this interview at any time with no consequences to you.

Before we begin, do you have any questions about the project or this interview?

Stakeholder Background

To begin, we'd like to learn a little about you. Could you briefly describe your history and involvement with the (insert unit name) MRC unit? How long have you been a volunteer with the unit?

Unit Genesis/Design/Purpose

As a volunteer, what was your understanding of the goal or purpose of the MRC unit during the demonstration period? Do you think that initial goal or purpose changed over time?

Emergency Deployments

What, if any, of the emergency deployments did the MRC unit support during the time you were a volunteer? Please describe.

[IF DEPLOYED] How did you communicate with the MRC unit coordinator during emergency deployments? What helped or hindered communication?

[IF DEPLOYED] Did your unit work with other agencies and organizations during this emergency deployment? If so, what helped or hindered that process?

How well did you and the other volunteers understand activation protocols and local response plans for emergency deployment? What kinds of orientation activities and drills did you participate in to learn activation protocols? If yes, what was your overall opinion of those activities?

  • Was there sufficient participation?
  • Did the volunteers build their capacity to respond effectively?
  • Could these activities have been improved?

What types of efforts were made to ensure MRC volunteers would have liability coverage in the event of a deployment?

In addition to the MRC, were you a part of other organizations that might have been deployed in the event of an emergency? How would you prioritize between organizations?

Organizational Factors

What were the skills and background of the MRC leaders in place during the demonstration period? Were those skills/background adequate? Do you think the leadership could have been improved?

What was the degree of turnover in leadership positions during the time you were a volunteer? How did this affect the MRC unit?

How often did the MRC unit meet? What was the level of attendance? What contributed to good/poor attendance?

Were you, as a volunteer, ever involved in developing the MRC unit's goals and objectives or other strategic planning activities?

What resources or supports do you think were lacking generally speaking?

Communication Factors

How did the MRC routinely communicate with its volunteers?

  • Phone
  • Mail
  • E mail/Web

Staffing

What professions were represented in the MRC unit during the demonstration period? What professions or skill sets did the unit need?

Was the size of the MRC unit adequate? Did the unit need to be bigger/smaller?

Training and Technical Assistance

What kinds of training and technical assistance did volunteers receive? Were they required or optional?

Was the training and technical assistance provided adequate? If not, why and how could it have been more so?

Recruitment & Retention

How did volunteers learn about and become members of the MRC unit during the demonstration period?

What was the level of turnover of MRC volunteers during the demonstration period? What were the major reasons volunteers dropped out?

  • Meeting time/location
  • Time commitment
  • Left the area
  • Skills and interest not compatible with MRC goals

Did the MRC do anything special to retain volunteers?

How were you, as a volunteer, recognized for your efforts?

Community Health Deployments

While you were a volunteer, did the MRC engage in and support any community health activities? If so, please describe.

What was the level of interest and participation in these activities among the MRC volunteers?

Do you think the MRC could have been more effectively utilized to address public health needs in the community? If so, how?

Return to Contents

Current as of June 2007


Internet Citation:

Assessment of the Medical Reserve Corps Program. Program Evaluation. June 2007. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/about/evaluations/mrc/


 

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.

 

AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care