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Assessment of the Medical Reserve Corps Program

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Appendix F: Master Interview Guide for Federal-Level MRC Key Informant Interviews


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 key informant interviews with a select sample of individuals from the public and private organizations who in some capacity interface with the MRC Program. You were identified by the evaluation's Expert Panel as a key informant based on your position and background. During today's interview, we will ask you to discuss your involvement with the MRC Program and federal emergency management and coordination activities more generally.

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?


We will be preparing a report that presents the findings from all the federal key informant interviews. 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 HHS key informant." 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?

After having reviewed the interview guide, are there any questions you can't address and we should skip over?

Stakeholder Background

To begin, we'd like to learn a little about you. Could you describe your position and your responsibilities as they pertain to that position?

  • How long have you been in this position?

Awareness of MRC

What is your understanding of the purpose and goal of the MRC?

Was the MRC duplicative of other federal initiatives in place from 2002-2005 or complementary? What unique need(s) did it fulfill?

What, if anything, would you change about the design or scope of the program to enhance its functioning?

MRC External Coordination

In your capacity as (POSITION in AGENCY), how did you work or engage with the MRC Program during the period of 2002-2005?

How would you characterize the involvement between the MRC Program and your agency [other federal/private agencies and organizations] from 2002-2005?

  • Was involvement mostly formal or informal?
  • Was the MRC Program Office a part of any decision protocol that involves your agency?
  • Were you involved in planning and coordination at a strategic level?
  • Was your involvement mostly in the capacity of information sharing?

Overall, how would you describe the quality of the coordination between the MRC Program and your agency [or other federal agencies and organizations] during the demonstration period?

Has your relationship with the MRC Program changed over time? How?

What were the mechanisms or factors in place that facilitated coordination with the MRC?

More broadly speaking, how well was the MRC Program integrated into the federal emergency preparedness and response plans in place from 2002-2005? Has that level of integration changed over time?

What could be done to better coordinate emergency response and preparedness activities with the MRC at the federal level?

  • What barriers need to be addressed? How?

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