MCTC Forms Medical Reserve Corps, Joins Fight Against COVID | MCTC

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MCTC Forms Medical Reserve Corps, Joins Fight Against COVID

November 02, 2021
by Brady Shultz

Members of the health services faculty at Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC) have answered the call from local health care providers to form a Medical Reserve Corps and join them in their fight against COVID-19.

The effort began in January 2020, early in the pandemic but was recently ramped up after meetings with administrators from two hospitals in the region who expressed a need for staffing relief in their facilities due to a surge in COVID cases.

“They were looking for any help we could provide them,” said Academic Dean of Health Services, Ginger Clarke. “Our clinical partners are essential to preparing students for the workforce so it was an easy decision to pull together a team and help wherever we could.”

McGowan and SimsThe MCTC Medical Reserve Corps is being led by Nursing instructor, Dr. Rhonda Sims, who spent many years working as a nurse before joining MCTC as an instructor. Sims has been also spearheading community COVID-related aid efforts for the college since the beginning of the pandemic.

The team of volunteers consists of faculty instructors, staff members, as well as a group of second-year, Registered Nursing students currently enrolled at the college. All united with the goal of providing any service possible to medical facilities in the communities served by the college that have requested help.

(Photo: Nursing Instructor - Julia McGowan, RN and MCTC Med Corps Coordinator Dr. Rhonda Sims, RN.)

Prior to beginning their work, all med corps volunteers were asked to go through the same vetting process expected of any other hospital or clinical employee. Each was required to pass a background check, drug screening as well as receive their CPR certification before being assigned to a volunteer schedule.

student volunteersThe first outing for the student volunteers began in October with a shift at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead where they were each assigned several patients to care for during their shift.

In addition to earning hands-on, real-world experience the students participating in the corps were also able to apply their time to the clinical hour requirement necessary to earn their degree.

(Photo: MCTC Nursing student volunteers and instructor Julia McGowan, RN.)

Physical Therapist Assistant instructor and program director, Mary Alice Prater has also spent time volunteering at St. Claire. “I spent over thirty years in the clinical setting as a PT before joining the college. I knew my former colleagues were out there working every day keeping us safe and felt a professional obligation to join the fight.”

This is not the college’s first effort to offer assistance over the course of the pandemic. Before this initiative, the college had collected much-needed supplies for healthcare facilities, as well as provided volunteers for COVID vaccine clinics through the Buffalo Trace Area Health District based in Maysville.

“We’ve stayed active helping our communities throughout the pandemic, says Sims. “We must not only teach the next generation of nurses the skills they need to be successful, but we must also instill in them a sense of duty to help their community when they can after all…once a nurse, always a nurse,” she adds.

Any MCTC Alumni interested in joining the MCTC Medical Reserve Corps may contact Dr. Rhonda Sims at

To learn more about earning a career in healthcare through a program at MCTC visit,