By Laura Harwood

The Boston Medical Reserve Corps is a group of volunteers who are ready to respond to a public health emergency in Boston. In an emergency, volunteers perform a wide range of tasks to help keep the city safe and healthy.

So who volunteers for the Boston MRC? Our volunteers are everyday people like Sophie who live, work, or go to school in the city of Boston. And you don’t need to have a medical background to volunteer with the Boston MRC.

Sophie Lehman is originally from Claremont, California and moved to North Carolina to attend Duke University.  After graduating in 2009, Sophie moved to Boston to work for a local women’s shelter. Now she works for Nonprofit VOTE, an organization that works to close voter  participation gaps by partnering with nonprofits to help the people they serve participate in the voting process. Outside of encouraging electoral participation, Sophie enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee for a Boston-based team, coaches youth basketball, plays fantasy cricket, and watches Duke basketball!

When asked why she wanted to become a member of the Boston MRC, Sophie said, “I studied global health at Duke and although I didn’t want to be a health professional, I still wanted to contribute to better health outcomes in my community. Joining the MRC was the perfect way to do that, particularly because of the key role preparedness plays in functioning health care systems and delivery.”

Sophie has volunteered at the City Hall flu clinic for the last couple of years and has excelled in all of the operational roles. She has taken Patient Tracking, Psychological First Aid, Managing a Mass Dispensing Clinic, and ICS through the DelValle Institute to increase her skills for volunteering. Sophie said, “I’ve really enjoyed volunteering at the flu clinics–it’s been a great way to exercise the skills from class, meet other MRC volunteers, and interact with the community.” She hopes to continue volunteering for special events like the Boston Marathon (and we would be lucky to have her there). Sophie has been a pleasure to work with; we have enjoyed her pleasant, easy-going nature and her great sense of humor!

Want to learn more or get involved? Visit

Laura Harwood is a program manager for the Boston Medical Reserve Corps, a program of the Boston Public Health Commission. Check back monthly to meet more Boston MRC volunteers.