Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System-VA
Records are maintained at each of the Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA) health care facilities. The address locations for VA
facilities were listed in VA Appendix I of the biennial publication
of the VA systems of record. Information from these records or copies
of records may be maintained at the Department of Veterans Affairs,
810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20420; Network Directors'
Offices; Emergency Management Strategic Healthcare Group
Headquarters, VA Medical Center, Martinsburg, WV 25401; or with the
Area Emergency Managers located at VA facilities.
Categories of individuals covered by the system:
VA employees who make application to VA and are considered for
deployment as health care providers primarily in times of national
emergencies in response to domestic disasters resulting from natural
and technological hazards, terrorist attacks, and the employment of
nuclear, biological, and/or chemical weapons of mass destruction.
These individuals may include audiologists, dentists, dietitians,
expanded-function dental auxiliaries, licensed practical vocational
nurses, nuclear medicine technologists, nurse anesthetists, nurse
practitioners, nurses, occupational therapists, optometrists,
clinical pharmacists, licensed physical therapists, physician
assistants, physicians, podiatrists, psychologists, registered
respiratory therapists, certified respiratory therapy technicians,
diagnostic and therapeutic radiology technologists, social workers,
speech pathologists, contracting specialists, building maintenance,
engineering, housekeeping, and other personnel associated with
Categories of records in the system:
Information on VA employees who make application to be deployed
as health care providers primarily in times of national emergencies.
This source document provides personal and demographic information
initiated, provided and authenticated by the employee and contains
the necessary approvals and signatures of officials in the
supervisory chain for the employee's inclusion in the data base.
Information is provided on a voluntary basis. Information related to
identifying and selecting individuals by the Emergency Management
Strategic Healthcare Group, networks and medical centers eligible to
support specific job tasking and assignments during either disasters
internal to the Veterans Health Administration health care system, or
external to VHA for which the VA is tasked to provide support, under
applicable authorities. Requests for issuance of travel orders and
necessary reimbursement to VA for subsequent allocation of funds to
home stations of deployed personnel are required to cover costs of
travel, overtime and other expenses associated with individual
deployments. This information is necessary to account for personnel
deployed to support disasters, to identify personnel with specific
job skills and experience that may be required to support contingency
missions tasked to VA under the VA/Department of Defense (DoD)
Contingency Plan, and for the development of plans at the corporate,
network and medical center level for utilization of VHA personnel in
support of VA internal and external disasters.
Authority for maintenance of the system:
Information on VA employees who make application to be de
Authority for maintenance of this system of records is Executive
Order 12656 dated November 18, 1988.
The records may be used for such purpose as to provide
information on sufficient health care medical personnel to respond to
disasters, to provide information to the Emergency Management
Strategic Healthcare Group primarily in times of national emergencies
caused by catastrophic events, and to respond to internal emergencies
occurring within the Veterans Integrated Service Networks.
Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including
categories of users and the purposes of such uses:
Information may be disclosed for routine uses as indicated below:
- Selected information (such as name, social security number,
home station and telephone numbers) may be disclosed to other Federal
departments and agencies that have an interest in or obligation to
track or otherwise audit transfer of funds to VA for reimbursement of
- Statistical information and other data may be disclosed to
Federal, State and local government agencies to assist in disaster
planning and after-action reports.
- When a record on its face, or in conjunction with other
records, indicates a violation or potential violation of law, whether
civil, criminal or regulatory in nature, and whether arising by
general statute or particular program statute, or by regulation, rule
or order issued pursuant thereto, disclosure may be made to the
appropriate agency, whether Federal, foreign, State, local, or
tribal, or other public authority responsible for enforcing,
investigating or prosecuting such violation or charged with enforcing
or implementing the statute, or rule, regulation, or order issued
pursuant thereto, if the information disclosed is relevant to any
enforcement, regulatory, investigative or prosecutive responsibility
of the receiving entity.
- Disclosure may be made to any source, such as a police
department or the Federal Bureau of Investigation, from which
additional information is requested to the extent necessary to
identify the individual, inform the source of the purpose(s) of the
request, and to identify the type of information requested such as
DEMPS personnel present at a crime scene caused by terrorists.
- Disclosure may be made to an agency in the executive,
legislative, or judicial branch, or the District of Columbia's
Government in response to its request, or at the initiation of VA,
for information in connection with the selection of an employee for
the deployment and future training of an individual, the letting of a
contract, the issuance of a license, grant, or other benefits by the
requesting agency, or the lawful statutory, administrative, or
investigative purpose of the agency to the extent that the
information is relevant and necessary to the requesting agency's
deployment/Federal Response Plan needs.
- Disclosure may be made to a Member of Congress or to a
congressional staff member in response to an inquiry of the
congressional office made at the written request of the constituent
about whom the record is maintained.
- Disclosure may be made to the National Archives and Records
Administration (NARA) in records management inspections conducted
under authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906.
- Disclosure may be made to a Federal agency or to a State or
local government licensing board, and/or to the Federation of State
Medical Boards, or a similar non-government entity, provided the
entity maintains records concerning individuals' employment
histories, is engaged in the issuance, retention or revocation of
licenses, certifications, or registration necessary to practice an
occupation, profession or specialty. The disclosure is for the
Department to obtain information relevant to a Department decision
concerning the hiring, retention or termination of an employee, or to
inform a Federal agency, licensing boards or to the appropriate non-
government entities about the health care practices of a terminated,
resigned, or retired health care employee whose professional health
care activity so significantly failed to conform to generally
accepted standards of professional medical practice as to raise
reasonable concern for the health and safety of patients receiving
medical care in the private sector or from another Federal agency.
These records may also be disclosed as part of an ongoing computer
matching program to accomplish these purposes.
- Information may be disclosed to private sector (i.e., non-
Federal, State, or local governments) agencies, organizations,
boards, bureaus, or commissions (e.g., the Joint Commission on
Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) when the disclosure is in
the best interest of the government (e.g., to obtain accreditation or
other approval rating). When cooperation with the private sector
entity, through the exchange of individual records, directly benefits
VA's completion of its mission, enhances personnel management
functions, or increases the public confidence in VA's or the Federal
government's role in the community, then the government's best
interests are served. Further, only such information that is clearly
relevant and necessary for accomplishing the intended uses of the
information as certified by the receiving private sector entity is to
- Information may be disclosed to a State or local government
entity or national certifying body that has the authority to make
decisions concerning the issuance, retention or revocation of
- Information may be disclosed to the Department of Justice and
United States Attorneys in defense or prosecution of litigation
involving the United States, and to Federal agencies upon their
request in connection with review of administrative tort claims filed
under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. 2672.
- Information on deployment to Federal/VHA emergencies,
performance, or other personnel-related material may be disclosed to
any facility with which there is, or there is proposed to be, an
affiliation, sharing agreement, contract, or similar arrangement, for
purposes of establishing, maintaining, or expanding any such
- Information concerning a health care provider's professional
qualifications and clinical privileges may be disclosed to a VA/
emergency disaster-served client patient, or the representative or
guardian of a patient who, due to physical or mental incapacity,
lacks sufficient understanding and/or legal capacity to make
decisions concerning his/her medical care, who is receiving or
contemplating receiving medical or other patient care services from
the provider when the information is needed by the patient or the
patient's representative or guardian in order to make a decision
related to the initiation of treatment, continuation or
discontinuation of treatment, or receiving a specific treatment that
is proposed or planned by the provider. Disclosure will be limited to
information concerning the health care provider's professional
qualifications (professional education, training and current
licensure/certification status), professional employment history, and
current clinical privileges.
- Information may be disclosed to officials of labor
organizations recognized under 5 U.S.C. chapter 71, when relevant and
necessary to their duties of exclusive representation concerning
personnel policies, practices, and matters affecting working
- Information may be disclosed to the VA-appointed
representative of an employee of all notices, determinations,
decisions, or other written communications issued to the employee in
connection with an examination ordered by VA under medical evaluation
(formerly fitness-for-duty) examination procedures or Department-
filed disability retirement procedures.
- Information may be disclosed to officials of the Merit
Systems Protection Board, including the Office of the Special
Counsel, when requested in connection with appeals, special studies
of the civil service and other merit systems, review of rules and
regulations, investigation of alleged or possible prohibited
personnel practices, and such other functions, promulgated in 5
U.S.C. 1205 and 1206, or as may be authorized by law.
- Information may be disclosed to the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission when requested in connection with
investigations of alleged or possible discrimination practices,
examination of Federal affirmative employment programs, compliance
with the Uniform Guidelines of Employee Selection Procedures, or
other functions vested in the Commission by the President's
Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978.
- Information may be disclosed to the Federal Labor Relations
Authority (including its General Counsel) when requested in
connection with investigation and resolution of allegations of unfair
labor practices, and in connection with the resolution of exceptions
to arbitrator awards when a question of material fact is raised.
- Disclosure may be made to agency contractors, grantees, or
volunteers who have been engaged to assist the agency in the
performance of a contract service, grant, cooperative agreement, or
other activity related to this system of records and who need to have
access to the records in order to perform the activity. Recipients
shall be required to comply with the requirement of the Privacy Act
of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552a.
Disclosure to consumer reporting agencies:
Reports of all transactions dealing with data will be used within
VA and will not be provided to any consumer-reporting agency.
Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, Retaining and Disposing of records in the
Automated records are maintained at all levels of management
outlined in system location. Automated information may be stored on
microfilm, magnetic tape, disk, or call down data bases.
Records are retrieved from the system by the name, professional
title, social security number, VISN, home station, professional
specialty, job position title, etc., of the individuals on whom they
- Access to VA working and storage areas in VA health care
facilities is restricted to VA employees on a need-to-know basis;
strict control measures are enforced to ensure that disclosure to
these individuals is also based on this same principle. Generally, VA
file areas are locked after normal duty hours, and the health care
facilities are protected from outside access by the Federal
Protective Service or other security personnel.
- Access to the Veterans Health Information Systems Technology
Architecture (VISTA) computer room within the health care facilities
is generally limited by appropriate security devices and restricted
to authorized VA employees and vendor personnel. ADP peripheral
devices are generally placed in secure areas (areas that are locked
or have limited access) or are otherwise protected. Authorized VA
employees may access information in the VISTA system. Access to file
information is controlled at two levels: The system recognizes
authorized employees by a series of individually unique passwords/
codes as a part of each data message, and the employees are limited
to only that information in the file which is needed in the
performance of their official duties.
Retention and disposal:
An automated database of DEMPS personnel will be maintained at
the employing VA facility. If the individual transfers to another VA
facility location, the name will be added to the database at the new
location. Information stored on electronic storage media is
maintained and disposed of in accordance with the records disposition
authority approved by the Archivist of the United States.
System manager(s) and address:
Official responsible for maintaining the system: Director,
Emergency Management Strategic Healthcare Group (EMSHG) (104), VA
Medical Center, Martinsburg, West Virginia, 25401.
Individuals who wish to determine whether this system of records
contains information about them should contact the VA facility
location at which they made application as a deployment volunteer, or
are or were employed. Inquiries should include the employee's full
name, social security number, date of application for employment or
dates of employment, and return address.
Record access procedures:
Individuals seeking information regarding access to and
contesting of records in this system may write, call or visit the VA
facility location where they made application for employment or are
or were employed.
Contesting record procedures:
(See Record Access Procedures above.)
Record source categories:
The information will be provided by the individual VA employee
and the VA medical facility (home station) or other VA location at
which the employee was employed. EMSHG Headquarters will also provide
information for updates of deployment status and availability.
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