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New website helps health workers sign up for disaster work

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To make volunteering in an emergency easier for health professionals, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today launched a national website for the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP).

ESAR-VHP is a national network of state-based programs that verifies the identity, licenses, and credentials of health professionals before an emergency happens.

Tornado touches down on Oklahoma farmland

Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The HHS national ESAR-VHP website provides a single point of entry for potential volunteers, connecting them with each state’s ESAR-VHP program, so health professionals can volunteer quickly without losing time waiting to have their credentials verified.

All health professionals are encouraged to visit the ESAR-VHP website, and follow the steps to register with their state system. Health professionals include doctors, nurses, dentists, veterinarians, medical technologists, clinical social workers, medical records technicians, and mental health counselors.

Registering with ESAR-VHP does not mean that health professionals are obligated to serve. Once registered, participants can opt in or out when contacted for volunteer service.

With 49 state programs in place, ESAR-VHP already counts almost 150,000 volunteers in its ranks. Yet with the number of volunteers who could be needed in a disaster is unknown, state coordinators are eager to add to the number of volunteers willing and ready to serve.

To learn more:

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