VA staff volunteer around the country in times of need

VA supports employees who want to volunteer their time through flexible scheduling, paid time off and a program to help the nation in emergencies.


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Commitment to service unites us at VA. At thousands of VA health care centers and outpatient clinics throughout the nation, our employees are committed to serving Veterans.

We support and celebrate employees who want to take this dedication to the next level – whether that’s through flexible scheduling to accommodate volunteer activities, paid time off to fulfill reserve or National Guard duties, or by participating in a program that assists other VA facilities in an emergency.

Helping in a time of need

Through the Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System (DEMPS), both clinical and non-clinical staff can volunteer to serve in the event of an emergency or disaster. DEMPS is a key component of our fourth mission to provide back-up health services to the nation.

When VA health care providers and support personnel are pulled away from their facilities to assist in events like hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and public health emergencies, these volunteers help fill in.

Recently, a team of 40 VA employees from around the country traveled to Muskogee, Oklahoma, to help care for Veterans affected by COVID-19.

“One thing this pandemic has shown is that when things get tough, VA health care staff do not waiver in their dedication to do whatever is needed to care for Veterans,” said Mark Morgan, Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System director.

The DEMPS team members, including nurse Lee Barela, were stationed at Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center.

“We are all here at VA to pay back to our Veterans for the services they have provided for us,” said Barela. “I think the presence of DEMPS brings a sense of comfort to Veterans. They know that as a country we are stepping up and doing a great job. We make sure that no matter what is happening, they receive their care without delay.”

Another group of DEMPS volunteers, including nurse Dorothy Barrow, were called to help an understaffed medical center in Whiteriver, Arizona. The center serves members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, and Barrow helped ease the strain on night-shift family care unit staff.

“It was a humbling experience to be accepted into their cultural traditions while being helpful at the same time,” Barrow said.

Work at VA

If you’re as committed to service as we are, consider a VA career. Our mission of caring for Veterans —and helping the nation in times of need — is second-to-none.

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VA Careers

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