38 U.S. Code § 7328 - Medical preparedness centers
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(a) Establishment of Centers.—
(1) The Secretary shall establish four medical emergency preparedness centers in accordance with this section. Each such center shall be established at a Department medical center and shall be staffed by Department employees.
(2) The Under Secretary for Health shall be responsible for supervising the operation of the centers established under this section. The Under Secretary shall provide for ongoing evaluation of the centers and their compliance with the requirements of this section.
(b) Mission.— The mission of the centers shall be as follows:
(1) To carry out research on, and to develop methods of detection, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of injuries, diseases, and illnesses arising from the use of chemical, biological, radiological, incendiary or other explosive weapons or devices posing threats to the public health and safety.
(2) To provide education, training, and advice to health care professionals, including health care professionals outside the Veterans Health Administration, through the National Disaster Medical System established pursuant to section 2811(b) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300hh–11 (b))  or through interagency agreements entered into by the Secretary for that purpose.
(3) In the event of a disaster or emergency referred to in section 1785 (b) of this title, to provide such laboratory, epidemiological, medical, or other assistance as the Secretary considers appropriate to Federal, State, and local health care agencies and personnel involved in or responding to the disaster or emergency.
(c) Selection of Centers.—
(1) The Secretary shall select the sites for the centers on the basis of a competitive selection process. The Secretary may not designate a site as a location for a center under this section unless the Secretary makes a finding under paragraph (2) with respect to the proposal for the designation of such site. To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall ensure the geographic dispersal of the sites throughout the United States. Any such center may be a consortium of efforts of more than one medical center.
(2) A finding by the Secretary referred to in paragraph (1) with respect to a proposal for designation of a site as a location of a center under this section is a finding by the Secretary, upon the recommendations of the Under Secretary for Health and the Assistant Secretary with responsibility for operations, preparedness, security, and law enforcement functions, that the facility or facilities submitting the proposal have developed (or may reasonably be anticipated to develop) each of the following:
(A) An arrangement with a qualifying medical school and a qualifying school of public health (or a consortium of such schools) under which physicians and other persons in the health field receive education and training through the participating Department medical facilities so as to provide those persons with training in the detection, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of injuries, diseases, and illnesses induced by exposures to chemical and biological substances, radiation, and incendiary or other explosive weapons or devices.
(B) An arrangement with a graduate school specializing in epidemiology under which students receive education and training in epidemiology through the participating Department facilities so as to provide such students with training in the epidemiology of contagious and infectious diseases and chemical and radiation poisoning in an exposed population.
(C) An arrangement under which nursing, social work, counseling, or allied health personnel and students receive training and education in recognizing and caring for conditions associated with exposures to toxins through the participating Department facilities.
(D) The ability to attract scientists who have made significant contributions to the development of innovative approaches to the detection, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of injuries, diseases, and illnesses arising from the use of chemical, biological, radiological, incendiary or other explosive weapons or devices posing threats to the public health and safety.
(3) For purposes of paragraph (2)(A)—
(A) a qualifying medical school is an accredited medical school that provides education and training in toxicology and environmental health hazards and with which one or more of the participating Department medical centers is affiliated; and
(d) Research Activities.— Each center shall conduct research on improved medical preparedness to protect the Nation from threats in the area of that center’s expertise. Each center may seek research funds from public and private sources for such purpose.
(e) Dissemination of Research Products.—
(1) The Under Secretary for Health and the Assistant Secretary with responsibility for operations, preparedness, security, and law enforcement functions shall ensure that information produced by the research, education and training, and clinical activities of centers established under this section is made available, as appropriate, to health-care providers in the United States. Dissemination of such information shall be made through publications, through programs of continuing medical and related education provided through regional medical education centers under subchapter VI of chapter 74 of this title, and through other means. Such programs of continuing medical education shall receive priority in the award of funding.
(f) Coordination of Activities.— The Secretary shall take appropriate actions to ensure that the work of each center is carried out—
(1) in close coordination with the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services, and other departments, agencies, and elements of the Government charged with coordination of plans for United States homeland security; and
(2) after taking into consideration applicable recommendations of the working group on the prevention, preparedness, and response to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies established under section 319F(a) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 247d–6 (a)) or any other joint interagency advisory group or committee designated by the President or the President’s designee to coordinate Federal research on weapons of mass destruction.
(g) Assistance to Other Agencies.— The Secretary may provide assistance requested by appropriate Federal, State, and local civil and criminal authorities in investigations, inquiries, and data analyses as necessary to protect the public safety and prevent or obviate biological, chemical, or radiological threats.
(h) Detail of Employees From Other Agencies.— Upon approval by the Secretary, the Director of a center may request the temporary assignment or detail to the center, on a nonreimbursable basis, of employees from other departments and agencies of the United States who have expertise that would further the mission of the center. Any such employee may be so assigned or detailed on a nonreimbursable basis pursuant to such a request.
(1) There are authorized to be appropriated for the centers under this section $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2007.
(2) In addition to any amounts appropriated for a fiscal year specifically for the activities of the centers pursuant to paragraph (1), the Under Secretary for Health shall allocate to the centers from other funds appropriated for that fiscal year generally for the Department medical services account and the Department medical and prosthetic research account such amounts as the Under Secretary determines necessary in order to carry out the purposes of this section.
 See References in Text note below.
Source(Added Pub. L. 108–422, title III, § 303(c)(1),Nov. 30, 2004, 118 Stat. 2386; amended Pub. L. 110–387, title IX, § 901(a)(8),Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4142.)
References in Text
Section 2811(b) of the Public Health Service Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(2), was redesignated section 2812(a) of the Public Health Service Act by Pub. L. 109–417, title I, § 102(a)(2), title III, § 301(a)(3),Dec. 19, 2006, 120 Stat. 2832, 2853, and is classified to section 300hh–11 (a) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.
The text of subsecs. (a) to (h) of this section consists of the text of section 7325 (a) to (h) of this title, as duplicated in this section by Pub. L. 108–422, § 303(c)(1)(B), which was based on Pub. L. 107–287, § 2(a)(1),Nov. 7, 2002, 116 Stat. 2024.
2008—Subsec. (i)(2). Pub. L. 110–387substituted “medical services account” for “medical care account”.
Transfer of Functions
For transfer of functions, personnel, assets, and liabilities of the National Disaster Medical System, including the functions of the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response relating thereto, to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, see title III of Pub. L. 109–295, set out in part as a note under section 300hh–11 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, and section 301(b) ofPub. L. 109–417, set out as a note under section 300hh–11 of Title 42.
For transfer of functions, personnel, assets, and liabilities of the National Disaster Medical System of the Department of Health and Human Services, including the functions of the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness [now Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response] relating thereto, to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see former section 313 (5) andsections 551 (d), 552 (d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.
Enhancement of Medical Preparedness of Department of Veterans Affairs
“(a) Peer Review Panel.—In order to assist the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in selecting facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs to serve as sites for centers under section 7328 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (c), the Secretary shall establish a peer review panel to assess the scientific and clinical merit of proposals that are submitted to the Secretary for the selection of such facilities. The panel shall be established not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 30, 2004] and shall include experts in the fields of toxicological research, infectious diseases, radiology, clinical care of veterans exposed to such hazards, and other persons as determined appropriate by the Secretary. Members of the panel shall serve as consultants to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Amounts available to the Secretary for Medical Care may be used for purposes of carrying out this subsection. The panel shall not be subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.).
“(b) Proposals.—The Secretary shall solicit proposals for designation of facilities as described in subsection (a). The announcement of the solicitation of such proposals shall be issued not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and the deadline for the submission of proposals in response to such solicitation shall be not later than 90 days after the date of such announcement. The peer review panel established under subsection (a) shall complete its review of the proposals and submit its recommendations to the Secretary not later than 60 days after the date of the deadline for the submission of proposals. The Secretary shall then select the four sites for the location of such centers not later than 45 days after the date on which the peer review panel submits its recommendations to the Secretary.”