Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate amended (07/31/2002)

Department of Veterans Affairs Emergency Preparedness Act of 2002 - Title I: Medical Emergency Preparedness - Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish and maintain within the Veterans Health Administration four centers for research and activities on medical emergency preparedness, including: (1) research on the detection, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of injuries, diseases, and illnesses arising from the use of chemical, biological, radiological, or incendiary or other explosive weapons or devices; and (2) related education and training. Requires: (1) each center to be established at an existing Department of Veterans Affairs medical center; and (2) the Secretary to select center sites from among competitive proposals, utilizing a peer review panel. Authorizes each center to provide assistance to Federal, State, and local agencies for investigations or inquiries intended to protect the public safety and health with regard to such weapons or devices. Authorizes appropriations for FY 2003 through 2007.

Title II: Department of Veterans Affairs Administration - Increases from six to seven the authorized number of Assistant Secretaries of Veterans Affairs. Provides as additional Assistant Secretary functions duties pertaining to operations, preparedness, security, and law enforcement.

(Sec. 202) Increases from 18 to 20 the authorized number of Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Veterans Affairs.

Title III: Health Care Matters - Authorizes the Secretary to furnish hospital care and medical services to: (1) individuals responding to, involved in, or otherwise affected by a disaster or medical emergency; and (2) veterans without regard to their enrollment in the Department's annual patient enrollment system. Authorizes the Secretary to give a higher priority to the furnishing of such care and services over all other care with the exception of care for: (1) veterans with service-connected disabilities; and (2) military personnel on active duty during a war or national emergency (as authorized herein). Requires the Secretary, within 60 days of providing any such care or services, to report to the congressional veterans' committees on allocated facilities and personnel. Excepts individuals receiving such care from required charges for emergency care. Empowers the Secretary to provide such care and services to military personnel on active duty responding to or involved in such disaster or emergency. Allows the Secretary to give a higher priority of such care to military personnel over all others except veterans with service-connected disabilities.

Title IV: Research Corporations - Allows funds received by the Secretary for research or education and training to be transferred to and administered by established research corporations. Considers employees of such research corporations to be Federal employees for purposes of Federal tort claims laws.

(Sec. 403) Makes permanent (currently expires December 31, 2003) the authority to establish nonprofit Department research and education corporations.