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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The medical response


ASPR leads and coordinates the federal government’s health response.  We manage and deploy a system of health care professionals trained to respond to disasters.  ASPR has redesigned response processes and systems to deploy resources rapidly.  During Hurricane Sandy, ASPR was able to get teams on the ground within just four hours of the request from the state.

The National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) plays an important role in the medical response.  NDMS is a “reservist” style system of 5,000 medical responders.  NDMS teams can scale and deploy medical experts, supplies and equipment that are needed to protect health when disaster strikes.  In addition, ASPR oversees the Medical Reserve Corps, a network of 180,000 health care volunteers who serve throughout the nation, educating their communities on health topics and staffing drills and emergency events such as mass vaccination clinics.

  • This page last reviewed: April 19, 2017