More states sign on for uniformity in emergencies

Jun 10, 2009
By staff
National Report -- North Dakota and Oklahoma are the latest to join a growing number of states that have passed laws to make things easier for veterinary volunteers during declared emergencies.

The Uniform Law Commission, a non-profit unincorporated association that has been working to create legal uniformity across the United States since 1892, has been working on a campaign to get each state to adopt its Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act (UEVHPA) for some time. The last two to pass the act are Oklahoma, where it became law April 21, and North Dakota, on April 28. They join Indiana, New Mexico, Colorado, Kentucky, Tennessee and Utah. Uniform Law Commission Commissioner Raymond Pepe says the act also has been passed in both houses in Illinois and awaits governor's signature, and was partially enacted in Minnesota. Others expected to adopt the law soon include Arkansas, Florida, California, Washington D.C., Idaho, Maryland, Mississippi and North Carolina. The UEVHPA establishes a system that allows health professionals to register in advance or during an emergency to provide services. Affected states can then use the services of these professionals, relying on the registration systems to confirm that the professionals are appropriately licensed and are in good standing in their field.

The system also makes arrangements to report problems, such as disciplinary actions that might need to be taken against a volunteer by their home state. The act also addresses liability, compensation and reimbursement issues.

A boilerplate version of the UEVHPA can be found here.