The health, safety, and security of the Department’s personnel and family members remain a top priority for the Secretary.
The Department established the Health Incident Response Task Force (HIRTF) in 2018 as a temporary element to coordinate its response to reports of anomalous health incidents (AHI).
Over the past five years, HIRTF and its many partners have coordinated improved policies and practices to ensure AHI reports are received with respect, implemented legislation including the Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks (HAVANA) Act of 2021, and facilitated care and appropriate benefits for our colleagues and their family members.
To enshrine and maintain that important work, the Secretary has decided to initiate HIRTF’s transition into existing Department structures. We expect the process to be completed within the next few months. Reflecting the importance he places on this issue, the Secretary has designated Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources Richard Verma as the AHI Agency Coordination Lead. Deputy Secretary Verma will oversee the Department’s policy and interagency response.
Given its already established role in providing support for employees and family members affected by AHI, the Bureau of Global Talent Management’s Care Coordination Team will become the central office responsible for the Department’s response to reports of AHI, with additional staff to support this new role.