Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health



First Committee Member

Dr Sharon Meaker-Medcalf, PhD

Second Committee Member

Rachel Lookadoo, JD

Third Committee Member

Leslie Scofield, MPH


The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Veterans Health Administration (VHA) serves nine million veterans annually. Preparing for and responding to emergencies locally and nationally remains one of its critical missions. While VA policy requires the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) methodology to conduct national-level exercises, local medical facility exercises mandated by The Joint Commission do not hold the same requirement. This evaluation assesses the effectiveness of hospital-based exercises within the Veterans Health Administration in preparing VA Emergency Departments (EDs) and Urgent Care Centers (UCCs) for local disasters by querying ED/UCC Medical and Nursing Directors about their experiences with hospital exercises of any type (full-scale, functional, or tabletop). Fifty-six survey responses were analyzed for possible correlations. While limitations in the statistical significance of the analysis exist, HSEEP tends to improve exercise objective clarity, and participation in the Emergency Preparedness Committee tends to improve subjective opinions regarding exercise utility among VA Emergency Department Managers. Emergency department managers report a lack of feedback regarding exercise results or involvement in improvement planning. These findings warrant further study to provide recommendations regarding improving exercise planning and execution.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 04, 2024

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