Designated Education Officers,
We appreciate your patience and flexibility as the new requirements regarding the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination program and use of the VA LEAF system are fleshed out. This has been a very fluid and fast-paced process.
Many of you have sent us questions and we hope to share responses to the most frequently asked questions below.
- The updated COVID-19 vaccination mandate resulted from the Presidential Executive Order which impacts all VA employees.
- While VA Notice 22-01 recognizes the TQCVL for vaccination attestation, the OCHCO Bulletins supplement the Notice and requires the use of the LEAF system for all health care personnel which includes HPTs in the definition. VHA 1193 has been fully rescinded.
- All HPTs (VA paid, WOC, disbursement paid) must use this new process.
- The VA LEAF system (COVID-19 Vaccination Status | Department of Veterans Affairs) should allow all HPTs to enter their name, supervisor, and attestation information; selected supervisors will be able to view the compliance of their HPTs in the LEAF system. We are seeing this implemented by the program or site director being listed as the supervisor, not the DEO.
- The LEAF system is only available from within the VA firewall. There is a small subset of HPTs who never receive access to the VA computer system. Those HPTs may use VA Form 10-230 for purposes of attestation. This information can then be uploaded by the supervisor (as determined locally; does not have to be the DEO). Vaccination Status Data Entry for Supervisors | Department of Veterans Affairs
- HPTs that are not currently on site at a VA facility DO NOT have to be recalled for purposes of completing the LEAF attestation. Instead, these HPTs should complete the VA LEAF certification immediately prior to returning to VA for “reemployment.”
- The Reasonable Accommodations process for requesting exemptions from vaccination should be followed for HPTs in a way that is similar for staff. Feedback from the field suggests that employees, including HPTs, requesting an exemption must wear a face mask and undergo COVID-19 testing.
- While attestation for HPTs is important and the above processes need to be followed, HPT attestation is not yet a primary focus of national leadership.
- Anyone with questions not addressed by the attached resources may contact their local HR office or contact OAA through an OAA Help Desk (va.gov) ticket by selecting the Category: COVID-19. HR offices with questions regarding the OCHCO bulletin should contact the Worklife and Benefits Service at: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Erin L. Patel, Psy.D., ABPP |Acting Chief, Health Professions Education
Office of Academic Affiliations (14AA)
Veterans Health Administration | Department of Veterans Affairs
811 Vermont Avenue, NW | Washington, D.C. 20420
(202) 705-5209 (cell)