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Volume 9, No. 3     July 17, 2013
In Brief...
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Did you know that Medical Affairs (MA) maintains a full electronic medical record on all active duty officers of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS)? Although most officers send us the required health documents necessary for basic readiness, many do not take full advantage of this service. Section 7-1 of Policy CC363.01 requires officers to release appropriate healthcare records and health care reports as required by MA. However, aside from being mandatory, it is in the best interest of the officers to submit this information.

Beyond the traditional sections of the record that all officers contribute to such as “Immunizations” and “5 Year Physicals”, the record maintained my MA offers more than 25 other categories to capture the health data you submit. Whether you are visiting the doctor for a minor case of the sniffles or had a complicated surgical procedure, it behooves you to send a copy of your health information. Many doctor’s offices will even submit it directly to MA on your behalf upon request. To date, MA has cataloged and digitized more than 1 million pages of records following all applicable privacy and data security laws, regulations and protocols. Your data is safe, secure and handled with care.

Since officers serve and receive care in remote locations and many treatment facilities use different systems, we serve as a central repository and maintain a complete copy for you. It is also beneficial for the USPHS as an organization because it helps ensures the active duty population is physically and mentally prepared to serve and deploy. Having your complete health record enhances our ability to monitor individual and force readiness.

Currently, MA maintains more than 7,000 officer health records. Your record is created at the time you apply to the USPHS, maintained throughout your active duty career and kept for two years beyond your retirement or separation. After that, the information is forwarded to the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) for final archive where it is kept for an additional 75 years. MA can also submit a copy to the Veteran’s Affairs Office upon request. The more information you send MA throughout your career, the more complete your record will be if/when you are applying for VA benefits.

So please remember to send MA a copy of your records the next time you receive any type of medical care. You can mail them to our office using the following address:

US Postal Service
ATTN: Medical Affairs
8455 Colesville Road, Suite 910
Silver Spring, MD 20857
Courier Service (UPS, etc.)
ATTN: Medical Affairs
8455 Colesville Road, Suite 910
Silver Spring, MD 20910

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 301-427-3244 or email me at Russell.Garisto@hhs.gov.

All the Best,