The items listed below may answer some pertinent questions you have before committing your time to this valuable and worthwhile project.
Fast Fact #1
Tort Liability: All NM MRC Serves volunteers who are acting on behalf or in the service of a New Mexico governmental entity (i.e., New Mexico Department of Health or NMDOH, New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, etc.) and performing duties that are requested, required or authorized, regardless of time and place of performance, are entitled to the liability protections of the New Mexico Tort Claims Act (TCA). Healthcare professionals licensed by New Mexico or otherwise permitted by law to provide healthcare services are covered for liability for damages caused by negligent acts or omissions committed in the performance of duties as a volunteer. NM MRC Serves volunteers who are non-licensed healthcare professionals or lay volunteers are entitled to immunity from tort liability, unless immunity is waived for the specific activities in which they are engaged, in which case they are covered for liability for damages caused by negligent acts or omissions committed in the performance of duties as a volunteer.
MRC volunteers registered with NM MRC Serves may also be entitled to the liability protections afforded under the Federal Volunteer Protection Act of 1997, subject to certain limitations and exceptions.
Workers’ Compensation: Although MRC volunteers registered with NM MRC Serves are not employed by the NMDOH, all unpaid licensed healthcare professionals registered with NM MRC Serves who are deployed by the NMDOH in response to a declared public emergency or public health emergency, or deployed by the NMDOH outside New Mexico in response to a request for emergency assistance under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), are “public employees” of the State of New Mexico and entitled to NM workers’ compensation benefits. There is no coverage for injury or death occurring during emergency preparedness training, drills or exercises prior to an emergency.
NM MRC Serves registered volunteers who are non-licensed healthcare professionals or lay volunteers are not covered by NM workers’ compensation benefits for injury or death occurring during volunteer services since they are not “public employees” of New Mexico.
Fast Fact #2
Due to Federal and State Laws/Guidelines a medical or healthcare professional volunteer must NOT have a sanctioned license and/or practice under a board order.
Fast Fact #3
Individuals whose name appears on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General’s List of Excluded Individuals/Entities will be excluded from volunteering. This list identifies individuals who have been excluded from billing Medicare, Medicaid and other federally funded healthcare programs due to fraud, patient abuse, or licensing board actions that have been taken against them.
Fast Fact #4
Criminal background checks will be performed on all volunteers.
Fast Fact #5
Licensure will be checked through the respective licensing boards. Healthcare providers must adhere to their own individual “Scope of Practice” and will not be covered by the New Mexico Tort Claims Act if the Scope of Practice is violated.
Fast Fact #6
All MRC volunteers must complete the following training: Click here.
Fast Fact #7
As a volunteer, you have the right to say "yes" or "no" to any requests for your services. The New Mexico Department of Health realizes that volunteers may have prior commitments and responsibilities that prevent them from volunteering for a response.
Fast Fact #8
There may be times that you have to fund your own travel and other expenses, and reimbursement may or may not be available. NM MRC Serves The MRC program staff will make every effort to provide this information when we call you with a possible assignment.
Fast Fact #9
Depending on the disaster or event that requires a response by volunteers, the request may be for specific time periods (e.g., need to stay for 2 weeks). Every attempt will be made to have this kind of information solidified before the request for volunteers is made public.
Fast Fact #10
Disaster deployment may or may not be for you. At times, housing is very comfortable and other times it is very primitive. Housing may or may not be provided and again, it may be at your own expense and may or may not be reimbursable. Certain situations in your personal life could also present an additional hardship for you if you were to be deployed. Please refer to the “Pre-Deployment Considerations” page before agreeing to an assignment.
Fast Fact #11
Make sure that all essential medications, identification (e.g., driver’s license, badge, or passport) are packed in a go bag to stay with you at all times and prepare for a minimum of two weeks. For additional information see “How to Pack For Deployments”. With airline regulations changing periodically, go on-line to the carrier you are traveling with and check the most current up-to-date standards and regulations