Community Health Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in volunteering! Volunteers play a critical role in the state of Washington.

To be included in the pool of volunteers you will need to register at Washington State Emergency Registry of Volunteers at waserv.org

WAserv is a website for citizens who are willing and able to help during disasters and significant events.

Registering as a volunteer

Please note that by completing the WAserv registration process you are providing consent for a criminal history and/or driving record check through the Washington State Patrol to be completed by The Department of Health.

Please follow the steps below to register:

If you currently have a WAserv account:

  1. Access your account on https://waserv.org.
  2. Under organizations add “Community Health Volunteer” to your organizations. (You may have up to six selected on your account)

If you currently do not have an account on WAserv account:

  1. Create a profile on https://waserv.org
  2. Under organizations select “Community Health Volunteer”
  3. Complete your personal profile using the tabs to identify critical information needed to align you with a potential volunteer opportunity. At a minimum complete: Identity, Contact, occupations, Skills and Certifications, and Medical History.

Should you need assistance in registering, please review this guidance document.

What happens after I register?

Once your registration is completed and your skill set matches a request, a criminal history background check will be completed and you will receive additional information about how to navigate WAserv and what is expected if you are selected for a volunteer opportunity.

Be sure you accept WAserv as a “safe sender” and check your spam box frequently to ensure you don’t miss communications.

WAserv will be the primary method of communication about opportunities that arise for volunteering and will match your skill sets with the skill sets needed for the designated task.

The State of Washington greatly appreciates your willingness to help our state meet emerging needs in responding to COVID-19. For any additional questions please email doh-volunteer@doh.wa.gov.


Frequently Asked Questions for Community Health Volunteers

 

In this document, you’ll find answers to the following questions:

 

  1.           What is a Community Health volunteer?

  2.           What are the requirements for someone to be an approved Community Health volunteer?

  3.           How do I know if I qualify for a specific Community Health volunteer assignment?

  4.           What is WAserv registration process?

  5.           If I already have a WAserv account, do I need to make a new one?

  6.           I registered in WAserv, what’s next?

  7.           How will I be notified of volunteer opportunities?

  8.           Are volunteers compensated?

  9.           What is the liability of Emergency Community Health Volunteers?

  10.         What are the training requirements and opportunities?

  11.         Will I receive training?

  12.         Are travel costs and other expenses covered?

  13.         Can people from other states serve as a Community Health volunteer in Washington?

  14.         Is there a chance I might be quarantined after I have served?

  15.         Can licensed medical practitioners serve as Community Health volunteers?

  16.         What is an “activation”?

  17.         What is a “mission”?

  18.         How long will I be activated for?

  19.         Can volunteers decline an activation?

  20.         I am interested in helping as a COVID-19 contact tracer, what do I do?

  21.         What kinds of positions might be available, and what skills are needed?

  22.         Is there an age requirement to volunteer?

  23.         Is volunteering right for me?

  24.         How often should I update my information?

 

 

 

  1. What is a Community Health volunteer?

A Community Health volunteer is an individual who is willing to assist with non-medical assignments related to COVID-19 emergency response in Washington State.

  1. What are the requirements for someone to be an approved Community Health volunteer?

A Community Health volunteer must register to Washington State Emergency Registry of Volunteers, WAserv, complete their profile with information about their skills, training and occupations, and pass a Washington Access to Criminal History background check (WATCH). We will run the background check before a volunteer is considered for an assignment. Before you are sent out on an assignment, we will also ensure that you are registered with the Emergency Management Department as a covered volunteer emergency worker.

  1. How do I know if I qualify for a specific Community Health volunteer assignment?

By including your skills, training, and certifications in your WAserv profile, you are more likely to be matched to an open non-medical volunteer position within your skillset. Each volunteer opportunity may require a different set of skills. When the department is ready to activate volunteers for a specific mission assignment, we will reach out to the approved volunteers that best match the skills needed for that assignment. Additional criteria will be shared with the selected volunteers, allowing them to decide if they are a good fit for the assignment.

  1. What is WAserv registration process?

Registering in WAserv is as simple as visiting the website, clicking the “Register for WAserv” button, and entering the information requested. It should take around 20-30 minutes to complete. You may start and stop the registration process at any time. Simply log in to the system using the username and password you have created to complete any sections you have not finished.

If any additional information is needed in order to assign you to a specific volunteer opportunity (to “activate” you), we will contact you through the WAserv registration site via email using the contact information that was entered into the system. A step-by-step guidance document is located here.

  1. If I already have a WAserv account, do I need to make a new one?

No. If you already have a WAserv account, you do not need to create a new one. You can log in, go to the Organizations tab on your profile, then select the “All Organizations” view. Once there, you can select Community Health volunteer. There should be a button in the top right that reads “Join.” Join the Community Health volunteer organization, then follow the steps described here.

  1. I registered in WAserv, what’s next?

After you complete your WAserv profile, you will receive a verification email and you will be placed in the pool of registered community health volunteers. We will send periodic emails with updates about the program. If we receive a request for volunteers and your skills are needed, we will contact you to confirm your availability. If you are available, we will conduct a WATCH check. If you are an approved volunteer, we will contact you with additional information about the volunteer opportunity. We assign volunteers based on requests received from agencies and facilities; this may not occur right away. Agencies must submit a request for volunteers before individuals can be assigned. We ask that you continue to update your availability and skills in your WAserv profile, and we will contact you when there is a need for volunteers with your skillset.

  1. How will I be notified of volunteer opportunities?

Requests for volunteers and important information about the event response will be sent through the WAserv registration site via email, using the contact information you entered into the system. Please be sure that your information is accurate and up-to-date, and that waserv@doh.wa.gov is a recognized “safe sender” in your email inbox. You will have 24 hours to verify your availability for a specific assignment.   

  1. Are volunteers compensated?

No, Community Health volunteers will not receive wages for volunteering their time with this program. There are no salaries, wages, or financial compensation associated with volunteering either in emergencies or non-emergency events.

  1. What is the liability of Emergency Community Health Volunteers?

In Washington State, RCW 38.52.180 provides liability protections for covered emergency management volunteers when training and responding to disasters.

In order to be covered, volunteers must be registered with the Washington State Emergency Management Division (EMD). It is important to note that registering in WAserv does not register you as a covered volunteer emergency worker for liability and immunity purposes. Once a request has come in for volunteers and you are identified for the assignment, the Volunteer Management team will send you the EMD-024 registration form along with other important details. This form registers you with EMD.

  1. What are the training requirements and opportunities?

Training requirements vary by assignment.  Volunteers who want to serve may be required to take online courses to prepare them for their assigned mission.  You’ll receive additional information about these requirements once you’re assigned.

  1. Will I receive training?

Yes. The Incident Management Team (IMT) or the requesting organization will provide any necessary training.

  1. Are travel costs and other expenses covered?

The requesting partner facility may elect to cover travel or other expenses, but they are not required to. Many positions will work remotely, so travel is not necessary.

  1. Can people from other states serve as a Community Health volunteer in Washington?

No, we are not accepting Community Health volunteers from outside of the state at this time.

  1. Is there a chance I might be quarantined after I have served?

Movement and monitoring decisions for emergency Community Health volunteers with exposure to COVID-19 should be made in consultation with public health authorities. It will depend on circumstances. If you are assigned to volunteer remotely, you should not be at increased risk of exposure.

 

  1. Can licensed medical practitioners serve as Community Health volunteers?

Yes. When signing up for WAserv, you will sign up as a non-medical volunteer, and you can select Community Health volunteer as your occupation.

  1. What is an “activation”?

When you are selected to work on an assignment as a Community Health volunteer, it is called an activation.

  1. What is a “mission”?

A specific volunteer assignment made at the request of a facility or agency is called a mission.

  1. How long will I be activated for?

This will vary based on the needs of each volunteer assignment.  Specific details will be shared before a volunteer commits to being activated. You do not need to accept the opportunity if it does not fit with your availability.

  1. Can volunteers decline an activation?

Yes, volunteers can decline any specific activation.

  1. I am interested in helping as a COVID-19 contact tracer, what do I do?

Please sign up to be a Community Health volunteer on the WAserv website. Instructions can be found here. When a requesting agency such as the Department of Health needs contact tracers and your skills best align with what is needed, you will be contacted. Make sure that your profile is complete and you’ve selected your skills and training in the system, since this is how volunteers will be contacted to determine availability.

  1. What kinds of positions might be available, and what skills are needed?

The COVID-19 response is ever changing, and open positions may differ week to week. While we do not know the specifics of positions that are needed, we anticipate needing volunteers under many different job categories. There may be future positions open in various job categories such as office/clerical, investigations/research, emergency management, protective services, maintenance, skilled craft work, communications/marketing, engineering, human resources, transportation, IT, natural resources, or social services. By entering your skills in your WAserv profile, you will be better matched to a position where your skills can be utilized.

  1. Is there an age requirement to volunteer?

Yes, Community Health volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.

  1. Is volunteering right for me?

You need to consider personal, professional and family needs and concerns as you make an informed decision. Some other considerations might include personal health, childcare and family conflicts.

  1. How often should I update my information?

You are asked to update personal information (e.g., address, phone number and email), as changes occur. Registered community health volunteers will also be asked to review their skills periodically. As we learned more about the roles requested to support the COVID-19 response, we will continue to update occupations and skillsets in WAserv. It is important that you keep your contact information up to date in order to be contacted if selected to support a specific mission assignment and to receive recurring email updates. 

 

FAQ Disclaimer

Please note that these FAQs are for informational purposes only. Nothing within these FAQs is meant to provide legal guidance or advice to any person. Rather, these FAQs are meant to serve as an assessment tool for individuals who are considering participation in the WAserv Volunteer Registry.

 

Questions?

If you have a general questions not listed above, please free to contact us via e-mail at: waserv@doh.wa.gov. A member of our team will be happy to assist you.