Navigating the Atlanta VAMC

Chain of Command 

Service line chiefs report to the chief of staff, David Bower, MD, who reports to the director of the Atlanta VAMC Annette P. Walker, MSHA, BSN. See the Organizational Charts & Contact Information section for details. 

Who to Call for Emergent Issues 

There are a couple categories for medical emergencies and emergent issues. For both, call (404) 321-6111 Ext 4911:

  • The Rapid Response Team (RRT) for patients not in cardiac or respiratory failure
  • A Medical Code for patients in Cardio-Pulmonary Arrest (CPA) or any patient on the Medical Campus (inpatient or non-inpatient)

Ext 4911 is also for all emergencies, including fire emergencies, codes, disruptive emergencies, or any emergent issues requiring the police. Police can be also be contacted for non-emergencies at (404) 321-6111 Ext 7641.

Other options for seeking assistance for an emergent problem are the nursing supervisor or the administrator on duty (AOD). A nursing supervisor is available after 4 PM by cell phone 404-915-2494 or (404) 321-6111 Ext 7465. The AOD can be contacted through the operator. For emergent issues which cannot be resolved by other channels, including assistance of the Section Chief, the Chief of Staff or an acting Chief of Staff is on call 24/7 and can be contacted through the operator.

A silent alarm can be sent to the police by one of two methods: on your computer keyboard press F9 and F11 simultaneously, or press both ctrl keys simultaneously. We recommend calling the police at (404) 321-6111 Ext 7641 to test this once from your assigned office.

For contacting on call physicians, see the On Call Schedules sections below. 

Contacting other Staff Members

The VISN7 Telephone Directory can be found on the Atlanta VAMC intranet, only accessible from VAMC computers. Navigate to the link "Employee Telephone Directory" at the bottom of the intranet homepage. It is also available on your VAMC desktop. The VISN7 Telephone Directory allows searches by staff member name or department. Please note that if searches are made by department, the listing of staff members under the department is often incomplete. 

For physicians who have pager numbers (PIC numbers) in the Emory system, contact information can be obtained and the staff member can be paged (including text messages to the pager) by calling the Emory Midtown Operator at 404-686-1000. If the PIC number is known, dial 404-686-5500. The Emory pager system can also be accessed online here and requires an Emory online ID: contact the Emory help desk at 404-727-7777 if you do not have an Emory online ID. If there is a problem with using Internet Explorer to access the pager system, try an alternate browser, such as Firefox.

For physicians with VA pagers, text messages can be sent by emailing to the (pager number without dashes) For example, for a pager number of 404-123-4567, sending an email to will result in a text message being sent to that pager. With the VA pager, you are not notified if the pager is off or the staff member is not on service. The message will not show up on the pager when it is turned on if the message was sent when the pager is off.

Time Documentation

Time spent at the VA must be documented on VISTA. At this time, there is not an online training module but VA payroll can be contacted for assistance. There is also a document that exists with instructions on documentation of time: The Personal and Accounting Integrated Data (PAID) Part-time User Guide for part-time physicians (February 2007) has instructions on documentation of time. The Oversight and Improvment Of the Part-Time Physician Program also has some valuable information. 

To contact VA Payroll Staff, email

Part Time Adjustable Tours of Duty

If your VA/Emory assignment requires greater flexibility, you may be considered for a part time adjustable tour. Should you be approved for this aggreement, auditors will periodically check on your VA presence during your assigned times. This type of agreement is most suited for physicians that have clinical care, academic and research responsibilities. Please contact your VA service line manager for details. 

On Call Schedules

Access the Atlanta VAMC intranet from a VA computer to find out who is on call. Navigate from the home page to "On Call Schedule" in the lefthand navigation. 

Obtaining Codes and Keys

To obtain keys, your section chief or section supervisor must grant approval and provide a form for you to take to the locksmith office, located in BC-104, (404) 321-6111 Ext 6361. Current hours are Monday and Friday 7:30 am - 4:00 pm.

Computer codes are obtained during general employee orientation. If there are any difficulties with computer codes call the help desk at (404) 321-6111 Ext 4357 (Ext “HELP”).

Local codes to doors or other devices must be obtained from your section leader or other physicians.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Completion

If you have funded research by an entity with NIH, you are required to have a new MOU completed. MOUs must be completed annually every November and with any new research application. MOUs are to be initiated within your Emory department and signed off by your Emory Chair and VA Service Chief. Click here for VA faculty research MOU user guides.

Residency Supervision

Residency supervision is covered by the Residency Supervision Handbook and has different requirements than for the other Emory hospitals. For a detailed list of Program Directors by Specialty/Subspecialty, click here.  You can also find more infomation on the GME page.

Graduate Medical Education (GME) and Continuing Medical Education (CME) including Travel Approval

Please see the Education page on this site for more details on GME and CME.

Medical Media Requests

Medical Media Requests can be placed via the Atlanta VAMC intranet from a VA computer. Navigate to "Medical Media Services" in the lefthand navigation.

Personal Identification Verification (PIV)

The Atlanta VAMC has PIV-only login. PIV enforcement also moves us closer to a single sign on (SSO) environment. If you already have a PIV badge, it means that you will now use only your PIV to access the network and any applications for which you had to previously remember multiple usernames and passwords.

If you are having trouble with your PIV after you become PIV-enforced, please call the National Service Desk at 855-NSD-HELP (855-673-4357) or email questions to NSD PIV Enforcement at

PIV frequently asked questions can be found here (must be accessed from a VA computer).

Additional Atlanta VAMC Information

A wealth of information about the Atlanta VA, including a facility map, library services, policies and much more, can be found on the Atlanta VAMC Intranet, accessible from your VA computer.