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Office of the Chief Health and Medical Officer

Providing for the health and wellness of the entire NASA workforce, discovering new insights into medicine, educating the next generation, and innovating for the benefit of space exploration and humanity.

Meet OCHMO Leadership about Office of the Chief Health and Medical Officer

JD's Corner

Every mission comes down to the people that bring their skills to the table to make it happen. Our job is to keep those people healthy; from the folks doing the engineering on the ground to the astronauts on a distant planet, and everything in between. But it requires a systems approach, technical prowess in the spacecraft and it’s human systems integration, a deep understanding of physiology and medicine, a holistic mindset, and above all a haunting skepticism that at any moment something could go terribly wrong. The elation and joy after a mission is completed safely is always ephemeral for those in our profession, as our attentions are quickly turned to the risks and systems of the next mission, the next patient diagnosis, or the next challenge.  

Meet my Team about JD's Corner
Dr. James D. “JD” Polk, NASA Chief Health and Medical Officer


Employee Assistance Program

NASA’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is based on the Office of Personnel Management’s Work-Life recommendations. In the 1970s, EAP-related legislation passed, requiring EAP as an employee benefit in Federal agencies.

Report an Animal Welfare Concern

Animals used in NASA-supported activities receive humane and responsible care and use in accordance with federal animal welfare laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines. Any person who witnesses or suspects the misuse of animals, inadequate animal care, or other noncompliance is encouraged to report their concern(s) to the Chief Veterinary Officer and the Office of Research Assurance.

Explore Human Space Flight Technical Briefs

Technical Briefs are available for standards that offer technical data, background, and application notes for vehicle developers and medical professionals. These tech briefs integrate content from multiple standards and provide a quick, informative resource to reference when working with NASA-STD-3001.

To Research, Evaluate, Assess, and Treat (TREAT) Astronauts Act

The TREAT Astronauts Act authorizes NASA to monitor, diagnose, and treat medical and psychological conditions associated with spaceflight.