The U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs has moved to award two no-bid contracts to Washington-based PR firm Barbaricum aimed at increasing awareness of veterans health services and recruiting doctors for the VA.

vaChristopher Harvin, a former Bush administration staffer posted in Iraq, the White House and Pentagon, is a partner in the firm. 

Harvin confirmed his firm's interest in the new assignments to O'Dwyer's, noting Barbaricum currently provides communications and media analysis support to several prime contracts with the VA, in addition to the new opportunities.

The VA has issued procurement notices stating that it intends to contract with Harvin's firm for both assignments. In the first, the firm is to be tapped to support the 2013 Military Base Awareness Campaign targeting veterans, military healthcare providers and "influencers" to burnish the Veterans Health Administration.

A second pact under the MBAC targets urban doctors in transit during their daily commute with the goal of persuading them "through a compelling recruitment marketing & advertising campaign" to explore relocating to rural VA medical centers, according to an outline of the work.

Harvin said his firm is designated a "service-disabled veteran-owned small business" under federal contracting rules. "We are committed to improving the lives and well-being of our country's veterans," he added.

Harvin was previously a VP at Levick, directed communications for Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo), and was a senior advisor to the Dept. of Army's public affairs and Secretary of Defense's strategic communications directorate. He was also a PR advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq from 2003-04.

Barbaricum, named after a Roman army term for the frontier beyond the Roman Empire, picked up a $900K comms. pact with the Army's PA unit in September.

Brandon Bloodworth is managing partner of the firm.