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Military Health System

Col. (Dr.) Pamela D. Smith

Chief of Staff

Col. Pamela D. Smith, DHA Chief of StaffColonel (Dr.) Pamela D. Smith is the Chief of Staff for the Defense Health Agency (DHA). The Defense Health Agency is a Combat Support Agency with nearly 7,000 staff and a total budget of $2 billion per year. In this role, she serves as the principal advisor to the Director and Deputy Director on all Military Health System matters including fortifying the relationship with Health Affairs, the Joint Staff Surgeon, and the Service medical departments; strengthening the role of the DHA as a Combat Support Agency; and optimizing DHA operations by synchronizing efforts across the Agency.

Prior to her current position, Smith was the Command Surgeon, Headquarters United States Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA) and Third Air Force. As the Command Surgeon, she advised and represented the Major Command’s and Numbered Air Force commanders on all aspects of the medical service mission in support of three combatant commands. Her leadership and oversight encompassed a $32 million regional TRICARE health plan; the organization, training and equipping of 2,900 theater assigned medical personnel and $1.04 billion in resources at eight military treatment facilities, ten medical aid stations, and 83 geographically separated units throughout the European theater, serving 68,000 Military Health System beneficiaries.

Smith enlisted in the Kansas Air National Guard in 1985 and served seven years as a medical technician prior to entering the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, receiving her Medical Degree in 1996. After an internship in general surgery, she went on to complete the USAF Residency in Aerospace Medicine. Smith commanded the 628th Aerospace Medicine Squadron at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, followed by a staff assignment at Pacific Air Forces. A two time group commander, Smith’s commands included the 48th Medical Group at RAF Lakenheath, England, and the 96th Medical Group at Eglin AFB, Florida.

Smith has deployed multiple times as the Chief of Aerospace Medicine in support of Operations Southern Watch, Phoenix Scorpion II, and Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, and most recently in 2012 as the Theater Validating Flight Surgeon for CENTCOM. Smith is board certified in both aerospace and occupational medicine.

Last Updated: December 14, 2021
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