Back to Top Skip to main content

Migration to Defense Health Agency to modernize Army medicine, surgeon general says

Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West, the Army Surgeon General and commanding general for Army Medical Command, addressed the Army's fiscal year 2019 funding request and budget justification before the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations on Capitol Hill, April 26. (Courtesy photo provided by the Senate Appropriations Committee) Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West, the Army Surgeon General and commanding general for Army Medical Command, addressed the Army's fiscal year 2019 funding request and budget justification before the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations on Capitol Hill, April 26. (Courtesy photo provided by the Senate Appropriations Committee)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. — To help modernize the DoD's medical community, the Army's surgeon general, along with the other services, have been taking the necessary steps to migrate certain authorities and control from the military departments to the Defense Health Agency.

In accordance with the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the changes to the military departments aim to eliminate duplicative health services functions and maximize efficiencies in the activities carried out by the Defense Health Agency.

"Army Medicine has the opportunity to make significant improvements in healthcare as we implement the 2017 NDAA changes, which will influence how we sustain readiness," said Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West, the Army Surgeon General, and commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command, during testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee recently.

Eventually, the DHA will be responsible for the administration of each military treatment facility, including budgetary matters, information technology, health care administration and management, administrative policy and procedure, military medical construction, and other appropriate matters, according to the law.

Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper and Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley have established a task force to ensure a successful transition, West said.

Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, will be the first facility impacted by the change.

"We are working closely with the Defense Health Agency and the rest of the joint health services enterprise to implement these legislative changes, with thorough analysis, deliberate planning and ongoing coordination," West told senators.

West also addressed the Army's fiscal year 2019 funding request and budget justification. She was joined in her testimony by the Navy and Air Force surgeon generals and the program executive officer for Defense Healthcare Management.

"We wholeheartedly support the transition efforts and will continue to work diligently with our joint health services enterprise colleagues to implement NDAA requirements while improving medical readiness, meeting the operational requirements of our combatant commanders and providing quality healthcare to our patients," West said.

A CULTURE OF READINESS

In addition to the changes to the Army medical department's organizational structure, the Army medical community has been working to ensure that Soldiers achieve the proper levels of both physical and mental fitness, so that they are always ready to deploy anywhere in the world.

The Army has operationalized and disseminated the "Performance Triad" throughout the service, West said. That initiative focuses on optimizing sleep, nutrition, and activity to ensure Soldiers operate at peak performance.

"We have enhanced individual and unit readiness in several ways, to include: leveraging our health and readiness data, an electronic profile system and embedding athletic trainers and physical therapists at the unit level," she said.

"Medical readiness is a shared Soldier and command team responsibility. However, Army medicine plays a decisive role in monitoring, assessing, and identifying key health-related indicators and outcomes, as well as providing recommendations to mitigate risks," she said.

In addition, Army medicine has implemented its "Medical Readiness Transformation Initiative" to stay in line with the Defense Secretary's priority to decrease the quantity of non-deployable personnel. The Army's program aims to increase the readiness of the total force by reducing the number of "Soldiers in the most severe non-deployment category."

As a result, West said, the total force has achieved the lowest non-deployable rate in our history. Additionally, she said, "the medical readiness of the total Army consistently improved over the past 12 months, and the Army exceeded the DoD goal."

Army Medicine has improved their comprehensive pain management program to help reduce a Soldier or dependent's reliance upon opioids or other pain medications, the general added. To accomplish this, Army medicine has implemented a combination of traditional and non-traditional pain management methods to help those suffering from acute and chronic pain.

"Over the last two decades, Army Medicine has transformed its pain management strategy with great success," West said. "Chronic use of opioids peaked in FY 2007, and with our pain management program we have seen a 45 percent decrease in use between FY 2012 and FY 2016. In FY 2016, Opioid Use Disorder in the active duty Army was 0.15 percent compared to 0.90 percent in the U.S. adult population. Our pain management program is integral to sustaining this process by providing quality care, mitigating suffering and returning Soldiers to the fight."

In addition to pain management mitigation, the Army has made several innovations to improve how healthcare is delivered. 

First, the Army's embedded behavioral health program assigns providers to operational units. Overall, the use of behavioral health care increased from about 900,000 encounters in FY 2007 to over 2.25 million in FY 2017, West said. 

"It's not that there's more pathology," she said, explaining that people just feel more comfortable using behavioral health practitioners since they are now local. 

The general said the Army has also seen a decrease in hospital admission rate, by about 41 percent.

"So, [that's] 69,000 less admissions for acute behavioral health because we've been able to handle it at the local level and intervene earlier before it becomes an admittable condition," she said.

Second, West said the Army has expanded its virtual health capabilities to span 30 specialties, delivered in 18 time zones, in over 30 countries and territories. 

In response to Hurricane Maria, for instance, the Army linked virtual health capabilities in Puerto Rico with Army clinicians in Texas and in Georgia. With these virtual capabilities, she said, the Army can remotely coach first responders at the point of injury on special lifesaving trauma and advanced burn care techniques.

Finally, the Army's Behavioral Health Data Portal provides practitioners the ability to provide quality care by enhancing the service's "ability to monitor clinical outcome metrics and refine behavioral health programs based on their metrics," West said.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Mid-season flu activity increase: How to keep healthy

Article
1/22/2020
Navy Hospital Corpsman Kenny Liu, from San Jose, assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford's medical department, prepares a needle with a flu vaccination in the ship's hangar bay. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Angel Thuy Jaskuloski)

Despite reports of increased flu activity in the U.S., the Military Health System remains vigilant

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Influenza Summary and Reports | Health Readiness | Influenza Seasonal | Vaccine Recommendations | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch

Army, FDA discuss 3D printing at workshop

Article
1/21/2020
When a medical device breaks down on a medical unit deployed to a remote part of the world, the closest repair parts could be thousands of miles away (U.S. Army photo by Francis S. Trachta)

Army medical logisticians are looking to 3D printing as a potential solution to this challenge

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Technology | Combat Support | Medical Logistics

HPV vaccine now recommended for those up to age 45

Article
1/14/2020
https://www.nfid.org/infectious-diseases/hpv/ Recent CDC and FDA guidance recommends that men and women up to 45 years of age get vaccinated to protect against the Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection and can cause certain cancers and genital warts. More than 14 million new HPV infections occur in the U.S. each year, and about 80 percent of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some point in their lives. (National Foundation for Infectious Diseases image)

HPV shot protects against a host of diseases in men, women

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Men's Health | Women's Health | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Vaccine Recommendations

U.S. Transportation Command: DoD’s manager for global patient movement

Article
1/9/2020
An ambulance bus backs up to the Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III as Airmen prepare to unload patients at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. The bus transports the ill and/or injured to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. JBA and Travis Air Force Base, California, serve as the primary military entry points or hubs for patient distribution within the continental United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Karina Luis)

On a weekly basis, USTRANSCOM moves up to 40 patients from overseas to CONUS

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Joint Chiefs say mind, body, spirit all part of Total Force Fitness

Article
1/7/2020
Image of a Marine climbing a rope ladder

2020 focus on factors making service members, families “resilient”

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Operation Live Well

Navy Medicine demonstrates Virtual Health options to Africa

Article
1/6/2020
Air Force Staff Sgt. Danny Lim practices conducting a throat examination on Army Sgt. Harvey Drayton at Chabelley Airfield, Djibouti. Drayton and Lim were introduced to the Telehealth In A Bag system during a recent visit that included personnel from Regional Health Command Europe's virtual health team. (U.S. Army photo by Russell Toof)

Djibouti hosts the largest U.S. American military base on the African continent

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Air Force studies fatigue, sleep to enhance readiness

Article
12/31/2019
An Air Force Airman sleeps inside a C-17 Globemaster III during a flight over an undisclosed location in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration)

Good sleep habits are closely related to overall health and performance

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Sleep

DHA PI 6025.10: Change 1: Standard Processes, Guidelines, and Responsibilities of the DoD Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities in the Military Health System (MHS) Military Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs)

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) through (d), and in accordance with the guidance of References (e) through (t), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures to begin standard processes and guidelines for the Patient’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, Reference (e)), in MTFs.

Guard and Reserve crucial to CCATT expansion

Article
12/20/2019
Air Force Maj. Lori Wyatt, a Critical Care Air Transport Team nurse, assigned to the 167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, West Virginia, assembles a gurney during a casualty evacuation training at the Raleigh County Memorial Airport. The Air Force is increasing the number of CCATTs to support future readiness requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. De-Juan Haley)

The Guard and Reserve support the bulk of aeromedical evacuation, CCATT capabilities

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Air Force, Army medics save groom

Article
12/19/2019
Airmen from the 18th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron simulate life-saving procedures to a training manikin onboard a KC-135 Stratotanker during an exercise out of Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 18th AES maintains a forward operating presence, and was instrumental in saving an Airman’s life. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Seefeldt)

NCO’s first aeromedical evacuation mission was definitely challenging

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Payne visits service members, facilities in Puget Sound

Article
12/18/2019
Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee Payne, assistant director for Combat Support, Defense Health Agency, speaks with service members and staff at Madigan Army Medical Center during a town hall in Letterman Auditorium. Payne visited Madigan as the final stop of his tour of the Pacific Northwest military treatment facilities, also including the Air Force’s 62nd Medical Squadron, Naval Hospital Bremerton and Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor. He conducted town halls at each location, focusing on MHS transformation, and answering questions from the audience on topics ranging from MHS GENESIS, readiness and training, and the future of military medicine. (U.S. Army photo by Ryan Graham)

Effective combat power depends on military health’s ability to build a medically ready force

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics | MHS GENESIS

DHA transition discussion hosted at Naval Hospital Bremerton

Article
12/12/2019
Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee E. Payne, Assistant Director for Combat Support Agency, Defense Health Agency explained to Naval Hospital Bremerton staff members during a Town Hall meeting there are four overlapping areas of focus for DHA which are great outcomes, ready medical force, satisfied patients, and fulfilled staff, all contributing to the goal of having a medically ready force and a ready medical force.

The most important outcome for us is a medically ready force

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Changes to military health care system aimed at readiness

Article
12/6/2019
Speaking before the House Armed Services subcommittee on personnel during a Dec. 5 hearing on Capitol Hill, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Thomas McCaffrey (left), Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place (second from left), director of the DHA, the service Surgeons General, and Joint Staff Surgeon outlined the necessity for the health care system to change in order to support warfighter readiness. (MHS photo)

Merger of all hospitals and clinics to DHA a key step

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

McCaffery AMSUS Remarks 2019

Publication
12/5/2019

McCaffery statements made during the 2019 annual meeting of AMSUS

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Keesler renovates cardiac cath lab to provide better, safer care

Article
12/5/2019
Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Slaven (right), 81st Medical Operations Squadron cardiopulmonary technician, briefs 81st Medical Group staff and guests on cath lab capabilities during the cardiac catheterization laboratory ribbon cutting ceremony inside Keesler Medical Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The lab was upgraded with an entire suite of technology to provide better and safer care for patients and the surgical team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Suzie Plotnikov)

The clinic also has a joint DoD – VA partnership

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 46

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.