Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

DHA's management of hospitals and clinics 'all about the patient'

Great outcomes, a ready medical force, satisfied patients – all flow directly from a patient-centered approach. As DHA assumes responsibility for military health care facilities across the entire Department of Defense, we aim to operate each hospital and clinic so that it improves the lives and health of our patients. It’s more than a pledge – it’s our mission. (DoD photo) Great outcomes, a ready medical force, satisfied patients – all flow directly from a patient-centered approach. As DHA assumes responsibility for military health care facilities across the entire Department of Defense, we aim to operate each hospital and clinic so that it improves the lives and health of our patients. It’s more than a pledge – it’s our mission. (DoD photo)

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

This is a landmark time in the history of military medicine. All military hospitals and clinics across the United States, operated for decades by the Army, Navy and Air Force, transition to the Defense Health Agency as the single Department of Defense organization to manage all military hospitals and clinics and oversee care provided through our civilian network of providers.

Many are questioning what this change really means.  Let me first tell you what it’s not about: It’s not about ownership. It’s not about control. It’s not about one Service is better than another. As a matter of fact, it’s because of the great work the Services have done to advance and elevate the quality of care for our warfighters and their families that bring us to this day.

This is all about the patient.  It’s about harvesting decades of best practices from across the Army, Navy and Air Force – along with what we can learn from the civilian community – to build a global standard with one focus:  make our system better to improve health outcomes that matter to our patients. 

As the DHA’s director, I’m responsible for ensuring the success of this transition, and the most important yardstick in measuring our success will be the difference we make in the lives of our patients.

Delivering better care is why work groups and task forces have studied many times over decades how best to structure the Military Health System. It’s why the Department of Defense established the DHA. And it’s why Congress directed this transition in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. Leaders inside and outside the Department are looking to all of us collectively to deliver for our patients. And we’re determined to succeed.

What does this transition mean for our patients? For starters, we’re following a rule that’s familiar to all of us in medicine: “First, do no harm.” Implementing an organizational transition like this can be complicated, and we don’t want that to get in the way of patient care. The administrative changes associated with this should be largely invisible to our patients.

But over time, this will make a tremendous difference for our patients. A single agency overseeing health care delivery activates a system approach to administration and management of all hospitals and clinics, which will standardize the business side of delivering health care and improve the experience for all patients. Things like making an appointment or getting a referral for specialty care will work the same way no matter which facility you visit. Common patient safety and clinical quality policies mean the very best practices in one clinic become the norm within every clinic, raising our performance across the board. A single agency accountable for all the health care we provide – whether in one of our facilities or through a civilian provider in our TRICARE managed care network – means we will be more effective in finding the best possible source for the best care for each patient.

In the months ahead, we’ll set up market organizations in regions across the country, allowing hospitals and clinics in the same geographic area – regardless of Service – to share and target resources where our patients need them. In the next year, our work focuses on getting this right in the United States and prepare for the transition of overseas facilities, completing the task of moving all health care delivery to the DHA by October 2021.

All of us at the DHA, in the medical organizations of the military departments, and across the Department of Defense have labored for the past two years to make this transition successful. Like all big projects, there will be some bumps in the road ahead. The administrative and operational tasks in the months and years to come may seem daunting but are absolutely achievable because of the laser-focus the collective team has on getting this right. This transition will not be successful unless it results in more satisfied patients with great health outcomes, in military troops who are healthy and ready for the fight, and in medical professionals ready to support our warfighters from battlefield to home station.

Great outcomes, a ready medical force, satisfied patients – all flow directly from a patient-centered approach. This, above all, is what I have emphasized to the team at DHA. As DHA assumes responsibility for military health care facilities across the entire Department of Defense, we aim to operate each hospital and clinic so that it improves the lives and health of our patients. It’s more than a pledge – it’s our mission.


On Oct. 25, 2019, the Deputy Secretary of Defense (DSD) David L. Norquist signed a memorandum on “Continuing Implementation of the Reform of the Military Health System.” The document authorizes appropriate implementation of the law and lists all MTFs and DTFs transferring to DHA.  For more on the transition of military hospitals and clinics to the Defense Health Agency, visit https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/MHS-Transformation.

About the Defense Health Agency (DHA)

The DHA, established on Oct 1, 2013, is the nation's military medical Combat Support Agency, a joint, integrated organization that enables the Army, Navy, and Air Force medical services to provide a medically ready force and ready medical force to Combatant Commands in both peacetime and wartime. In cooperation with the Joint Staff Surgeon and Military Department medical organizations, DHA leads the Department of Defense’s integrated system of readiness and health through a global health care network of military and civilian medical professionals, including nearly 450 military hospitals and clinics around the world, to improve and sustain operational medical force readiness and the medical readiness of the Armed Forces.  The DHA supports the delivery of integrated, affordable, and high-quality health services for 9.5 million active duty service members, retirees, Reservists and Guardsmen, and their families at military hospitals and clinics or through the TRICARE network.

You also may be interested in...

New Markets, MHS Transformation and You: What Does it All Mean?

Article
7/27/2021
Team members of the Fort Belvoir Community prepare for the start of a new day

With ten new markets launching July 26, U.S. Public Health Service Capt. Tracy Farrill, transition director for the DHA Assistant Director for Health Care Administration, talks about what this means for beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Direct Reporting Markets | Market Structure

San Antonio Market to Standardize, Optimize Local Healthcare

Article
7/19/2021
Military personnel unveiling flags

The Defense Health Agency’s San Antonio Market is the seventh market to stand up over the past year, and is designed to standardize, optimize local healthcare.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Market Structure

Military Health System Transformation Will Improve Care & Innovation

Article
7/6/2021
Infographic about Health Innovation Month

MHS Innovation Must Be Backed by Best Practices, Standardization

Recommended Content:

July Toolkit | Health Innovation – Pathways to Ready Reliable Care | Health Innovations across the MHS Enterprise | Health Innovation Month | Research and Innovation | Military Health System Transformation | MHS Research Symposium

Changes ahead for BJACH with DHA Market Transition

Article
7/1/2021
Two generals shake hands

DHA was established in 2013 to provide a host of shared health services across the MHS and BJACH will transition within the next 30 days

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Small Market and Stand Alone MTF Organizations

Defense Health Agency Continues Transformation with Colorado Market

Article
6/24/2021
Military personnel unveiling flags

The Colorado Military Health System officially stood up June 22.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Market Structure

Newly Promoted Maj. Gen. Shanna Woyak Ready to Lead DHA’s SSO

Article
6/17/2021
Military personnel receiving a promotion

Woyak will take control of the DHA’s Small Market and Stand Alone Military Treatment Facility Organization in the coming weeks, and will be the organization’s first director.

Recommended Content:

Defense Health Agency | Military Health System Transformation | Market Structure | Small Market and Stand Alone MTF Organizations

Leadership Discusses Lessons Learned from Latest MHS GENESIS Waves

Article
6/15/2021
Military personnel during a virtual round table discussion

Representatives from PEO DHMSM, FEHRM, and the MHS provide an update on the progress and lessons learned since the most recent deployment of MHS GENESIS.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation

MHS Minute May 2021

Video
5/28/2021
Image of MHS Minute Carousel

In this month's MHS Minute, the DHA's commitment to transforming military health continues. The DHA officially established the Tidewater market in SE Virginia, serving over 200,000 patients. The MHS is standing up 19 markets like Tidewater to allow healthcare providers to better meet the needs of their patients by improving coordination between facilities in the area.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | MHS GENESIS | Health Readiness

Alignment of Hospitals and Clinics by Market Type

Publication
5/26/2021

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation

DHA Director visits MCAGCC to hear from the ‘Boots on the Ground’

Article
5/19/2021
Military personnel wearing face masks walking

DHA Director visits Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

DHA, HA leaders discuss MHS Transformation at AHA panel

Article
5/6/2021
Military personnel talking at a podium

Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place and Dr. Terry Adirim discussed MHS Transformation, MHS GENESIS, and highlighted the DHA’s response to COVID-19 in a virtual roundtable hosted April 12 by the American Hospital Association.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation | Genesis of MHS GENESIS | Coronavirus | Readiness Capabilities

Wave CARSON+ deploys new EHR to 25 more MTF commands

Article
4/30/2021
Military health personnel wearing face mask looking at  a computer

MHS GENESIS, the DOD’s new electronic health record launched at Wave CARSON + over the weekend.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation

DHA stands up new market in Tidewater region of Virginia

Article
4/29/2021
Military health personnel wearing masks holding up a flag

Tidewater Market is on the leading edge of the Military Health System’s historic change, following its certification by the Defense Health Agency on April 19, 2021.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation

Tidewater set to become fifth Military Health System market

Article
4/19/2021
Military health personnel reading a medical machine

The Tidewater Military Health System market in southeast Virginia is scheduled to officially stand up April 19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Health System Transformation

Tele-critical care will play increased COVID-19 response role in 2021

Article
4/15/2021
Infographic that says "202 tele-critical care successes will help 2021 COVID19 response"

Virtual health and particularly tele-critical care for critically ill patients assumed frontline roles in sustaining care while keeping beneficiaries and health care teams safe.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Health System Transformation | Health Innovation Month
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 13

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.