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

McCaffery offers MHS view with Blue Star Families panel

Thomas McCaffery (center) participated in the Blue Star Families Panel at American Red Cross National Headquarters Feb. 26. He is seen here with Amy Goyer (left), family and caregiving expert at AARP, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Patty Horoho (right), CEO of OptumServe. The panel discussed timely, quality health care for service members and their families. (Photo by MHS Communications) Thomas McCaffery (center) participated in the Blue Star Families Panel at American Red Cross National Headquarters Feb. 26. He is seen here with Amy Goyer (left), family and caregiving expert at AARP, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Patty Horoho (right), CEO of OptumServe. The panel discussed timely, quality health care for service members and their families. (Photo by MHS Communications)

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Military Health System Transformation | MHS GENESIS

Thomas McCaffery participated in a Blue Star Families panel at American Red Cross National Headquarters Feb. 26. As the assistant secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, McCaffery briefed the audience on how the Military Health System is changing to help military families receive timely, quality health care.

Blue Star Families held the event to discuss results of the annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey, BSF’s yearly “snapshot” of military families. It offers insights to military and national leaders, as well as local communities.

“An organization like this is critical in terms of connecting military families with our fellow citizens,” McCaffery said of BSF’s work on the survey.

Hisako Sonethavilay, director of applied research at BSF, agreed. “We’re really dedicated to ensuring that research like ours is done in a way that we’re able to … really make some change for military families,” she said.

Survey respondents highlighted relocation, employment and sense of community for military families, and resources for children with special needs as particular areas of concern. Suicide and mental health were also important to respondents. About 40% of surveyed military, veteran, National Guard, and Reserve family respondents said they had attempted or seriously considered suicide in the past year. Nearly half of this group did not get professional help, with 48% of them indicating they did not seek help out of fear for their careers or those of loved ones.

McCaffery urges service members and beneficiaries to use the many resources throughout the Department of Defense that target mental health care.

“Seeking mental health care is no different than seeking care for any other serious health condition,” he said. “You need to seek out services. You need to consult other professionals and ask about those services.”

Multimedia efforts like the Real Warriors Campaign encourage service members to seek treatment as a sign of strength. Real Warriors also provides resources for service members to seek treatment. Programs like InTransition ensure treatment continues as service members and their families move between medical facilities.

These tools are readily available for beneficiaries to use. More changes are underway as a part of the MHS transformation to improve readiness and the quality of health care.

The Defense Health Agency began assuming administrative responsibility for all military hospitals in October 2019. Results from the survey show these changes need to happen. Respondents said finding timely, specialty medical care after a relocation can be challenging.

“One of the benefits of consolidating the management of our facilities is a common, standardized experience,” McCaffery said, “so you can know how to get your prescriptions, how to get lab tests, and most importantly how to get those referrals to specialists.”

MHS GENESIS, the military’s official electronic health record, also helps address this need. As families move from location to location, their records will be stored in one location. Easy access to medical records, from point of injury to treatment, should speed the referral process for families.

McCaffery stressed that patient-centered care is a top DHA priority. Results from the Military Family Lifestyle Survey help leadership create processes to improve care across the services.

“We have to do this together,” Sonethavilay said, “We want to help the [DoD] and military leadership advance military family outcomes…and also understand that there is a critical component to making sure that your civilians have an understanding as well.”

“Our patients are our top priority,” McCaffery agreed. “Everything the MHS does works to enhance the patient experience. We’re going to treat the health system not as separate systems, but as one enterprise.”

You also may be interested in...

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

Retinopathy of Prematurity, Important Focus for Military Eye Doctors

Article
6/23/2021
Health personnel conducting a morning assessment on an infant

Retinopathy of Prematurity is a little-known disease with big risks.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | MHS GENESIS | Centers of Excellence

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

Mental Health Panel Discusses Impact of COVID-19

Article
6/3/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask speaking on a panel

Walter Reed Bethesda hosts mental health panel to discuss the impacts of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Mental Health Awareness Month | Coronavirus | Psychological Fitness

Coast Guard set to roll out new electronic health record system soon

Article
5/28/2021
Hands typing on a computer

U.S. Coast Guard prepares to deploy new electronic health record, MHS GENESIS, at 14 clinics and 17 sickbays in the Pacific Area by the end of August 2021.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS

Peer-to-peer Pay-It-Forward program paying dividends for MHS GENESIS

Article
5/24/2021
Military health personnel learning how to use MHS GENESIS

The Defense Health Agency’s Pay It Forward program was designed to leverage the experience of those who had gone through the congressionally ordered changeover to MHS GENESIS to help new users. It’s working.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS

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 leadership recognizes, advances 60th MDG mission

Article
5/14/2021
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place visits Travis Air Force Base

DHA leadership visit 60th Medical Group at Travis AFB.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | MHS GENESIS

Laughter really is among the best medicines, says Air Force nurse

Article
5/12/2021
Military personnel laughing

Air Force Col. Jacqueline Killian, senior nurse scientist for the 711th Human Performance Wing, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, talks about her 2015 PhD research on the health benefits of laughter yoga.

Recommended Content:

Stress | National Nurses Week | Nurses Week

Eielson nurse says technology, readiness integral to military nursing

Article
5/10/2021
Military health personnel checking the ears of a patient

Air Force 1st Lt. Katelyn Schoneweis, a clinical nurse at Eielson Medical Clinic at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, said technology like MHS GENESIS, working with the Army and her commander’s increased focus on readiness have already benefitted her early in her career.

Recommended Content:

National Nurses Week | MHS GENESIS | Nurses Week

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
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 9

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.