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

From the front lines to the home front, Military Medicine is always ready

Army Lt. Gen. Ron Place and two soldiers stand at a table with COVID-19 testing supplies Defense Health Agency director, Army Lt. Gen. Ron Place, visited medical personnel at a COVID-19 screening station outside the Emergency Department at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. WRNMMC instituted additional safety measures including separate entry points for staff and patients to screen for coronavirus symptoms on March 12, 2020. (MHS photo by Navy Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Benson)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Who would have imagined this? We’ve stopped almost everything else we were doing and turned our energies toward fighting this pandemic. As the specific impacts take shape within the United States, the Military Health System is surging forward, implementing standing plans and showing agility in responding to events that some believed were unthinkable even a few short months ago.

Federal and state officials are requesting military medical forces to assist in stemming the spread of infection both directly and indirectly. Hundreds of thousands of professionals who are supported by the relatively young Defense Health Agency are reinforcing our civilian medical capabilities. Just as we’ve done throughout our history, when the U.S. military is called in times of crisis and natural disaster, we answer.

Military medicine is providing assistance in unprecedented ways. Already, two hospital ships, the USNS Mercy and the USNS Comfort, are positioned in Los Angeles and New York City, respectively, providing much needed additional medical capability to civilian medical facilities overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. The Army has also established field hospitals in New York and is increasing bed space elsewhere with the phenomenal work of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It’s the right thing to do, right now.

In the best of times, the primary mission of the Military Health System is to maintain a medically ready force and a ready medical force. This means we must ensure American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen are medically ready to deploy anywhere, anytime to defend the Nation. It also means we must develop and sustain our own medical teams to be trained and ready to support the force. Shifting focus from this primary mission carries risk; however, after two decades of conflict, we are well prepared to both identify risk and develop strategies to mitigate it.

This is not theoretical. We’re taking actions with tangible effects. For instance, we are rapidly shifting as many physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals as we can from administrative duties to direct patient care. We’re plowing new ground by graduating new doctors and nurses months early from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the military’s medical school, so they can join the fight – now. In our military hospitals and clinics, we’ve limited elective medical and dental procedures, so we can decrease surgical inpatient needs, shift clinical staffing toward COVID response, and conserve medical resources for the COVID fight.

Additionally, we’re identifying patient bed space on military installations and planning how to quickly convert – or return to use – unused space, with all of the needed equipment and supplies. That means, in some cases, converting office space once used as patient rooms when our military was twice the size, back to treatment areas. Fighting this pandemic is all-hands-on-deck. No good idea is off the table.

The reassuring news is that the Military Health System is, in some ways, uniquely suited for this crisis. Just as every Marine is a rifleman, every medical provider in our system is a generalist. While many of our health care providers normally do focus on specific diseases or specialties, they are trained to treat patients across the range of needs wherever they’re called to serve. Agility is part of what we offer our nation every day.

Facing multiple challenges is nothing new for us. Together, across the levels of government, we can do this. At this extraordinary time, we can play a significant part in caring for citizens in need, while still ensuring our military forces are medically ready to defend our Nation. With the support of the 9.5 million beneficiaries who depend on us for their health care, our agile and dedicated Defense health team is surging thousands of service members to the front lines, helping our fellow Americans, and meeting our obligation to the nation’s sons and daughters who have volunteered to defend them.

You also may be interested in...

AFMES upgrades tech during COVID-19

Article
5/8/2020
Image of two technicians with a CT scanner machine

The new custom built scanner replaces a nearly 15-year-old scanner that was running on dated technology.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Coronavirus

MHS Nurse Advice Line proves to be invaluable during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
5/7/2020
Image of military nurse on the phone

Learn about the NAL and other ways to get advice on COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Nurses Week

Defending the Homeland: 'I Am Navy Medicine, helping stop the spread of COVID-19'

Article
5/7/2020
Image of nurse wearing a mask

NMRTC Bremerton’s Urgent Care Clinic (UCC) is a microcosm example of nurses – and teamwork - in action.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Heroes Behind the Mask | Nurses Week

Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor Honors Nurses during National Nurses Week

Article
5/6/2020
Image of military nurses

The MHS theme of 2020 National Nurses Week is “Integrating for Excellence.”

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Heroes Behind the Mask

DoD to honor nurses during National Nurses Week 2020

Article
5/6/2020
Image of an OR nurse with mask and protective suit

National Nurses Week begins on National Nurses Day, May 6, and culminates May 12.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Nurses Week

Defending the Homeland: DHA collaborates to further sequence the SARS-CoV-2 Code

Article
5/6/2020
Image of person testing genomes in a lab

Scientists race to understand COVID-19 building blocks and find a vaccine.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Be Cyber Vigilant and Avoid COVID-19 Scammers

Article
5/5/2020
Soldier sitting in front of two computer monitors

Take these steps to protect your personal information

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Cybersecurity Awareness

Mobility Airmen conduct historic first aeromedical evacuation mission using Transport Isolation System

Article
5/4/2020
Image of three people exiting an aircraft

The TIS is an infectious disease containment unit designed to minimize risk to aircrew, medical attendants, and the airframe.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement

MHS expedites COVID-19 and flu test results

Article
5/4/2020
Image of technician taking a nasal swab of a patient

Find out how to access results and stay safe

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

CDC maintains childhood immunization guidelines during COVID-19

Article
5/1/2020
A child receives a vaccine during a visit to the clinic.

What you need to know about getting your child vaccinated

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Army veterinarians post FAQ for pet owners to Army Public Health Center COVID-19 website

Article
4/30/2020
Woman laying on couch with her dog

Studies are underway to investigate human to animal transmission in multiple animal species.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

COVID-19: Know symptoms and next steps to help ensure full recovery

Article
4/30/2020
Soldier taking the temperature of another soldier

Symptoms of COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Defending the Homeland: WRNMMC on front line of COVID-19 war

Article
4/29/2020
Image of soldiers and businessman in suit walking through an emergency shelter lined with beds and medical equipment

For patient and staff safety, WRNMMC started restricted access control points March 12.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Amid COVID-19, seasonal influenza still a threat to force readiness

Article
4/29/2020
Hospital Corpsman administers a flu shot to a navy officer.

New Southern Hemisphere flu vaccine available May 2020

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Influenza Summary and Reports | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Influenza, Southern Hemisphere

BAMCheroes appreciation

Video
4/29/2020
DHA Seal

Our community has been a great source of support! Check out some of the positive feedback Brooke Army Medical Center has received for our incredible healthcare professionals.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit
<< < ... 26 27 28 29 30  ... > >> 
Showing results 436 - 450 Page 30 of 35

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.