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DHA Director visits Naval Hospital Pensacola

Lt. Gen. Ronald Place saluting to soldiers Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director, Defense Health Agency, is piped aboard Naval Hospital Pensacola (NHP). Place's visit to NHP included a town hall with time for questions from attendees and a tour of the hospital led by Capt. David Webster, NHP's commanding officer. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Carter Denton)

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On September 2, the Defense Health Agency Director, Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, visited Naval Hospital Pensacola in Florida.

The general met with leadership, held a town hall for staff and toured the facility. His focus was to hold discussions with Sailors, staff and leadership to better understand the strategic and operational goals and challenges of NHP and the local commands.

“As the director of DHA, for me to effectively lead this organization I have to understand the strategic responsibilities we have and I get that in {Washington} D.C. all the time, but I also have to understand the impact we have at the most important location and that is where we are delivering health care,” said Place. “I am thrilled to be here so that I understand the most critical needs and how can I favorably impact improvements in our system.”

As director of the DHA, Place leads a joint, integrated combat support agency which direct supports Army, Navy and Air Force medical services providing a medically ready force and ready medical force to combatant commands in peace and times of conflict.

“We are a military health system and we support the military,” said Place during. “What we do here in the United States or wherever in the world the {Department of Defense} wants us to go, the same standard {should} be achieved… we should demand of ourselves excellence.”

During his visit, Place showed his appreciation to those that have been committed to excellence by recognizing five NHP staff members for notable individual achievements. Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Celia Decastro was one of the Sailor’s recognized for her dedication and commitment to the mission of the Urgent Care Clinic throughout the past few months.

“I was surprised and wasn’t expecting to be recognized at all,” said Decastro. “I feel honored to have met him and to have received his coin. I am so happy to be a part of this team and everybody has been doing a really good job throughout the pandemic.”

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