Back to Top Skip to main content

DHA priorities focused on readiness, patients, outcomes

Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place speaks at a podium. Looking forward into his second year as director of the Defense Health Agency Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place continued to emphasize his four priorities for the Military Health System: great outcomes, a ready medical force, satisfied patients, and fulfilled staff. (Courtesy photo)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Access to Health Care | Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program | Quality and Safety of Health Care (for Healthcare Professionals) | Clinical Quality Management

When Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place visits military hospitals and clinics and conducts town halls with staff, he introduces himself not only as the director of the Defense Health Agency, but also as an Army surgeon, a son, husband, father, and grandfather. For Place, all his roles influence his decisions.

Place admits it was easy to get lost in his role as a surgeon back when he began his residency training. “Yet I would still go home as a military spouse, or I would go home to my military children,” he recalled. “I would wonder, ‘What did I do today to make the system better for my spouse?’ or ‘What did I do today to make the system better for my kids? And often the answer to that, at least for me personally when I was a junior officer, was nothing.”

Today as the director of the DHA, Place is responsible for all the activities that happen in the DHA, most of which impact the 9.6 million eligible TRICARE beneficiaries who depend on the MHS for their health care. “I like everybody to consider all of their roles when they make decisions,” he said. “To me, it's a reminder from a decision-making perspective, who are we? And why are we there as a part of the Military Health System?”

As an integrated system of health and readiness, the MHS is a complex matrix of people and priorities with a unique role supporting the National Defense Strategy, said Place. “Much of what we do to measure ourselves, our productivity, and the quality of the work that we do [is] based on civilian standards and benchmarks,” he said. “Yet we're a Military Health System, and some of the things that are required for that balance between health and readiness don't earn productivity points in the same way they would in a civilian system.”

Place said the MHS isn’t where it needs to be in terms of defining the elements of readiness -- troops being medically ready and health care teams being proficient to perform their wartime missions -- or how the MHS measures productivity and quality in relation to readiness.

While the task at hand seems great, Place sees promise in the staff inside the DHA headquarters and at the military medical treatment facilities. “I see excellence. I see passion. I see dedication. I see desire for improvements in our system.”

Place has seen that passion showcased during the national emergency brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through excellence, ingenuity and agility, health care providers continue to find ways to adapt how they deliver care without degrading the quality of care patients receive. Place cited the CAMIC invention and rethinking therapeutics such as the use of convalescent plasma for treating COVID-19 patients as examples of how passion and innovation have come together to create solutions that may have applications for years to come.

Place sees process standardization as a key to improvement. “Across the entire Military Health System, there are literally thousands of things that could be standardized to improve our system,” he said. It won’t be easy because there’s a lot of fear associated with change, he added.

But Place believes the DHA is primed for the challenge. “With the talent and passion and commitment of the entire team, at headquarters and at our health care delivery sites, I’m confident we can do it, but it's going to take a significant effort and it's going to take us some time,” he said.

Asked about his short-term goals, Place said he hopes to be able to cite examples of how standardization has improved the system. “That improvement might be quality of care or clinical outcomes for our patients; it may be the overall satisfaction of our patients,” he said. “I also hope we've done something to improve the system so that the staff, whether it's across the entire organization or even particular functional communities, have more joy in the work that they do and more fulfillment in their missions.”

You also may be interested in...

Keesler uses post-vaccine waiting period to identify routine care gaps

Article
4/20/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask administering the COVID-19 vaccine

15 minutes is all it takes to get routine health care back on track.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

From COVID-19 testing to MHS GENESIS support, lab techs do it all

Article
4/20/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask using a blood analyzer machine

To describe what lab techs do, Geisler chose a famed fictional detective to illustrate their importance and provide context.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Tanker medics from McConnell AFB are fighting COVID-19 in St. Paul

Article
4/20/2021
Military health personnel wearing face masks hugging

Tanker Medics from McConnell Air Force Base travel to Minnesota to help fight COVID-19

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

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:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | MHS Transformation

VAX Fact Other Medical Conditions

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Fact: Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have other medical conditions? If you have underlying medical conditions, you can choose a COVID-19 vaccine if you have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to any ingredients in the shots. Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age to reduce risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

An infographic answering the question of whether you can get the COVID-19 vaccine if you have underlying medical conditions.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Protection Last

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Fact: How long does a COVID-19 vaccine protect me for? We do not know yet how long protection may last for those who receive a COVID-19 vaccine.  We do know a COVID-19 vaccine may reduce your chances of spreading the illness to others or facing more serious illness, including hospitalization. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.

An infographic answering the question of how long the COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Currently Pregnant

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Fact: Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I'm currently pregnant? Talk with your healthcare provider to help you decide if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine.  Clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines may offer data and outcomes in the future.  The CDC has a smartphone tool called v-safe.  It offers personalized health check-ins that you can enroll in after a vaccination.

An infographic answering the question of whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you're currently pregnant.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Current Infection

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Facts: Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I currently have a positive COVID-19 infection: No. People with a COVID-19 positive test result or illness symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they recover and meet the criteria for discontinuing isolation.  This also applies if you get COVID-19 between a first and second vaccine dose.

An infographic answering the question of whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you currently have a positive COVID-19 infection.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Affect Fertility

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Fact: Does a COVID-19 vaccine affect my fertility? There is currently no evidence of fertility impacts due to COVID-19 vaccines.  If you are trying to conceive or want to get pregnant in the future, you may choose to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available.

An infographic answering the question of whether the COVID-19 vaccine affects a person's fertility.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Breastfeeding

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Fact Q and A: Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I'm breastfeeding? It's up to you to decide.  The CDC says COVID-19 vaccines can be offered to pregnant or breastfeeding women.  If you have questions about getting vaccinated, a conversation with your healthcare provider may help but is not required.

An infographic answering the question of whether you can get the COVID-19 vaccine if you're breastfeeding.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Appenzeller emphasizes: Get COVID-19 vaccine, no matter where

Article
4/16/2021
Military personnel explaining forensic equipment

The DHA’s Combat Support assistant director had some direct and encouraging words about the military’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout to date.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

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:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | MHS Transformation

Projects test new approaches to improve health care quality, outcomes

Article
4/15/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask practicing a spinal rotation technique

Pilots and demonstrations allow TRICARE to develop and test innovative approaches and services.

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Access to Health Care

Join Us!! Third COVID-19 Townhall Update with Major General George Appenzeller!

Article
4/13/2021
MHS and Military OneSource COVID-19 Townhall, with Major General (Dr.) George N. Appenzeller.  Wednesday, 14 April, 1 PM ET

Join us for the MHS' Third COVID-19 Townhall with Major General George Appenzeller

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

DOD surpasses 2 million COVID-19 vaccines worldwide

Article
4/9/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask and a face shield giving the COVID-19 vaccine

The DOD hit the 2 million mark for vaccinations worldwide just a month after the 1 million milestone.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 68

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.