Back to Top Skip to main content

DHA’s new Joint Operations Center serves as essential integration hub

Three military personnel looking at a document Don Dahlheimer, Defense Health Agency’s deputy assistant director for Combatant Command Operational Support (right) briefs Army Brig. Gen. George Appenzeller, DHA’s assistant director for combat support; and Army Sgt. Maj. Esteban Alvardo, senior enlisted advisor to the assistant director for combat support, about the DHA’s new Joint Operation Center’s capabilities. (Photo by Mark Oswell, MHS Communications.)

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

The Defense Health Agency relies on rapid information exchange to provide combat support to U.S. military forces stationed worldwide. With many changes taking place in military health care and the ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, integrated communication from the bottom to the top, and vice versa remains essential for service members, civilians, stakeholders and beneficiaries.

The Joint Operations Center (JOC) acts as a conduit for this information. As the information hub of DHA, the JOC collects requests and data from across the Military Health System, including the Joint Staff, combatant commands, and a variety of other military organizations. The JOC then provides that information to the proper authorities in DHA to take action.

“By ensuring that the JOC is getting current and accurate information, we can make sure that the DHA leadership provides our primary stakeholders with the best resources we can offer,” said Neil Doherty, head of the Operations Division at DHA.

DHA recently finished construction of a new facility for the JOC within DHA headquarters. Formerly operating from a series of reserved conference rooms, the JOC is now co-located in one space that improves its capabilities. The facility offers advanced screens to monitor and project information, the ability to host video calls with remote locations through VTC, and a secure space to hold meetings with high-ranking leaders.

Jerry Vignon, manager of DHA’s continuity program, emphasized the importance of the monitoring screens in the JOC’s day-to-day activities. The screens allow the JOC to display different types of information and data feeds, from open source material like news outlets and weather services to health surveillance information - all of which are vital to DHA leadership, he explained. This capability keeps the JOC up-to-date without having to relay information being ferries to and from various offices.

“If something does hit the airwaves, we are aware of it right away,” Vignon said. “It gives us more of a real-time connectivity to information that’s helpful for us as we're responding to events around the world.”

While each of the services and combatant commands has a JOC of their own, DHA’s unique operations center brings all of them online together in one secure location to discuss issues pertinent to military health care. Air Force Col. Jennifer Garrison, deputy chief and deputy assistant director for Combatant Command Operational Support at DHA, shared how the JOC’s Joint Staff calls help connect the services in order provide the best possible healthcare for our warfighters and their families.

“You have Joint Staff, the combatant commands, and all the services on call at the same time,” she explained. “It’s a way for them to ensure that if there’s a concern like a pandemic or any contingency, that we have 24/7 coverage to keep information flowing to make critical decisions collectively with our stakeholders in a timely manner,” she said.

This collaboration has proven to be essential during the DHA’s support of the national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The JOC stood up a crisis action team, or CAT, made up of subject matter experts who work together to share information on wide-impact, unplanned events like the pandemic. The team met regularly to funnel information about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 throughout the Military Health System so that leaders at all levels could make necessary decisions for their commands to fight the pandemic.

“The JOC is the first line of defense when it comes to working with the Joint Staff, combatant commands, and services for support and knowing all the critical information to improve on readiness, safety, quality, and patient expectations across the Military Health System.” Garrison said. “So, if they need something for COVID-19, whether it is flu immunizations, blood, equipment, or supplies, that’s able to be communicated at this level.”

Now that they have the facility to support around the clock operations, Doherty said that the next step is to fully staff the center.

“The goal is to get staffed up to support 24/7 operations so that we are connected to all of the organizations in the Department of Defense across the globe,” Don Dahlheimer, deputy assistant director for Combatant Command Operational Support at DHA. “It’s a great opportunity for the agency to efficiently collaborate with our DoD, component, and interagency stakeholder, and across the DHA in support of our beneficiaries and warfighters.

“We want to ensure the best possible care from the battlefield to our military medical treatment facilities, and this JOC supports collaborative communications,” concluded Dahlheimer.

You also may be interested in...

A full night’s sleep could be the best defense against COVID-19

Article
3/23/2020
Sleep is critical for maintaining physical, cognitive and immunological dominance on and off the battlefield. Leaders must prioritize sleep as a valuable asset in maintaining readiness and resilience, especially in the context of multi-domain operations and increased health risks worldwide – including those risks associated with exposure to infectious diseases (U.S. Army photo by Robert Timmons)

Getting more sleep could dramatically improve your odds of avoiding infection

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus | Total Force Fitness

Air Force takes steps to assure ‘unblinking’ operations, readiness and capabilities amid pandemic

Article
3/23/2020
Air Force medics and health personnel around the globe are resolutely following and ensuring compliance with guidelines issued by the Department of Defense and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention according to Air Force Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg.

Within the Air Force, our medics are executing all available measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Addressing emotional responses to threat of Coronavirus

Article
3/20/2020
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kathleen A. Myhre, 446th Airman and Family Readiness Center noncommissioned officer in charge, meditates outside the 446th Airlift Wing Headquarters building on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Feb. 12, 2020. Myhre traveled to India in 2016 to study to become an internationally-certified yoga instructor. She now shares her holistic training with Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 446th AW. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mary A. Andom)

Even if you’re feeling healthy, medical professionals recommend staying home and limiting social contact as much as possible

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Mental Wellness | Physical Activity | Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Place addresses DHA COVID-19 response

Article
3/19/2020
Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, and Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, surgeon general of the Navy, discuss plans for additional COVID-19 response efforts with the Pentagon Press Corps.

Crisis Action Team part of broad-based effort

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

DoD ready to help with Coronavirus, but capability limited

Article
3/17/2020
Misook Choe, a laboratory manager with the Emerging Infectious Disease branch at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Md., runs a test during research into a solution for the new coronavirus, COVID-19, March 3, 2020. The Emerging Infectious Diseases branch, established in 2018, has the explicit mission to survey, anticipate and counter the mounting threat of emerging infectious diseases of key importance to U.S. forces in the homeland and abroad. (U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Walters)

The DoD has only about 2% to 3% of the number of hospital beds that the private sector has

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

DoD issues flexible instructions on response to Coronavirus

Article
3/13/2020
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). (CDC Illustration)

The memo covers aspects from before the outbreak through all levels of infection

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

How DHA monitors the spread of health outbreaks

Article
3/13/2020
The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) is the central epidemiologic resource for the U.S. Armed Forces, conducting medical surveillance to protect those who serve our nation in uniform and allies who are critical to our national security interests. AFHSB provides timely, relevant, actionable and comprehensive health surveillance information to promote, maintain, and enhance the health of military and military-associated populations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb)

The Defense Health Agency works as a combat support agency to the military services and Military Health System

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

COVID-19: Know what the terms mean

Article
3/10/2020
Soldiers stationed on U.S. Army Garrison Casey conduct pre-screening processes on individuals awaiting entry to the base, USAG-Casey, Dongducheon, Republic of Korea, Feb. 26, 2020. Additional screening measures of a verbal questionnaire and temperature check are in response to the heighted awareness of Coronavirus (COVID-19) following a surge in cases throughout the Republic of Korea and are meant to help control the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the force. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

Learning the language can help you stay safe

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Combat Support | Coronavirus

DoD makes plans to combat Coronavirus

Article
3/4/2020
Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speak to reporters at the Pentagon, March 2, 2020. (DoD photo Lisa Ferdinando)

The number one priority remains to protect our forces and their families

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Combat Support | Coronavirus

Army, FDA discuss 3D printing at workshop

Article
1/21/2020
When a medical device breaks down on a medical unit deployed to a remote part of the world, the closest repair parts could be thousands of miles away (U.S. Army photo by Francis S. Trachta)

Army medical logisticians are looking to 3D printing as a potential solution to this challenge

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Technology | Combat Support | Medical Logistics

Combat Support Role of DHA unique within DoD

Article
12/30/2019
Okinawa, Japan (June 7, 2019) Hospital corpsmen respond to a simulated patient casualty during a tactical combat casualty care exercise as part of a rigorous Jungle Medicine Course at Jungle Warfare Training Center, Okinawa, Japan. The 10-day course trains Navy medical personnel assigned to Marine forces on jungle survival skills, patient tracking, field medical care, and casualty evacuation techniques. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeanette Mullinax)

“… laser-focused on advancing readiness and supporting the warfighter”

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

New way of teaching service members how to treat combat wounds vetted at Fort Benning

Article
12/10/2019
Inside Fort Benning’s Medical Simulation Training Center, medics and other experts from across the armed services practice treating “junctional” wounds, those at points where limbs connect to the human torso. The medics were part of a group of about 40 service member and civilians who gathered at Fort Benning to do a close review of a new curriculum that will be used to teach service members a type of battlefield first aid that the U.S. military calls Tier 2 Tactical Combat Casualty Care. (Photo by Markeith Horace)

Tactical Combat Casualty Care is geared to training service members in the best methods for giving medical care to the wounded in the first critical minutes before they can be taken to a hospital.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Network of researchers advancing warfighter readiness

Article
12/4/2019
Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee Payne, the assistant director for Combat Support at DHA, delivered the keynote address at the Global Emerging Infections Surveillance Scientific and Programmatic Advancement Meeting, GSPAM. He emphasized the importance of Force Health Protection measures and linked the GEIS mission to DHA’s combat support mission. (DoD photo)

In fiscal year 2020, GEIS awarded approximately $60 million to more than 20 DoD laboratories and U.S. government partners

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Global Health Engagement | Global Emerging Infections Surveillance

International medics tackle Tactical Combat Casualty Care

Article
9/23/2019
Air Force students provide cover while pulling a ‘wounded’ training mannequin out of simulated line-of-fire during the Tactical Combat Casualty Care course at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. Battlefield simulation drills are vital to provide medics and combat personnel with realistic situations where they provide life-saving care and evacuation of wounded. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ryan Lackey)

TCCC has become the new standard of medical training proficiency for military personnel

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness

Supporting the warfighter of today with innovation of tomorrow

Article
8/22/2019
Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee Payne, assistant director of DHA's Combat Support Agency, moderates a panel presentation on Wednesday, August 21 at MHSRS. (MHS photo)

Air Force Maj. Gen. Payne, panelists describe Defense Health Agency combat support role

Recommended Content:

Combat Support
<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >> 
Showing results 46 - 60 Page 4 of 5

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.