Skip to main content

Military Health System

MHS leaders discuss future of military medicine during AMSUS panel

Image of Military personnel, wearing masks, standing in a line in front of flags. The military’s top medical leaders pose for a photo after presenting Senior Leadership Panel at Defense during the 2020 Association of Military Surgeons of the United States’ annual meetings. (Photo Courtesy of Office of the Army Surgeon General.)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Military Health System Transformation

The top leaders in military medicine discussed the future of the Military Health System and its impact on mission readiness during a Senior Leadership Panel Dec. 8 at the annual meeting of The Society of Federal Health Professionals (AMSUS).

The virtual event was moderated by Thomas McCaffery, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, and the panelists included Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency; Air Force Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Paul Friedrichs, Joint Staff surgeon; the surgeons general of the Army and Navy, Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle and Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham; deputy surgeon general of the Air Force, Maj. Gen. Sean Murphy, and Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences President Dr. Richard Thomas.

Place began the discussion by saying that, despite setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the transfer in management of more than 700 Army, Navy and Air Force hospitals, medical and dental clinics to the DHA is on track.

“Some important dialogue, feedback loops, improvements, etc. were made during the pause of transition activities,” Place said. “So, there are some improvements that have been made in the intervening several months as well.”

Place said the DHA structure allows them to provide the best treatment options for MHS beneficiaries by moving resources, including personnel, equipment, funding, and capabilities, within a given geographic area.

“The patient-facing side of it is a standardization of practices and procedures such that, it's not a different way to make an appointment at each of the different MTFs, it's a single way. In fact, it's a single appointment line for all of them,” Place said. “It's the way that the pharmacies work, the way that the laboratories work. It's all standardized such that it's easier and more intuitive for each of the patients.”

For Dingle, readiness is the key issue during the transition.

“That readiness includes everything from recruiting, organizing, training and equipment, to making sure that all of those health care professionals are ready to deploy to support tomorrow's battles,” Dingle said.

Gillingham, Dingle’s Navy counterpart, agreed. He also said COVID-19 has highlighted the critical impact of the MHS to readiness of U.S. military forces.

“I think COVID has dramatically emphasized the role that the military has in place, not only in the care delivered in the MTF, but in the installation support,” Gillingham said. “In our case, to keep the fleet or the Marine Corps healthy and ready.”

Thomas also said he thinks the efficiency a “system of systems” created by the MHS has shown, bringing together elements from military and VA hospitals for instance, has been highlighted by the pandemic.

“Although we are at the highest level of hospitalizations in the pandemic, we’re at the lowest level of taskings for military personnel because of these partnerships,” Thomas said. “And the way ahead for us I hope will be to continue to leverage those partnerships and to look for opportunities, not just in a pandemic but to work more closely, sustaining currency and readiness, or any of the other tasks.”

From a Defense Health Agency perspective, Place said the ability to use the interoperability created by the DHA has proved invaluable. Just one example of this is the collection of COVID-19 convalescent plasma. Patients from facilities throughout the MHS contributed to the Secretary of Defense’s goal of collecting 10,000 units of CCP between June and September of this year. Approximately 3,000 donors, all of whom had recovered from the virus, contributed to the campaign.

Place said the integration of the Armed Services blood system and each of the individual services’ blood programs allowed them to locate potential donors and make CCP available across the enterprise.

The improvement of processes is also an integral part of the transition, continuity, and planning operations for the future.

“I think that's been very helpful to all of us,” Thomas said. “I think the importance of continuity of operations planning has been paramount.”

Throughout the event, the panelists agreed that the focus is on the mission and making sure the health system is positioned to meet that mission.

You also may be interested in...

Genome Sequencing Assists Research at Naval Health Research Center

Article
1/24/2023
Lab technicians doing genome research

Learn how unique samples from naval vessels, US-Mexico border populations, and DOD beneficiaries aided in the Naval Health Research Center’s sequencing efforts.

Recommended Content:

Research & Innovation | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus

U.S. Military HIV Research Lends Lessons Learned to COVID-19

Article
1/19/2023
Gloved hands working in laboratory

The U.S. military has engaged in HIV research for three decades, contributing critical lessons learned, knowledge, and expertise during the COVID-19 research and vaccine development effort.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | DOD HIV/AIDS Prevention Program | Research & Innovation | Coronavirus

Naval Medical Research Center Uses Genome Sequencing for Variants

Article
1/12/2023
Military personnel pose for a group photo

NMRC’s efforts provided important support for sequencing and viral isolation to the Department of Defense and Military Health System.

Recommended Content:

Research & Innovation | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus

USAMRIID Focuses on Genome Sequencing to Detect Variants

Article
1/5/2023
Military medical personnel in laboratory

A connected family of laboratories across the MHS allows a more rapid response to the outbreak.

Recommended Content:

Research & Innovation | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus

Whole Genome Sequencing at Tripler Army Medical Center

Article
12/29/2022
Dr. Keith Fong reviews data with other lab technicians

The third installment in a 6-part series highlighting the efforts of the Military Health System laboratories and the technicians who worked to identify COVID-19 variants using special sequencing technology.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Research & Innovation | Coronavirus

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Implements SARS-CoV-2 Genome Sequencing

Article
12/23/2022
Military medical personnel in laboratory

This is the second article in a 6-part series that highlights the work of technicians and scientists in Military Health System laboratories who worked to identify COVID-19 variants using special sequencing technology.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Research & Innovation

Military Labs Use Whole Genome Sequencing of COVID-19 Variants

Article
12/16/2022
Lab technician at work

The first in a 6-part series highlighting the work of technicians and scientists working in support of the MHS who identified COVID-19 variants using special sequencing technology.

Recommended Content:

Research & Innovation | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus

DOD Reduces Health Care Waste by Reusing Crutches

Article
12/15/2022
Military personnel using crutches

When military facilities faced a national shortage of an essential mobility aid, they launched a grassroots initiative that not only ensured patient care, but also created a new waste reduction model within the DHA.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Time to Get Your Flu Shot and Your COVID-19 Booster, Too

Article
10/14/2022
Senior MHS officials and medics from the Pentagon stand together Oct. 13 after receiving their flu shots and bivalent COVID-19 boosters.."

It's flu shot time. Get your COVID-19 booster at the same time.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Immunizations | Coronavirus

Prevent the Spread of Influenza and COVID-19 Viruses Within Your Community

Article
10/11/2022
A person getting an injection on their arm.

As families return from summer vacation and students return to school, the influenza (flu) season is approaching while the COVID-19 pandemic is still on-going.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Immunizations | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit

DHA Turns 9: 'Now Fully Responsible for Health Care Delivery' in DOD

Article
10/6/2022
Four DHA personnel, including DHA Director Place, center, cut a birthday cake with a sword to celebrate DHA's ninth birthday. Oct. 1, 2022.

Defense Health Agency celebrates its 9th year; continues to grow military medical mission.

Recommended Content:

Defense Health Agency | Military Health System Transformation | Public Health

DHA Region Indo-Pacific Standardizes Medical Readiness and Health Care

Article
9/30/2022
A man speaks into a microphone on a podium

DHA establishes DHA Region Indo-Pacific on Sept. 27.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Defense Health Agency Region Indo-Pacific

Technology and Medicine: The Digital Age of Health Care

Article
8/26/2022
Photo of an afternoon panel of four people

Technology is transforming health care and incorporating new elements for providers in their practices.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | MHS GENESIS: The Electronic Health Record | Health Care Technology | Defense Health Information Technology Symposium

Learn the Most Recent Age Requirements for COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters

Article
8/10/2022
A man fist bumps a child.

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to get your vaccines and booster shots.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Telemedicine Privilege by Proxy Expands Access to MHS Care

Article
8/10/2022
Infographic featuring Lt Col Legault

MHS has Telemedicine Privilege by Proxy: A fast, efficient process that enables providers to file one application and get permission to virtually treat patients anywhere in the MHS.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Telehealth Program
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 16
Refine your search
Last Updated: December 07, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery