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

DHA director visits San Antonio military units, JBSA vaccination sites

Three military personnel, wearing masks, talking with each other in a hospital hallway Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, Director, Defense Health Agency, talks with Army Lt. Col. Elizabeth Markelz, Chief of Infectious Disease, and Army Lt. Col. Robert Walter, Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Jan. 20, 2021. Place said there is no location in DoD that has seen more COVID-positive cases or COVID-positive workload than the medical facilities at JBSA, lauding the relationship between the military health system here and their involvement in the community. (Photo by Jason Edwards.)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Joint Base San Antonio’s role in Operation Warp Speed, the whole-of-nation response to COVID-19, and ongoing vaccination efforts were the highlight of a visit by Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, last week.

Place visited medical facilities and vaccination operations at Brooke Army Medical Center, or BAMC, and Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, where he was impressed by the efficiency of their efforts in protecting others.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is incredibly important to the safety and security of the United States of America, and there are a couple of reasons for that,” Place said. “There have been almost 400,000 deaths in America in less than a year from this particular virus, and we have within our hands, as Americans, a methodology to markedly reduce the risk of infection, and if infections are reduced, markedly reduce the risk of death in America. That’s huge.”

Place explained that it is important to realize COVID-19 vaccinations are mission essential to the Department of Defense.

“With this vaccine, we are increasing the Department’s mission capabilities by preventing internal infections among small teams, crews, and critical national infrastructure,” he said. “That makes us all more mission capable. It is not only important from the aspect of reducing the number of people who are sick and saving lives, it also reinforces our national security.”

General place talking to several military medical personnel
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, Director, Defense Health Agency, talks with Spc. Aaron Neuenschwander, health care specialist, at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Jan. 20, 2021. (Photo by Jason Edwards.)

Distributing the volume of COVID-19 vaccine allocated to JBSA is no small task, Place said, noting that the allotment is among the highest sent to any specific location.

“If you look at the challenges of ultra-cold storage that this particular vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) requires; the fact that we are a multinational organization, and the logistics that come with that; and the additional personal protective equipment that is required by every single one of our health care practitioners as we perform this mission; and do it within a schema in a vaccine-constrained environment -- the Department has vaccinated a large number of people, and we are in pretty good shape,” Place said. 

The DOD strategy is to prioritize, distribute, and administer the vaccine through a phased approach to all Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard members, as well as all mission-essential DOD civilian employees and other personnel performing mission-essential functions, including healthcare, emergency services personnel, and critical support. 

The Department’s goal is to use all of the allotted vaccine before resupply shipments arrive while following their schema, or model for distribution, which is meant to match the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s model, Place said. 

As the vaccine supply increases, JBSA medical facilities will announce the start of the next phase of vaccinations, which will include high-risk beneficiaries. The first group of high-risk beneficiaries will be those 75 and older, followed by those aged 65-74, and then beneficiaries with high-risk conditions ages 16-64. 

Another stop during Place’s visit was to U.S. Army North, where their commanding general, Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, provided him with an update on military medical personnel supporting federal and state COVID-19 efforts as part of the whole-of-America response to the pandemic. The two also discussed military medical matters important to the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston community.

Place also visited U.S. Army South, the Air Force Personnel Center, Medical Center of Excellence, the Nineteenth Air Force, and Air Force Recruiting Service, and met with San Antonio’s mayor, Ron Nirenberg. 

“I think San Antonio’s support is among the best in the world,” Place said of the city’s support to the military medical community. “Their support for the huge amount of military medicine here, both the health care part and the training part, is truly fantastic.”

DHA Director Place talking to several military personnel
Air Force Col. Heather Yun, Deputy Commander for Medical Services, talks to Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, Director, Defense Health Agency, at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Jan. 20, 2021. (Photo by Jason Edwards.)

That continued support will be important in the coming months as members of the San Antonio military medical community join together to become the San Antonio military medical market as authorized by the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. 

A medical market is a group of military hospitals and clinics working together in one geographic area, operating as a system to support the sharing of patients, staff, budget, and other functions across facilities to improve readiness and the delivery and coordination of health services. 

“The idea behind a military medical market is to share resources, money, staff, equipment, administrative support capabilities, and potentially patients, within a defined geographical area with the idea that we can spend less and get better outcomes,” Place said. “By that, I mean bringing the right care to the right person at the right time at the right location.”

The DHA will eventually establish 19 medical markets in the continental U.S. which will be centered on large medical centers, establishing centers of excellence for specialty care that meet the needs of beneficiaries.

The goal of the new medical markets is to make the care better, make the cost of care less, and continue to support the national defense strategy, Place said. 

Throughout his visit to JBSA, Place said he was inspired and always felt more motivated by the service members than they were by him. 

“They are exceptionally motivated,” he said on the last day of his visit. “This particular location is particularly impressive, just based on the sheer volume of patients who have been treated in this market.

“If you look at the many locations around the DOD, there has been significant investment by the medical staff members in providing exceptional care to COVID-positive patients,” Place said. “Whether it be outpatient care and testing, to those with mild to moderate symptoms, or even those who become critically ill; no matter where we go, we see fantastic care given by the young men and women who care so much about supporting their brothers and sisters in arms.”

Place said there is no location in DOD that has seen more COVID-19 positive cases or COVID-19 positive workload than the medical facilities at JBSA, also giving credit to the support staff members who he also considers part of the healthcare delivery team.

“The relationship between the military health system here, their involvement in the community, and the ability of Brooke Army Medical Center to accept trauma patients from medical facilities in local small communities to free up beds for COVID-19 patients -- they have been remarkable in what they have been able to accomplish,” he said. 

“Our responsibility as the Defense Health Agency is to support the Secretary of Defense’s priorities, and certainly, the number one priority is to protect our people,” Place said. “The best way to protect our people is to develop our schema and vaccinating against it, getting the maximum bang for the vaccine buck, protecting our people, and protecting the mission set within the Department of Defense.”

You also may be interested in...

MHS quickly adapted to improve patient experience during pandemic

Article
5/19/2021
Military health personnel waiting for the next phone call on the COVID-19 advice line

MHS adapted technology to boost patient experience during pandemic

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Palliative care provides comfort to COVID-19 patients, families

Article
5/17/2021
Military health personnel taking care of a patient

Medical Center team develops palliative care toolkit for COVID-19 patients

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Military medicine heroes recognized for COVID-19 pandemic response

Article
5/17/2021
Photo of the virtual "Heroes of Military Medicine" award ceremony

COVID-19 pandemic will affect military medicine for years to come, DHA Director Place tells HJF awards ceremony.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Got Your 6 - May 16, 2021

Video
5/16/2021
Video screen image for the May 16, 2021 Got Your Six video

"Got Your 6" is TRICARE's COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

DHA leadership recognizes, advances 60th MDG mission

Article
5/14/2021
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place visits Travis Air Force Base

DHA leadership visit 60th Medical Group at Travis AFB.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS

Teamwork, adaptability, service – MTFs shine during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
5/14/2021
People at screening area

MHS readiness was put to the test at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in early 2020.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit | May | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

MHS Town Hall, May 12, 2021

Video
5/12/2021
MHS and Military OneSource COVID-19 Townhall, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Wednesday 12 May

Tune in for another MHS and Military OneSource Town Hall with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

Recommended Content:

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

Join Us!! Sixth Live COVID-19 Town Hall

Article
5/12/2021
Image describing today's Town Hall with Dr. Paul Scott and COL Clinton K. Murray, MD.  They are with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and will discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Advancement and Trials.

Join us for today's Town Hall with Dr. Paul Scott and COL Clinton K. Murray, MD. They are with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and will discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Advancement and Trials.

Recommended Content:

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

Is It Allergies or COVID-19?

Infographic
5/11/2021
Infographic that describes the difference between symptoms of allergies and those related to COVID-19

This Infographic provides a chart that outlines how to tell the difference between COVID-19 and allergy symptoms

Recommended Content:

Symptoms of COVID-19 | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Ask the Doc: COVID Courageous

Article
5/10/2021
Spc. Andrew Buchtan, 1-4 Infantry Regiment medic, vaccinates Command Sgt. Maj. Deondre Long, Battalion Command Sergeant Major of 1-4 Infantry Regiment. Long said “I got the vaccination shot today because I did not want my leadership style to change. I am an engaged leader. The shot will enable me to develop a better relationship with my soldiers. It will help better interact with them without a standoffish leadership.” (US Army photo by Sgt. Julian Padua).

Dear Doc: I was afraid about getting my COVID vaccine at first and even entertained the thought of not getting it at all, but now that most of my friends and coworkers have gotten their first dose and some have even gotten their second, I think I'm ready. It seems pretty safe. That being said, now I need to know what I'm supposed to do to get it done. My wife wants to get hers as well but isn't sure how to go about doing it as a dependent. Is there a difference? Are there different ways of getting an appointment? What do we have to do? Any help would be much appreciated. — COVID Courageous

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Ask The Doc

DHA-PI 6205.01: Medical Logistics Guidance for the DoD Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (n), establishes the Defense Health Agency's (DHA's) procedures for ordering, receiving, and managing COVID-19 Vaccines inventory and ancillary kits.

Navy nurse steps into Jacksonville community for COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
5/7/2021
Military health personnel wearing face mask discussing the COVID-19 vaccine program

Navy Cmdr. Glenn “Pete” Bradford is aiding the underserved Jacksonville community in COVID-19 vaccination mission

Recommended Content:

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

Got Your 6 - May 6, 2021

Video
5/6/2021
Video screen image for the May 6, 2021 Got Your Six video

"Got Your 6" is TRICARE's COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Nurse and Tech Week: Air Force airmen are battle-tested and ready

Article
5/6/2021
12 COVID-19 patients aboard a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft

For the past year, Air Force nurses and medical technicians have found themselves on the front lines in the battle against the COVID-19 disease.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | National Nurses Week | Technology | Nursing in the Military Health System | Mental Health Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DHA, HA leaders discuss MHS Transformation at AHA panel

Article
5/6/2021
Military personnel talking at a podium

Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place and Dr. Terry Adirim discussed MHS Transformation, MHS GENESIS, and highlighted the DHA’s response to COVID-19 in a virtual roundtable hosted April 12 by the American Hospital Association.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation | Genesis of MHS GENESIS | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Readiness Capabilities
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 91 - 105 Page 7 of 38

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.