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DHA stands up new market in Tidewater region of Virginia

Military health personnel wearing masks holding up a flag Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, left, and Navy Rear Adm. Darin Via, director of the Tidewater Market, and commander, Naval Medical Forces Atlantic, unfurl the Defense Health Agency flag during a socially distanced establishment ceremony to mark the standup of the Tidewater Market, April 28, 2021. Tidewater Market is on the leading edge of the Military Health System’s historic change, following its certification by the Defense Health Agency on April 19, 2021 (Photo by: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jessica Dowell, Naval Medical Forces Atlantic).

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Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, visited Naval Medical Forces Atlantic at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, to participate in a socially distanced establishment ceremony to mark the standup of the Tidewater Market, April 28, 2021.

Tidewater Market is on the leading edge of the Military Health System's historic change, following its certification by the Defense Health Agency on April 19, 2021. By standing up the Tidewater Market, DHA enables greater collaboration across military hospitals and clinics strengthening the medical readiness of service members and enabling these facilities to deliver better care and a better patient experience.

"I'm excited to hit the ground running as Tidewater's director," said Rear Adm. Darin Via, director of the Tidewater Market. "This change benefits everyone in our market. Our patients can now access a larger network of providers and specialists; our medical professionals have greater opportunities to maintain their skills; and our facilities can more easily share resources. In other words, I know our system as a whole will be healthier and more prepared due to this transition."

The Tidewater Market serves 393,000 beneficiaries, and includes: Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, McDonald Army Health Center at Fort Eustis, and U.S. Air Force Hospital at Langley Air Force Base.

As part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the Military Health System is transitioning administration and management of all military and hospitals and clinics to DHA. To do so effectively, DHA chose a market approach, based on the six enhanced Multi-Service Markets already in place. Markets are groups of hospitals and clinics working together in a geographic area operating as a system to support the sharing of patients, staff, functions, budget, and more across all market facilities.

"Our goal throughout this transition remains the same - support our warfighters and care for our patients," said Place. "In fact, that's why we decided the market approach is most appropriate for our system. It helps create a flexible, integrated health system that best supports the operational demands of the Department of Defense, and it meets the needs of our patients. In my eyes, that's a win-win."

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