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DHA IT chief to receive SecDef’s ‘Spirit of Service’ award

Image of Military personnel wearing face masks talking. Spirit of Service award winner Daniel Winske (right): “I tell my co-workers all the time, ‘We’re making history in what we’re doing.’” (Courtesy of Daniel Winske)

Daniel Winske, branch chief of the Desktop to Datacenter Operations Center at the Defense Health Agency, has been selected as one of three recipients of the 2021 National Capital Region "Spirit of Service" award.

"Mr. Winske has demonstrated great fortitude in leading the historical Military Healthcare System network unification aimed to save the Department of Defense billions of dollars over the next 10 years," wrote Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place, DHA's director, in his nomination. "His honor, integrity, and continued excellence qualified him to manage a $452 million project set to unify health care in over 650 sites around the world."

The period covered for the prestigious award, which was approved by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, was considerable: October 2018 through January 2021.

"I tell my co-workers all the time, 'We're making history in what we're doing,'" Winske said. "Everyone has always talked about creating a unified military health care system, and we actually did it. So, we may not go in an actual history book, but just know that we made history. To do that and then to be recognized at that level, it's shows merit in everything that we did."

Place also cited Winske for building and deploying a virtualized platform of hardware and software that connected health care professionals with 9.6 million beneficiaries throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Winske "is being recognized for his exceptional public service charged with bringing four military health services (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard) under a single multifaceted, secure, and integrated Medical Community of Interest (Med-COi) network that is accessible worldwide," his nomination recognition reads. "His deployment-focused mindset enabled the unification of military medical treatment facilities and rallied chief information officers from around the world to assist with the expansion of the communications network backbone that hosted the DHA's virtualized health care response during the worldwide pandemic."

Wrote Place, "His well-trained team of senior project managers and information technology professionals supported communications and interconnectivity between military medical treatment facilities administering critical health care and vaccination deployments throughout the globe."

Said Winske: "I would not have even been nominated or even looked at if I didn't have a solid team. Everybody knew what they had to bring in ... There was no sense of attitude, it was more a sense of, "Hey, we need to get this done."

Getting it done right was one job, he added. A second was keeping to a time, cost, and schedule performance, and a third was making sure there was no "cost to care" - meaning constant attention to detail.

Winske said the implementation measures have not impacted one patient in the three years they've been underway.

This year's "Spirit of Service" ceremony was planned for May 6 during Public Service Recognition Week; however, the in-person ceremony did not take place due to continued COVID-19 concerns.

The other two recipient of recipients of the 2021 National Capital Region "Spirit of Service" Recognition were Gary D. Bauleke of the Defense Human Resources Activity, and Terri Marshall of the Department of Defense Education Activity.

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Last Updated: July 11, 2023
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