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

DOD's Whole of Government Approach to COVID is Working, Says Adirim

Image of Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, right, speaks during a panel discussion. Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, right, speaks during a panel discussion as part of the opening keynote for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society 2021 annual conference at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, August 8. (MHS photo by Jacob Moore)

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Health Care Technology | Telehealth Program | Military Health System Transformation

During the opening keynote at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s annual conference, Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, explained how she has been extremely impressed by the Department of Defense’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic since taking over her current role. She also detailed how adaptation and innovation have played key parts in that response.

The panel, entitled “Preserving the Health of a Population – Early Lessons from a Global Pandemic,” was hosted by Hal Wolf, HIMSS president and chief executive officer, and included Adirim, Dr. Ran Balicer, chief innovation officer for Israel’s Clalit Health Services; Dr. Patrice Harris, CEO and co-founder of eMed; and Dr. Hans Henri Kluge, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Europe.

“I was very impressed when I came in in January with all of the work that the department has done. It really took a whole of government approach and that was very much emphasized by Secretary (of Defense, Lloyd) Austin,” Adirim said. “He really supported all aspects and sectors in doing that, as well as taking care of our service members and beneficiaries.”

Adirim explained how she was also impressed with how “thoughtful,” the DOD’s Force Health Protection Guidance was regarding COVID, although emerging variants such as Delta may necessitate a shift in the department’s approach.

“Even pre-vaccination, we were able to protect our force and they were able to complete their mission,” she said. “I think Delta has thrown a wrench in that a little bit, but I think overall, the Department of Defense has, and continues to do, a pretty good job.”

Adirim said the early lessons learned should be catalysts for change within DOD healthcare.

“We need to take what we’ve done during the pandemic – and those things that are working, document that for going forward,” she said.

With the changing nature of the virus, and new information becoming available daily, she said flexibility and change are essential to the DOD’s mission.

“Our healthcare system has been fairly nimble when it comes to re-looking at how we do things and when it comes to completing our missions, especially our national security mission,” said Adirim. “We’ve had to adapt and change. It was hard, but when people see that it’s working, we’ll continue to do those things going forward.”

Change includes looking at an issue and adapting to the current environment. She spoke specifically about addressing children’s mental health citing that, of the Military Health System’s 9.6 million beneficiaries, a significant portion are children of service members who have to deal with the anxiety that can go along with frequent moves, changing schools, etc.

“We’ve been leveraging technology and we’ve greatly expanded tele-behavioral health,” Adirim said. “Necessity is the mother of invention. The pandemic hit and we made sure we expanded that, so our families could have better access to mental health services.”

Adirim also spoke about the innovation that has taken place within the DOD. Just one example was using 3D printing for protective items such as face shields to overcome supply chain issues and equipment shortages that presented themselves early in the pandemic.

“I think using technology for even the more mundane things would help us be more well-prepared,” she said

You also may be interested in...

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 | Telehealth Program

Robotically-Assisted Surgical Technology Expands Capabilities

Article Around MHS
8/1/2022
Military medical personnel uses robotics

Robotically-assisted surgery may sound like something from a futuristic science fiction movie to some, but it is actually a safe and increasingly common method shown to deliver better outcomes for patients than traditional surgery.

Recommended Content:

Health Innovation Toolkit | Health Care Technology | Research and Innovation

U.S. Army Mobile Laboratory Earns International Accreditation for Air Monitoring

Article Around MHS
7/20/2022
Military personnel evaluate lab results

A U.S. Army civilian mobile expeditionary laboratory has earned International Standards Organization 17025 accreditation for air monitoring.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Environmental Exposures

San Antonio Market Celebrates First Anniversary as a Unified Health Care System

Article Around MHS
7/20/2022
Two airmen talking.

The San Antonio Market will celebrate its one-year anniversary as a unified military health care system this week.

Recommended Content:

Direct Reporting Markets | Military Health System Transformation

DHA Program Supports Training Education of Future Medical Providers

Article
7/20/2022
Military personnel looking at display

The Clinical Investigations Program combines research and training to teach and develop the future clinicians of the Military Health System.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Education & Training | Health Care Technology | Health Readiness & Combat Support

DHA Leads NATO's Historical Medical Interoperability Exercise

Article
7/15/2022
Officers watch a presentation in a room.

The Defense Health Agency collaborated with NATO and partner organizations for CWIX 2022 held in Poland, 6-24 June.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Global Health Engagement | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability

MHS Virtual Education Center Empowers Patients to Improve Outcomes

Article
7/14/2022
Army Col. (Dr.) Maria Molina provides insight on the latest MHS digital resource for patients.

The Defense Health Agency is developing the Virtual Education Center: A web-based library and communications platform that enables providers and patients to access, store, and use vetted MHS education resources more easily than ever before.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Ready Reliable Care | Health Care Technology | MHS GENESIS

How MHS GENESIS will become essential to patients' health journey

Article
6/21/2022
Dr. Robert Marshall, program director of the Department of Defense Clinical Informatics Fellowship at Madigan Army Medical Center.

Ensuring proper training of both providers and patients is essential for the successful integration and sustainment of MHS GENESIS into MHS care.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Care Technology | MHS GENESIS Toolkit | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS

DHA- IPM 20-004: Department of Defense (DOD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation

Policy

Establishes the Defense Health Agency’s procedures to implement instructions, assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures for the DHA’s implementation of the DOD’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

How Military Medicine Is Preparing for the Next Conflict

Article
6/8/2022
As the Pentagon prepares today’s force for a “near-peer” fight against a large military adversary, the Military Health System is challenged to provide life-saving support for large-scale and dispersed operations.

As the Pentagon prepares today’s force for a “near-peer” fight against a large military adversary, the Military Health System is challenged to provide life-saving support for large-scale and dispersed operations. That’s especially true for the medics supporting troops on the front lines.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Care Technology | Education & Training | Medical Education and Training Campus

BDAACH Enhances Its Surgical Capability Through Robotic Surgical System

Article Around MHS
6/6/2022
Surgical hospital

Three years of dedication to activating the robotic surgical system in the Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital (BDAACH) finally came to fruition on May 16, 2022.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Research and Innovation

After Leading Through the Pandemic, TRICARE Pharmacy Chief Retires

Article
5/27/2022
Pharmacy Services

How COVID-driven changes are improving the TRICARE Pharmacy System.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Care Technology

How MHS Video Connect Improves Mission Effectiveness and Care Quality

Article
5/18/2022
Army Lt. Col (Dr.) Robert Cornfeld explains how MHS Video Connect's convenient, secure, and easy-to-use virtual video visit capability helps providers keep patients on mission and improves engagement with them, directly leading to better health outcomes.

Open to all active duty service members, retirees, and their families enrolled in a military hospital or clinic, MHS Video Connect empowers patients to meet with their military health provider virtually through live video on any internet-connected computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Health Care Technology | MHS Video Connect | Information for Providers | Military Hospitals and Clinics

C-Suite's Culture of Care

Article
4/27/2022
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Clinton Murray (right), Brooke Army Medical Center commanding general and an infectious disease physician, and Dr. Evan Renz, deputy to the commander for quality and safety and a general surgeon, stop to compare notes during Saturday morning rounds at BAMC on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Dec. 18, 2021. (Courtesy Photo)

It can be a balancing act, but senior leaders at Brooke Army Medical Center make it a priority to carve out time for clinical care.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS

MHS GENESIS: Commanders Say Electronic Health Records Foster Improved Care

Article
4/20/2022
An Army soldier and patient actor sports a mock impalement while providing simulated medical information to test out a new electronic medical record system designed to virtually document medical encounters in the field. The mock scenario was part of the U.S. Navy’s Rim of the Pacific exercise in 2018. (Photo: Ana Allen, U.S. Army)

MHS GENESIS improves health care for military beneficiaries across the enterprise.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 32
Refine your search
Last Updated: August 13, 2021

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.