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

Happy Birthday, DHA! Director Reflects on Eight Years of Progress

Military personnel posing for a picture Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place (left) prepares to cut a birthday cake with military and civilian members of the DHA staff as part of an event marking the eighth year of the launch of the agency at DHA Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, Oct. 1 (Photo by Jacob Moore, MHS Communications).

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Defense Health Agency

The Defense Health Agency marked the eighth year since its creation and the launch of its mission providing a medically ready force and ready medical force to combatant commands and Military Health System beneficiaries around the world.

“What I sense today, and particularly as I look back on the last 12 months, is great pride – an organization on the move and working in a unified way to support those we serve,” said DHA Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place at a hybrid in-person and online event on Oct. 1 at DHA headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia.

“I see an organization looking ahead, gaining confidence in itself and its parts, and the confidence of its stakeholders,” he said. “I see it in everyday activities, both large and small, and I see it in the increased demands placed on us.”

Place also said as the DHA celebrates the beginning of its ninth year as a Combat Support Agency, it is facing heightened expectations from those who count on it for support -- whether that support is for overseas operations, providing routine health care at home or responding to crises like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since the DHA was first established, this organization has understood it is a supporting organization,” Place explained. “We know that our organizational mission doesn’t exist in a vacuum. In fact, we are here to support the rest of the Department so that they can accomplish their missions – the combatant commands, the military departments, the military markets, the individual MTFs, and so on.”

Since its inception, DHA’s responsibilities have expanded from managing shared health care services to being directly responsible for health care delivery at military treatment facilities.

“And that responsibility will completely transition to the agency in fiscal year 2022,” he said.

The DHA is entering the final phase of its Congressional mandate to consolidate management of a unified military health system, and almost all large markets have transitioned to the DHA, Place said. 

On the immediate horizon, Place said, the DHA will be focusing on the single and stand-alone markets, and by Spring 2022 will welcome overseas regions into the DHA family.

He emphasized that performance has been the “single, most important factor” in DHA’s evolution.

“We could have all the infopapers and PowerPoints in the world to share, but it’s our performance that is creating momentum and confidence and creating increased demand for our services and our insights,” he said.

Dr. Ronald Place participating in a Wreath-Laying Ceremony
Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place (left) participates in a Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, Oct. 1, as part of events marking the eighth year of the launch of DHA (Photo by Jacob Moore, MHS Communications).

That performance has been on full display with the agency’s response to the pandemic beginning in January 2020 and ultimately administering millions of coronavirus vaccines since Dec. 14, 2020.

“Our Combat Support team, our immunization health team and our operations cell served as the nerve center for this organization, pulling together clinical, logistics, TRICARE, pharmacy, health IT, analytics and virtually every other element in the agency to put together an extraordinary team that operated 24/7,” he said.

In addition to managing a global response to the pandemic, DHA has also continued the deployment of MHS GENESIS, the new department-wide electronic health records system. The DHA has also progressed into the next generation of TRICARE and pharmacy contracts and continues to ensure the delivery of safe, high-quality health care around the world to almost 10 million beneficiaries.

“Success breeds success, and it creates a demand for more of the same,” Place said.  “The question is no longer about whether the DHA can perform, it’s about our long-term ability to sustain and expand that demonstrated excellence.”

“This is a different organization than what was imagined in 2011 when the first discussions happened, or October 1st of 2013, our first official day,” he added. “It’s significantly different than what existed when the [National Defense Authorization Act of 2017] passed, and it responded to the emerging crises now of 2020 and 2021.”

Place lauded the accomplishments of the DHA team and thanked them for their hard work, especially in the past year.

“You should be immensely proud of what you have accomplished, individually and as a team,” Place told the DHA team. “I know there have been long hours, weekends and holidays disrupted. For those of you with young children at home, perhaps even more challenging. You should be proud of what you achieved, and proud of managing this year with such professionalism,” he said.

“The achievements we’ve celebrated, however, are past. The work ahead of us, it’s even more important. We will be tested, and re-tested, every day and every week now in our ninth year; I think that’s okay. We’re ready for what the next year will bring, and confident in our ability to meet the tasks in front of us.”

DHA Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Gragg also spoke to the military health community at the birthday ceremony.

“Birthdays and anniversaries are phenomenal occasions…you get a chance to look back and see the things that you have accomplished over the last year, but you also get to relish in the opportunity of the upcoming year,” said Gragg. “As we’re continuing to mature as an organization and mature as an agency, that we continue to embrace the fact that we are doing this in support, together.”

Place, Gragg and other DHA leaders marked the occasion earlier in the day with a Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

You also may be interested in...

MHS GENESIS: New electronic health record coming soon to the San Antonio Market

Article Around MHS
A woman looks at her computer monitor.

The San Antonio Market will transition to the new electronic health record system – known as MHS GENESIS – in January 2022.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Genesis of MHS GENESIS

DHA establishes Central Texas Market to improve health care delivery

Unfurling of the flags during the ceremony of the Central Texas Market

The Central Texas Market will enable greater collaboration across military hospitals and clinics in the Central Texas region to strengthen the medical readiness of service members and enable these facilities to deliver better care and a better patient experience.

Recommended Content:

Market Structure | Military Health System Transformation | Direct Reporting Markets

Defense Health Agency Formally Establishes Low Country Medical Market

Military personnel uncasing the DHA Low Country Market colors

The Low Country Market was introduced Sept. 2 in an establishment ceremony hosted by the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and Winn Army Community Hospital.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Market Structure | Direct Reporting Markets

New Flag and Patch Symbolize Growth at the Defense Health Agency

Service members from the Army, Air Force and Navy display the new Defense Health Agency patch following a reflagging and repatching ceremony at Defense Health Agency Headquarters in Falls Church.

The DHA will reveal a new flag and seal in a ceremony August 20 to signify the unity of all services under one joint combat support agency.

Recommended Content:

Defense Health Agency | Military Health System Transformation | Combat Support

Reform, COVID-19 Have Been Catalysts for Change in Military Medicine

Dr. Terry Adirim speaking to an audience at a conference

Healthcare is about taking care of people, so no amount of change or innovation is ever sufficient if modernization does not lead to helping patients, says acting ASDHA at HIMSS21 in Las Vegas.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Military Health System Transformation

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

Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, right, speaks during a panel discussion.

Dr. Terry Adirim, said she has been impressed by the DOD’s COVID-19 response since taking over as ASDHA, and that adaptation and innovation have played key parts in that response.

Recommended Content:

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

Puget Sound Military Health System Certified by Defense Health Agency

Photo of a shuttle bus

The Puget Sound market leaders are responsible for managing all health care for its military population within Western Washington.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation

MHS Minute - July 2021

Infographic for MHS Minute

The Defense Health Agency continues to establish new health care markets across the U.S. Markets are designed to increase access to care for beneficiaries and improve coordination, standardization, and best practices across the MHS. Watch this month's MHS Minute to learn more!

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation

New Markets, MHS Transformation and You: What Does it All Mean?

Team members of the Fort Belvoir Community prepare for the start of a new day

With ten new markets launching, U.S. Public Health Service Capt. Tracy Farrill, talks about what this means for beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Direct Reporting Markets | Market Structure

San Antonio Market to Standardize, Optimize Local Healthcare

Military personnel unveiling flags

The Defense Health Agency’s San Antonio Market is the seventh market to stand up over the past year, and is designed to standardize, optimize local healthcare.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Market Structure

DHA, NATO Collaborate to Achieve Military Medical Interoperability

Military personnel looking at a laptop screen

DHA collaborated with NATO and partner organizations for CWIX 2021 held in Poland, 7-25 June.

Recommended Content:

Defense Health Agency

Military Health System Transformation Will Improve Care & Innovation

Infographic about Health Innovation Month

MHS Innovation Must Be Backed by Best Practices, Standardization

Recommended Content:

July Toolkit | Health Innovation – Pathways to Ready Reliable Care | Health Innovations across the MHS Enterprise | Health Innovation Month | Research and Innovation | Military Health System Transformation | MHS Research Symposium

Changes ahead for BJACH with DHA Market Transition

Two generals shake hands

DHA was established in 2013 to provide a host of shared health services across the MHS and BJACH will transition within the next 30 days

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Small Market and Stand Alone MTF Organizations

Defense Health Agency Continues Transformation with Colorado Market

Military personnel unveiling flags

The Colorado Military Health System officially stood up June 22.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Market Structure

EBM Provides Patients with Consistent, Effective Care

Military personnel hosting a training program

Clinical Communities Speaker Series: Evidence-Based Medicine

Recommended Content:

Defense Health Agency | Continuing Education Program Office
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 12

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.