Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

Public Health Supports the Warfighter, Military Community Worldwide

Image of U.S. Public Health Service Rear Adm. Brandon Taylor reflects on his first year as director of Defense Health Agency Public Health. He recently led a town hall discussion on the transformation and reorganization of public health capabilities within the DOD at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. . U.S. Public Health Service Rear Adm. Brandon Taylor reflects on his first year as director of Defense Health Agency Public Health. He recently led a town hall discussion on the transformation and reorganization of public health capabilities within the DOD at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. (Department of Defense photo by Graham Snodgrass)

It's National Public Health Awareness Week from April 5-11, and Defense Health Agency Public Health is committed to recognizing the health professionals and support staff caring for the total health of the joint force, military services, and the Department of Defense global community.

U.S. Public Health Service Rear Adm. Brandon Taylor, director of DHA Public Health, looks forward to participating in this year's activities as he reflects on his first year leading this organization. The one-year anniversary coincided with a visit to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, where Taylor led a town hall discussion about the transformation and reorganization of public health capabilities within the DOD.

"The time has gone by so quickly. In spite of the challenges we continue to face, we've proven we are better together," said Taylor.

During his first year, Taylor visited facilities and organizations transferred to DHA as a result of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. He welcomed three new Defense Centers for Public Health to DHA: DCPH-Aberdeen, DCPH-Dayton, and DCPH-Portsmouth, expanding the DHA Public Health team to over 1,000 people. These centers continue to protect the health of their service members and now share a joint mission.

Other highlights of Taylor’s first year include touring the large, minus-30-degree Celsius walk-in freezers at DOD's serum repository; presenting DHA's biosurveillance efforts at a NATO meeting in Munich, Germany; and holding conversations with public health leaders and staff from the military services and the U.S. Public Health Service.

DHA Public Health Deputy Director Sean Friendly spoke positively of the transition at a recent meeting of DHA Public Health leaders and a military public health delegation from Japan.

"DHA Public Health’s health surveillance mission is useful to the combatant commands and to our international military partners that are in contact with an ever-present enemy,” said Friendly. “This enemy is disease. The joint force operational areas and missions drive the science behind the types of surveillance conducted by this organization."

The group discussed the value of accurate health data to protect military forces from various health diseases and threats worldwide. Health surveillance branch leaders shared how they provide timely, relevant, actionable, and comprehensive health surveillance support to the joint staff, combatant commands, and military services.

Taylor looks to the future as transformation continues. Biosurveillance remains a high-priority mission. To further this mission, Taylor and U.S. Navy Cmdr. Matthew Kasper, the DHA Global Emerging Infections Surveillance branch chief, will visit the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6 in Lima, Peru. GEIS routinely visits its partners at the overseas service laboratories. These visits strengthen relationships between the service laboratories, DHA PH, combatant commands, and the host nation partner.

As 2023 continues to unfold, DHA Public Health will focus on:

  • Developing DHA’s biosurveillance capabilities to support a better biodefense posture for the DOD
  • Ensuring interoperable and agile delivery of public health products and services across the DOD
  • Acquiring and retaining an exceptional public health workforce
  • Fostering current and new relationships with interagency, industry, and international military public health partners

“We’re still in the middle of an extended transition and transformation, and the dust has not yet settled,” said Taylor. “The process will take months and years to complete, and we will navigate situations as they surface. We will work together as a singular Public Health enterprise, as a sum greater than our individual parts.”

You also may be interested in...

Aug 2, 2023

Before Natural Disasters Strike, Know Your TRICARE Benefits

Before Natural Disasters Strike, Know Your TRICARE Benefits

In case of a natural disaster, one of the most important preparations is to ensure you and your family have your prescription drugs and access to health care services. When the government issues a state of emergency, TRICARE may temporarily change its procedures to ensure that you receive timely medical care.

Aug 1, 2023

Case Report: Complicated Urinary Tract Infection Due to an Extensively Resistant Escherichia coli in a Returning Traveler

This article presents the medical case report of a 76-year-old man who returned to the U.S. following overseas travel and was admitted at Hawai'i's Tri­pler Army Medical Center with a complicated urinary tract infection due to an extensively resistant strain of E. coli.

Article Around MHS
Jul 25, 2023

Defense Public Health Experts Investigate If Minority Group Service Members are More Likely to Experience Behavioral Health Problems

A recent Department of Defense study found American Indian and Alaska Native U.S. Army Soldiers had higher rates of suicidal ideation than white soldiers. The DOD is investigating behavioral health disparities among minority groups in the military to see how they might mirror similar disparities in the civilian population. (Graphic illustration: Steven Basso, Defense Centers for Public Health-Aberdeen)

U.S. public health agencies such as the National Institute of Mental Health have recognized that certain minority groups appear to experience greater risk for certain behavioral health disorders. The higher rates of adverse health problems in minority groups are often referred to as “disparities.”

Article Around MHS
Jul 24, 2023

Expeditionary Medical Facility Kilo Completes Readiness Exercise, Earns Deployment-Ready Status

Expeditionary Medical Facility Kilo successfully completed its Operational Readiness Evaluation in Camp Pendleton, California, June 14-21. Approximately 134 EMF Kilo personnel trained in setting up and operating a 50-bed, medical treatment facility. (Photo: U.S. Navy HM2 James Comick, Naval Expeditionary Medical Training Institute)

Expeditionary Medical Facility Kilo successfully completed its Operational Readiness Evaluation. The focus of the ORE held in Camp Pendleton, California was testing the command’s ability to stand up a fully functional field hospital, capable of operating when deployed at any location around the world.

Article Around MHS
Jul 13, 2023

Entomologist Augments Warfighter Research Across Indo Pacific Region

U.S. Navy Lt. Thomas McGlynn, a medical entomologist at the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence, poses for a photo with Malaysian commissioned and noncommissioned officers, Malaysian public health officials, and researchers from the University of Malaysia Sabah during their training in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on Feb. 9. (Photo: U.S. Navy Lt. Nicholas Johnston)

Naval Medical Research Unit 2 was established during World War II in Guam to conduct applied research in support of force health protection and has operated intermittently since 1955. Currently, NAMRU-2 is located in Singapore and acts as the center of a hub-and-spoke research model in multiple southeastern Asian countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, ...

Article Around MHS
Jun 22, 2023

Marine Forces Special Operations Command and the Influence of Global Health Engagement

U.S. Navy Rear Adm. (Ret.) Thomas Cullison, former deputy surgeon general, U.S. Navy, teaches fundamentals of global health engagement to a class

Since its inception, Marine Forces Special Operations Command prioritized missions such as foreign Internal defense. The command places a Marine Special Operations Company in a country and work with local partner forces to exchange ideas and practices. These efforts intent to and increase their ability to work independently to increase national and ...

Skip subpage navigation
Refine your search
Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery