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Defense Health Agency Welcomes New Research and Development Workforce

Image of Defense Health Agency Welcomes New Research and Development Workforce. DHA Director U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Telita Crosland welcomes personnel from the newly established Defense Health Agency Research and Development organization during a town hall at Fort Detrick, Maryland on May 10, 2024. (Photo by Paul Lagasse)

Employees of the new Defense Health Agency Research and Development organization were welcomed to the agency this month by DHA Director U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Telita Crosland during an event at Fort Detrick, Maryland. DHA Research and Development is comprised of elements of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, which were transferred to DHA as directed by National Defense Authorization Act legislation.

“Thank you for what you do and what you are going to continue to do,” said Crosland. “Front and center to me as the director and to our team and leadership is to make sure we are mindful we are transitioning human beings … so if there is something you feel we’re doing where we don’t understand that affects your ability to perform—bring that up—because that is contrary to our intent to take care of you through this process.”

“When we worked on our mission and vision, there was representation of your organization and your mission set,” Crosland continued. “You know how your mission set gets after improving health and building readiness or the capability of the force. Whether it’s what you do connecting with the FDA, or in product development, or fielding and equipping—all feeds into the National Defense Strategy. Which includes improving clinical readiness—work that supports combat care. If you think about what the technology you are developing is going to do for increasing frontline clinical capabilities, that’s critical to growing and increasing clinical readiness in a demonstrable way.”

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Edward H. Bailey leads the newly established DHA Research and Development, while he will also oversee DHA’s Research and Engineering Directorate. These directorates are part of the DHA office of the Assistant Director of Support /Component Acquisition Executive, led by acting assistant director, Kathleen Berst.

“We are the DHA,” said Bailey. “Our purpose is to support the warfighter, in support, this is what we do.”

“We are thrilled to welcome our new teammates from around the world into the DHA community,” said Berst. “We are committed to supporting them as they continue their mission focused on research and development addressing the military's unique medical requirements.”

The new organization is staffed by more than 1,500 highly qualified scientists, program managers, acquisition experts, and support personnel at laboratories and offices at locations around the world.

This historic transformation is the result of congressional direction in two different NDAAs, in 2017 and 2019, which directed the establishment of DHA R&D and the transfer of the Army’s Medical Research and Development Command to the DHA.

The changes are part of the transformation at the DHA, to make it a modernized health care delivery system. The integration of military medical research, development, acquisition, and sustainment activities under the DHA are expected to result in a more robust and effective medical enterprise, supporting integrated readiness and care.

DHA Research and Development will carry on a significant legacy of accomplishments in service of the warfighter. The new DHA direct reporting organization comprises numerous elements of the former U.S. Army activities, including a robust array of medical research laboratories investigating medical solutions for the battlefield with a focus on various areas of biomedical research, including military infectious diseases, combat casualty care, military operational medicine, and medical chemical and biological defense.

The DHA provides health services to more than 9.5 million beneficiaries, including uniformed service members, military retirees, and their families. DHA operates the TRICARE health program, manages a global network of more than 700 military hospitals, clinics, and dental facilities, and oversees a worldwide research, development, acquisitions, logistics, and public health enterprise. To learn more about DHA, visit health.mil/dha.

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Last Updated: June 10, 2024
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