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.

Military Medicine Advances via Defense Health Agency

Image of DHA Logo. DHA Logo

The Defense Health Agency is on track to advance the delivery of cutting edge military medical services to some 9.6 million beneficiaries all over the world.

This is the message its key leaders imparted to an audience of service members and civilian staff at a town hall meeting held March 25 at the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Va.

“You are members of the best medical organization in the history of the world,” said Maj. Gen. Richard Thomas, director of healthcare operations for the Defense Health Agency.

Established Oct. 1, 2013, the Defense Health Agency lies at the heart of Military Health System governance reform by assuming responsibility for shared services, functions, and activities of this system, as well as other common clinical and business processes.

“Over the last 13 years of continuous combat operations there have been a lot of innovations,” said Thomas. “The medicine that we practice today saves lives tomorrow, and becomes the standard of care in U.S. medicine and world medicine.”

These innovations, in triage care, pain management and many other areas, can be attributed to the men and women who make up the Military Health System, said Thomas. “It is a team effort with doctors, nurses, technicians, and administrators,” he said.

“Today U.S. military medicine is the glue that keeps that NATO coalition together in Afghanistan and other places around the world. Today you are better off getting hurt, being a trauma victim, in Afghanistan, than you are in many other places around the world,” said Thomas. “It’s because of the military medical machine that we have in place there, which saves lives.”

At the same time, Command Master Chief Terry Prince, senior enlisted advisor for the Defense Health Agency, underscored the importance of maintaining a focus on the individual.

“Do we help our folks get what they need to be a successful soldier, sailor, airman or family member, and are they medically ready?” he said by way of explaining his relatively new role as a direct advisor to Defense Health Agency Director Lt. Gen. Douglas Robb.

“I’m talking to sailors all the time, to soldiers, Marines, airmen, coast guardsmen, public health service officers … and then, most importantly, (to) our backbone, our civilian team,” said Prince. “Whether it’s at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center or Camp Lejeune, civilians keep us going during times when we are deployed.”

Thomas meanwhile described healthcare operations as “the DNA of the DHA.” He underscored that a new “fusion cell” would soon serve as an operations center for the entire organization. And he mentioned that a first ever TRICARE Blue Ribbon Panel was held March 27 and focused on bringing together Military Health System leaders to shape the next generation of TRICARE contracts.

David Bowen, health information technology director at the Defense Health Agency, highlighted how his area was becoming more streamlined under the auspices of the agency.

“We’re heavily engaged in a major project, and that is the acquisition of a new electronic health record for the DOD Military Health System,” he said. “It’s a huge effort.”

In terms of shoring up human resources, this is one of the most advanced of 10 shared services overseen by the Defense Health Agency. “We are probably the first shared service that will begin a process of putting both civilian and military personnel in their positions permanently,” said Bowen.

Rear Adm. William Roberts meanwhile attended the town hall meeting through a virtual visit from San Antonio, where he serves as the commandant of the Medical Education Training Campus at Fort Sam Houston, as well as the director of education and training for the Defense Health Agency.

“(The training campus) is a great inter-service collaborative effort with 20,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen who graduate every year from our 51 programs, six of which are consolidated between at least two services, and in the overwhelming majority of cases among all three,” he said.

Roberts highlighted the importance of a military medical education consortium partnership involving various agencies and organizations.

Defense Health Agency leaders summarized positive developments in other shared services, including research and business support for logistics, facilities, budget and resource management.

You also may be interested in...

Article Around MHS
Aug 16, 2023

Battle of Guadalcanal: 81st Anniversary of Operation Watchtower

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Andrew Stofila, right, and Sgt. Brandford Asomaning Jr., both with Task Force Koa Moana 23, participate in the color guard during the 81st Anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal ceremony at the Guadalcanal American Memorial in Honiara, Solomon Islands, on Aug. 7, 2023. The Battle of Guadalcanal, also known as Operation Watchtower, was a seven-month campaign that marked the first allied land offensive in the Pacific theater in World War II. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Courtney G. White)

“We struck at Guadalcanal to halt the advance of the Japanese. We did not know how strong he was, nor did we know his plans. We knew only that he was moving down the island chain and that he had to be stopped,” said U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Alexander A. Vandergrift. Guadalcanal at 81.

Article Around MHS
Aug 14, 2023

Senior Warrant Officer Awarded Soldier's Medal for Saving Lives

U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Nigel P. Huebscher, command chief warrant officer for the 1st Aviation Brigade, speaks after receiving the Soldier's Medal for risking his life to save others during a ceremony at Fort Novosel, Alabama, on Aug. 7, 2023. (U.S. Army photo by Kelly Morris)

When mere seconds mattered, U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Nigel P. Huebscher, command chief warrant officer for the 1st Aviation Brigade, was first on the scene of a house fire near Bonifay, Florida, on Oct. 9, 2022. He helped save the lives of two residents.

Article Around MHS
Aug 11, 2023

Army Medical Corps Provides Continuity of Care for 248 Years

Ensuring trained and ready medical forces, particularly combat trauma surgeons, is critical to support soldiers and other service personnel in combat. Army medicine is using individual critical task lists, centrally managing trauma surgery personnel and assets, and building military-civilian partnerships with civilian level I trauma centers to ensure surgeons are getting the experience needed for battlefield surgery. (Photo: Ronald Wolf/U.S. Army)

Only 43 days separate the creations of the continental army that was formed by the original 13 American colonies and the Army Medical Corps. That short period of time speaks to the importance the corps plays in the mission of the Army.

Jul 31, 2023

DHA Minute | July 2023

DHA Minute | July 2023

This month’s DHA Minute highlights the release of the FY23-28 DHA Strategic Plan. Learn more and download a copy here:

Article Around MHS
Jul 24, 2023

Flight Medic First to Receive New Nebraska National Guard Heroism Medal

Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen and U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, Nebraska adjutant general, present the Nebraska National Guard Heroism Medal to U.S. Army Sgt. Brandi Sullivan during the Nebraska Adjutant General Change of Command Ceremony, on July 8, 2023, at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.  (Photo: U.S. Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Jamie Titus)

“To any individual serving with or supporting the Nebraska Military Department who has distinguished himself/herself by heroism, in saving the life, limb, or eyesight of a fellow citizen.” Those were the words read describing the newly authorized Nebraska National Guard Heroism Medal presented during the Nebraska Adjutant General Change of Command ...

Article Around MHS
Jul 5, 2023

Medical Service Corps: 106 Years of Diverse Health Service

Soldiers assigned to 129th Area Support Medical Company and Forward Support MEDEVAC Platoon, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, conduct patient movement operations for aeromedical evacuation during a training in Slobozia, Romania, on June 1. This year marks 106 years of support from medical service corps officers. (Photo: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Laura Torres)

Whether in everyday patient care, clinical research, or by performing the administrative tasks needed to run U.S. Army hospitals, medical service corps officers have provided health care to veterans, soldiers, and their families for 106 years.

Article Around MHS
Jun 12, 2023

Navy Medicine at D-Day: Stories of Valor and Sacrifice

Navy medical personnel help evacuate wounded soldiers at Normandy, June 1944. (Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery)

On the morning of June 6, 1944, Navy physician Lt. (j.g.) Frank Ramsey, Jr., and Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class Byron Dary landed on Omaha Beach with the 6th Naval Beach Battalion. Upon hitting the beach, the physician and hospital corpsman rushed to the aid of wounded U.S. Army personnel lying near a burning half-track. In minutes, the vehicle ...

May 24, 2023

DHA Minute | May 2023

DHA Minute May 2023

This episode of the DHA Minute honors all nurses who serve across the Military Health System. Interested in joining our team? Watch the DHA Director’s personal message to nurses here: Find available jobs here:

Article Around MHS
May 19, 2023

Navy Medicine at War: Stories of Service and Sacrifice at the Battle of Coral Sea

Throughout the Battle of the Coral Sea, U.S. Navy medical personnel serving shipboard played important roles keeping sailors in the fight while providing life-saving medical care under the severest of conditions. (Courtesy Photo)

The Battle of the Coral Sea was fought primarily by carrier-based planes across this marginal sea off the northeast coast of Australia from May 4 to 8, 1942. Throughout the battle, U.S. Navy medical personnel serving shipboard played important roles keeping sailors in the fight while providing life-saving medical care under the severest of conditions. ...

Article Around MHS
Apr 10, 2023

American Medical Center in Europe to Celebrate 70 Years

U.S. soldiers, airmen and civilian staff at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center  provide care to U.S. service members and Afghan civilians who were injured in a series of attacks outside of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. (Photo by Marcy Sanchez, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center)

Landstuhl Regional Medical Center is slated to host a week-long celebration, open to all Department of Defense cardholders, marking 70 years of selfless service and military medicine in Germany, from April 11-14.

Skip subpage navigation
Refine your search
Last Updated: October 05, 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