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

McCaffery offers MHS view with Blue Star Families panel

Thomas McCaffery (center) participated in the Blue Star Families Panel at American Red Cross National Headquarters Feb. 26. He is seen here with Amy Goyer (left), family and caregiving expert at AARP, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Patty Horoho (right), CEO of OptumServe. The panel discussed timely, quality health care for service members and their families. (Photo by MHS Communications) Thomas McCaffery (center) participated in the Blue Star Families Panel at American Red Cross National Headquarters Feb. 26. He is seen here with Amy Goyer (left), family and caregiving expert at AARP, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Patty Horoho (right), CEO of OptumServe. The panel discussed timely, quality health care for service members and their families. (Photo by MHS Communications)

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Military Health System Transformation | MHS GENESIS

Thomas McCaffery participated in a Blue Star Families panel at American Red Cross National Headquarters Feb. 26. As the assistant secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, McCaffery briefed the audience on how the Military Health System is changing to help military families receive timely, quality health care.

Blue Star Families held the event to discuss results of the annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey, BSF’s yearly “snapshot” of military families. It offers insights to military and national leaders, as well as local communities.

“An organization like this is critical in terms of connecting military families with our fellow citizens,” McCaffery said of BSF’s work on the survey.

Hisako Sonethavilay, director of applied research at BSF, agreed. “We’re really dedicated to ensuring that research like ours is done in a way that we’re able to … really make some change for military families,” she said.

Survey respondents highlighted relocation, employment and sense of community for military families, and resources for children with special needs as particular areas of concern. Suicide and mental health were also important to respondents. About 40% of surveyed military, veteran, National Guard, and Reserve family respondents said they had attempted or seriously considered suicide in the past year. Nearly half of this group did not get professional help, with 48% of them indicating they did not seek help out of fear for their careers or those of loved ones.

McCaffery urges service members and beneficiaries to use the many resources throughout the Department of Defense that target mental health care.

“Seeking mental health care is no different than seeking care for any other serious health condition,” he said. “You need to seek out services. You need to consult other professionals and ask about those services.”

Multimedia efforts like the Real Warriors Campaign encourage service members to seek treatment as a sign of strength. Real Warriors also provides resources for service members to seek treatment. Programs like InTransition ensure treatment continues as service members and their families move between medical facilities.

These tools are readily available for beneficiaries to use. More changes are underway as a part of the MHS transformation to improve readiness and the quality of health care.

The Defense Health Agency began assuming administrative responsibility for all military hospitals in October 2019. Results from the survey show these changes need to happen. Respondents said finding timely, specialty medical care after a relocation can be challenging.

“One of the benefits of consolidating the management of our facilities is a common, standardized experience,” McCaffery said, “so you can know how to get your prescriptions, how to get lab tests, and most importantly how to get those referrals to specialists.”

MHS GENESIS, the military’s official electronic health record, also helps address this need. As families move from location to location, their records will be stored in one location. Easy access to medical records, from point of injury to treatment, should speed the referral process for families.

McCaffery stressed that patient-centered care is a top DHA priority. Results from the Military Family Lifestyle Survey help leadership create processes to improve care across the services.

“We have to do this together,” Sonethavilay said, “We want to help the [DoD] and military leadership advance military family outcomes…and also understand that there is a critical component to making sure that your civilians have an understanding as well.”

“Our patients are our top priority,” McCaffery agreed. “Everything the MHS does works to enhance the patient experience. We’re going to treat the health system not as separate systems, but as one enterprise.”

You also may be interested in...

Market Construct

Publication
7/28/2020

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation

MHS GENESIS: From IOC to Wave TRAVIS, Capt. Tepera’s journey

Article
7/24/2020
Two medical officers wearing masks

Provider calls himself cheerleader for new EHR

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS

Camp Pendleton group therapy provides a cornerstone for mental wellness

Article
7/17/2020
Image of Ian Beard

Mental health is an essential component of overall wellness.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Coronavirus

Program Executive Office, Defense Healthcare Management Systems Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet
7/13/2020

This fact sheet provides an overview of the Program Executive Office, Defense Healthcare Management Systems (PEO DHMS) -- an acquisition organization that oversees three program management offices.

Recommended Content:

Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | MHS GENESIS | Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) Program Office

Invisible wounds: understanding PTSD

Article
6/26/2020
Service member appearing distressed with hand on head.

Identifing symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder and how to seek treatment.

Recommended Content:

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

NMRTC Bremerton Radiology enhances connectivity with MHS GENESIS

Article
6/18/2020
Corpsman showing medical equipment to group of people in masks

New X-ray machine at NMRTC Bremerton provides near real-time capability for patient diagnosis on MHS GENESIS

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS

'Home sweet home' leaves a sour taste for some quarantine-weary

Article
5/28/2020
Family playing board game

Mental health professionals offer tips on managing during uncertain times

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Psychological Fitness

Using mobile mental health apps to cope during social isolation

Article
5/22/2020
Soldier holding cell phone, showing app to another person

Learn how your smartphone can serve as a lifeline

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Depression | Connected Health | Total Force Fitness

Military chaplains emphasize spiritual health during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
5/19/2020
Soldier in front of military sculpture

In a time of great fear, spiritual health remains an important domain of Total Force Fitness.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Psychological Fitness | Total Force Fitness

Army veterinarians post FAQ for pet owners to Army Public Health Center COVID-19 website

Article
4/30/2020
Woman laying on couch with her dog

Studies are underway to investigate human to animal transmission in multiple animal species.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DHA IPM 19-004: Utilization of the Case Management (CM) Registry (Active and Screening) for Military Health System (MHS) Beneficiaries

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Interim Procedures Memorandum (DHA-IPM), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures to: Outline responsibilities for MHS and Service Department CM personnel to utilize the CM Screening Registry; Identify requirements to utilize CM coding in alignment with current MHS CM coding guidance; and Require the use of standardized Adult and Pediatric Tri-Service Workflow (TSWF) forms for CM documentation (inclusive of telephonic, virtual, or face to face screening) located within AHLTA system and future Electronic Health Record MHS GENESIS

DOD, VA launch Joint Health Information Exchange

Article
4/21/2020
Image of soldier putting away a paper file

Increased access leads to gains in patient care, outcomes

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) Program Office | MHS GENESIS | Electronic Health Record Modernization & Interoperability

Pilot Program on Display of Wait Times in Urgent Care Clinics

Congressional Testimony
4/13/2020

S. 2943, NDAA Conference and Pharmacies of Military Medical Treatment Facilities Report for FY 2017, Sec. 744(f)

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation

inTransition Teams Up with the Veterans Crisis Line to Support Service Members in Crisis

Article
4/10/2020
Image of smiling woman with telephone headset sitting at her desk

In response to an increased volume of calls to the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), inTransition is partnering with the VCL to coordinate certain types of care for active duty service members.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Suicide Prevention | September Toolkit

Transition of Military Medical Treatment Facilities from Military Departments to the Defense Health Agency during the COVID-19 Response

Publication
4/2/2020

The Department's MTF transition plan is conditions-based. While the transition of MTFs to DHA is continuing, the COVID-19 response requirements are impacting DHA's ability to meet all required conditions. The need for the DHA and MILDEPs to refocus efforts away from the transition to support the COVID-19 response led to questions regarding the future of MTF Transition.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Health System Transformation
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 76 - 90 Page 6 of 23

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.