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

Place addresses DHA COVID-19 response

Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, and Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, surgeon general of the Navy, discuss plans for additional COVID-19 response efforts with the Pentagon Press Corps.  Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, and Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, surgeon general of the Navy, discuss plans for additional COVID-19 response efforts with the Pentagon Press Corps.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, today spoke of agency efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic within the United States in a telephonic press conference.

Appearing with Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, the U.S. Navy surgeon general, Place emphasized DHA’s role in supporting broader Department of Defense efforts to address the crisis, including the creation of a Crisis Action Team that works to address patient concerns, patient care, equipment availability, blood supply monitoring, and sharing DHA capabilities with those who may need them to ensure military forces maintain a high level of operational readiness.  

He also stressed DHA’s work to address pressing issues, such as availability of bed spaces; military health capabilities and capacity; the trade-offs of shifting resources from one need to another; assisting people with self-screening; and triage and testing of patients.

Place said within the Military Health System, experts are evaluating reducing elective procedures in the interest of safety and capacity, and has directed doctors and nurses in staff positions to shift responsibilities to clinical patient care as much as possible. DHA is also investigating how clinics and hospitals might be able to surge bed spaces that aren’t currently being used for patient care.

“I want to note how much we appreciate the military community’s positive attitude and particular resilience even as they shoulder their burden of stress, inconvenience, and disruption to their health care during this crisis,” Place said in his opening statement.

Following is the complete opening statement and transcript of the press conference:


Today I want to give you an update on the Defense Health Agency’s and the Military Health System’s support to the national COVID-19 response. Thanks to Mr Hoffman for hosting us virtually and for the teams of folks who make this possible. And thank you to RADM Gillingham, here with me, for making himself available to talk specific to Navy issues, especially about the USNS COMFORT and MERCY.

Mostly, thanks to the reporters here and on the phone, for your attendance and attention to the very important work of the Defense Health Agency. Whatever questions we can’t answer in the time we have scheduled, we’ll be sure to take for action to get back to you as soon as we can.

First, a little context. The Defense Health Agency serves daily 9.5M beneficiaries of the military’s TRICARE health care system—that includes about 1.5M active-duty military personnel.  It also includes their family members, Reservists and the military retiree population. DHA is responsible for the providing care through 51 hospitals, and 424 military treatment clinics – and, of course, the USNS COMFORT and USNS MERCY. 

I don’t want to go further without noting that care in these facilities for our beneficiaries is being significantly affected by the nationwide response. And I want to note how much we appreciate the military community’s positive attitude and particular resilience even as they shoulder their burden of stress, inconvenience, and disruption to their healthcare during this crisis.

Briefly, what we’re talking about here is how DHA is providing support through the Department of Defense to the whole of government response. We’ve put in place a Crisis Action Team that is working nights and weekends here at our headquarters--on patient concerns, patient care, equipment, monitoring blood supply and sharing our capabilities for the greater cause—all while ensuring we maintain the readiness of our military forces.

And we’re looking at issues that have become familiar to you by now: bed space; military health capabilities and capacity; the trade-offs of shifting resources from one need to another; assisting people with self-screening; and triage and testing of patients.

One statistic that helps tell the story relates to calls we are receiving to our Nurse Advice line – which has jumped to about 500 percent in just a few days, to where we are now fielding about 8,000 calls a day.

Within our system, we are evaluating reducing elective procedures, to increase capacity, and I’ve directed doctors and nurses in staff positions to shift responsibilities to clinical patient care, as much as possible. We’re looking at how our clinics and hospitals might be able surge bed space that isn’t currently being used for patient care. And the list goes on.

I think RADM Gillingham’s description of the issues that arise in mobilizing the COMFORT and MERCY will really be the most tangible way for you to get a sense of how we are approaching these complex issues in real time, so that we’re not just tossing out numbers and jargon at you.

And with that, we’ll take your questions.


You also may be interested in...

It’s Not Over Yet: Some COVID Safety Precautions Remain Necessary

Article
7/22/2021
a crowd of people

Returning to society when fully vaccinated is great but keep that mask handy

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

How COVID-19 fast-tracked innovation in the Military Health System

Article
7/20/2021
Military personnel receiving the COVID-19 test

As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted every aspect of healthcare delivery, the Military Health System responded with new and innovative ways to fight the disease and deliver safe, quality care to patients.

Recommended Content:

Health Innovation Month | Innovation | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Got Your 6

Video
7/16/2021
Got your 6

‘Got Your 6’ is TRICARE’s COVID vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability. Got a question about ‘Got Your 6’? Send an email to dha.ncr.comm.mbx.dha-internal-communications@mail.mil. Find your local military provider at tricare.mil/MTF, or go to tricare.mil/vaccineappointments and schedule yours today!

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

New Stop the Bleed course designed specifically for HS students

Article
7/7/2021
A medical care training exercise

New First Aid for Severe Trauma Training Can Help High School Students ‘Stop the Bleed’

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

COVID vaccinations rise -- but so do concerns of the Delta variant

Article
7/1/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask preparing a COVID-19 vaccine

MHS expected to reach 70% COVID-10 vaccination rate in July.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

The Battle Against the COVID-19 Delta Variant

Video
6/29/2021
COVID-19 Delta war infographic

Like our enemies in the past, the coronavirus has adapted and we're now dealing with the most transmissible variant yet, Delta. The fight can be won with vaccination. If you're not yet vaccinated against the coronavirus, go get your shot today. Otherwise you're at high risk for severe disease, hospitalization, and death.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Delta Variant | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

The Delta Variant

Infographic
6/28/2021
Graphic stating that the Delta variant is a reason to get vaccinated. The TRICARE logo is on the bottom right. Links to www.tricare.mil/COVIDVaccine

The Delta variant of the virus is a reason to get vaccinated. The variant is expanding, especially where vaccination rates are low.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Delta Variant | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

The Delta Variant: Are You Protected?

Infographic
6/28/2021
Graphic with the title, “Are you Protected?” and the TRICARE logo on the bottom right. States that the Delta variant of the virus is spreading and that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are effective. Links to www.tricare.mil/COVIDVaccine

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are effective against the Delta Variant. If you've received your first dose, don't forget to get your second dose.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Delta Variant | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

The Delta Variant: Fact Check

Infographic
6/28/2021
A Fact Check graphic. Features a quote in the center of the graphic and states that the Delta variant is a reason to get vaccinated. The TRICARE logo is on the bottom right. Links to www.tricare.mil/COVIDVaccine

The Delta variant of the virus is a reason to get vaccinated. This variant spreads easily, with increased rates of sickness and hospitalization.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Delta Variant | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

The Delta Variant: Stop the Spread

Infographic
6/28/2021
Graphic describing the Delta variant. Includes three bullet points describing the variant and a link to www.tricare.mil/COVIDVaccine and includes the TRICARE logo on the bottom right.

The Delta variant is expanding, especially where vaccination rates are low. Visit www.tricare.mil/COVIDVaccine to learn more.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Delta Variant | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

New COVID-19 Delta Variant: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

Article
6/28/2021
Military personnel receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 Delta variant spreading rapidly; it’s time to get vaccinated

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Delta Variant

Got Your 6: June 26, 2021

Video
6/25/2021
Got Your 6 Infographic

‘Got Your 6’ is TRICARE’s COVID vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Delta Variant

Medical Advances Since Gulf War Boil Down to Increased Lives Saved

Article
6/25/2021
Medical personnel training on how to treat a neck wound

Not all medical advances since the first Gulf War are highly technical.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Research and Innovation | Health Innovation Month

The Delta Variant: A New Reason to Get Vaccinated

Video
6/25/2021
COVID-19 infographic

Are you a service member age 18 to 30? Are you unvaccinated? You may be entitled to severe disease, hospitalization, and death. To avoid these options, get vaccinated today!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Delta Variant

DHA Spearheads Effort for Working Dog Research Collaboration

Article
6/25/2021
Picture of three different dogs

Working Dog Forum explored research to keep dogs in top form.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Veterinary Service | Public Health | Research and Innovation
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 59

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.