Back to Top Skip to main content

Foreign liaison officers bring new perspective to MHS

Image of three men talking to each other Foreign liaison officers fit into the U.S. National Defense Strategy as a way to reinforce partnerships with key allies. Col. Kai Schlolaut (far right), functions as a primary link between the German surgeon general LTG Dr. Ulrich Baumgärtner (center) and the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Thomas McCaffery. (Photo provided by Col. Kai Schlolaut)

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement

As the Military Health System transforms, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs looks to its foreign liaison officers, or LNOs, to continue an exchange of medical information between the United States and international allies.

According to Dr. Chris Daniel, senior adviser for Global Health Engagement, these relationships expand provider skill sets and improve patient care overseas and in domestic military treatment facilities. Strengthening international partnerships is a department goal tied to improving military readiness.

“It is international engagement that provides us the benefits of increasing readiness and strengthening our partnerships,” said Daniel. “It's critically important that we work together to build our medical capacities and increase our interoperability. When we need help, we want our partners to be familiar with how our medical system works and know how to work with us.”

The LNOs fit into the U.S. National Defense Strategy to reinforce partnerships with key allies. Currently, there are five LNOs stationed at Defense Health Headquarters. Health Affairs hosts officers from Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Additionally, the Army Office of the Surgeon General hosts two LNOs from France and Japan.

One of those officers is Col. (Dr.) Kai Schlolaut. As the German health foreign liaison officer to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense Health Affairs, Schlolaut functions as a primary link between the German surgeon general, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, and their staffs. Schlolaut uses extensive medical experience as an emergency medicine doctor and an anesthesiologist, as well as experience in command positions within the German military to liaise between the two countries. 

Image of man standing next to four flags
As the first German LNO assigned to the MHS, Col. Kai Schlolaut functions as a primary link between the German surgeon general, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, and their staffs. (Photo provided by Col. Kai Schlolaut)

“Colonel Schlolaut is very well-spoken and well-connected. His ability to articulate on behalf of the German surgeon general has been invaluable,” Daniel continued.

One of those communication tactics is using “structured dialogue,” which helps both leaders within the U.S.-German relationship focus on relevant topics and come to sustainable solutions. The leaders and their staffs meet once a year to discuss achievements and plan for future objectives.

“Whenever military treatment facility leaders, project managers, or surgeons general change, we have a vision and objectives in place to not start all over,” Schlolaut explained.

Structured dialogue focuses on three areas: operational medicine, public health preventive medicine, and research and development. Schlolaut facilitated projects in each of these areas, improving interoperability by identifying joint training opportunities in tactical casualty combat care like Operation Bushmaster. German and U. S. participation in exercises like Combined Joint Atlantic Serpent improves interoperability through field medical practices while sharing equipment and protocols in a tactical training environment.

The two countries also share information on preventive medicine. Germany is currently assessing the potential threat of tick-borne encephalitis for U.S. military members stationed in Europe, providing the MHS with research and health surveillance data related to tick-borne encephalitis and other risks to U.S. troops.

“We're working closely together to reduce potential harm for deployed service members worldwide,” Schlolaut continued.

This threat includes the current COVID-19 pandemic, where Schlolaut’s role has shifted from organizing training opportunities to fostering collaboration between German and U.S. military researchers. The teams are delving into the genomics of the novel coronavirus. He also advises the German military community stationed in the U.S. on medical measures of protection and behavior in case of an infection.

As the first German LNO assigned to the MHS, Schlolaut feels privileged to set the pace for future LNOs.

“Having me here represents not only the long-lasting friendship that both of our military health systems have had, but also it's an expression of trust and partnership,” he explained. “Whether it’s through routine aspects like training exercises or in crisis situations like the current COVID-19 crisis, having a different perspective is always beneficial. For me personally, it's an honor to be here.”

You also may be interested in...

Appenzeller emphasizes: Get COVID-19 vaccine, no matter where

Article
4/16/2021
Military personnel explaining forensic equipment

The DHA’s Combat Support assistant director had some direct and encouraging words about the military’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout to date.

Recommended Content:

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

Tele-critical care will play increased COVID-19 response role in 2021

Article
4/15/2021
Infographic that says "202 tele-critical care successes will help 2021 COVID19 response"

Virtual health and particularly tele-critical care for critically ill patients assumed frontline roles in sustaining care while keeping beneficiaries and health care teams safe.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | MHS Transformation

Join Us!! Third COVID-19 Townhall Update with Major General George Appenzeller!

Article
4/13/2021
MHS and Military OneSource COVID-19 Townhall, with Major General (Dr.) George N. Appenzeller.  Wednesday, 14 April, 1 PM ET

Join us for the MHS' Third COVID-19 Townhall with Major General George Appenzeller

Recommended Content:

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

DOD surpasses 2 million COVID-19 vaccines worldwide

Article
4/9/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask and a face shield giving the COVID-19 vaccine

The DOD hit the 2 million mark for vaccinations worldwide just a month after the 1 million milestone.

Recommended Content:

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

Public health remains an integral part in the fight against COVID

Article
4/9/2021
Infographic featuring health personnel wearing face shields and mask with "National Public Health Week" across the top of the picture

The pandemic has highlighted a need to provide more advanced training on infection prevention and control.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | April Toolkit | Public Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Children’s well-being contributes immeasurably to force readiness

Article
4/6/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask in the back of a truck

The Defense Health Agency joins in celebrating military children during Month of the Military Child, observed in April, and always.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | April Toolkit | Month of the Military Child – Celebrating the Mighty | Coronavirus | Month of the Military Child | Month of the Military Child Image Library

Telemedicine advances put to the test during pandemic

Article
4/1/2021
Uniformed service member stands behind wall of computer screens

COVID-19 has led to the need for physical distancing and has overwhelmed the capacities of health systems, compelling many to adopt telehealth solutions.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Research and Innovation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

DOD healthcare leaders give COVID-19 update, praise DHA personnel

Article
3/30/2021
Picture of Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr. Ronald Place providing a COVID-19 update at  the Pentagon

Dr. Terry Adirim and Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place provide update on COVID-19 vaccination progress and offer thanks to MHS workers for their contributions.

Recommended Content:

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

Lovell FHCC staff steps up to create formidable COVID-19 team

Article
3/30/2021
Military health personnel preparing to administer the COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccination effort at the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, Illinois, has brought out the best in staff.

Recommended Content:

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

Dover Air Force Base features ‘Park ‘N Pickup’ pharmacy

Article
3/26/2021
Picture of prescription sitting on a counter

Due to the increased need for patient safety, the 436th Medical Group pharmacy at Dover Air Force Base has implemented a Park ‘N Pickup process.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety Awareness Week | COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | Patient Safety

Eight nations participate in West African virtual pandemic exercise

Article
3/24/2021
Picture of military personnel wearing a face mask looking at a laptop computer

Medical experts from six African nations, the United Kingdom and the United States, participated in a Virtual Pandemic Preparation and Response Engagement exercise.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Partners

Army dietitian uses nutritional care to fight COVID-19

Article
3/23/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask standing in front of a Nutrition Clinic

Army dietician plays a critical role in COVID-19 patient recovery.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic, one year later in the DOD

Article
3/22/2021
A photo of a hospital ship

Timeline of events as the COVID-19 pandemic took over 2020.

Recommended Content:

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

Army Wounded Warrior perseveres despite COVID-19

Article
3/19/2021
Picture of military personnel wearing a face mask and shooting a bow and arrow

Army Wounded Warrior preserves through COVID-19 pandemic through continued physical activities.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Specialized team assists Navajo Nation COVID-19 response

Article
3/16/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask posing for a picture

An RRRT is a small team comprised of specialized individuals that can be deployed to rural locations of the country.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 24

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.