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

MHS Team Resiliency Awards recognize medical response to COVID-19

Image of Sailors wearing masks, leaning on a table and writing on sheets of paper. Sailors assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego fill out COVID-19 pre-screening forms before being administered the COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 15. NMCSD received awards for their Resilience Enhancement Support Team (REST) and Care Includes Peer Support (CIPS), both part of their effort in battling COVID-19. (Photo courtesy of Naval Medical Center San Diego.)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation | Patient Safety | Patient Safety Awards Program | Ready and Resilient Award

Teams from 35 facilities throughout the Military Health System were honored during the presentation of the 2020 Team Resiliency Awards in a virtual awards ceremony held at the Defense Health Agency headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia on Dec. 14.

The awards – based on peer nominations – recognize the exemplary and heroic work by front-line staff, teams, and individuals in military medical treatment facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Created in April 2020, the awards are part of a program to recognize both clinical and non-clinical professional staff and to highlight efforts throughout the DOD.

Nearly 400 individuals and teams were recognized for their flexibility, hard work, and innovation in response to COVID-19. Another ceremony, held in August, honored more than 100 awardees.

The awards exemplified five key attributes:

  • Putting people first
  • Taking care of your team
  • Asking for and offering help
  • Taking care of yourself
  • Prioritizing the essential
  • Doing the right thing right

Submissions for the awards were made via the DHA’s Patient Safety program and are a component of Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety, or TeamSTEPPSTeam Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) is an evidence-based teamwork system designed to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare. TeamSTEPPS consists of a collection of instructions, materials and tools to help drive a successful teamwork initiative from the initial planning to implementation through to sustainment. The system is designed to improve patient safety using a three-phase approach: Phase I Assessment: Facility determines organizational readiness; Phase II Planning, Training & Implementation: Facility “decides what to do” and “makes it happen;” and Phase III Sustainment: Facility spreads the improvements in teamwork performance, clinical processes and outcomes resulting from the TeamSTEPPS initiative.TeamSTEPPS®, which reinforces critical team resiliency capabilities to mitigate risks and reinforce proven endurance strategies when faced with uncertainties.

Army Sgt. Maj. Esteban Alvarado, DHA senior enlisted leader for combat support, said personnel, facilities, and teams from throughout the MHS went above and beyond and deserved to be recognized.

Hospital personnel wearing a mask and stethoscope, listening to patient's lungs
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Aris Pacheco listens to a patient’s lungs during a routine exam at the Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay’s Primary Care Clinic. More than 100 staff members at Naval Medical Readiness Training Command Guantanamo Bay were recognized during the awards ceremony. (Photo by Seaman Lauren Nguyen.)

“From the men and women who work tirelessly to clean our facilities to the pharmacy staff, emergency departments, public health teams, laboratory staff, corpsmen, medics, nurses, and physicians, this year has really been a trying time,” Alvarado said. “It’s fitting that we come together today to recognize a few of you.”

His observations were echoed by Dr. Paul Cordts, DHA’s chief medical officer and deputy assistant director for medical affairs.

“We see the innovation here (at DHA) that’s coming from you…we’re now on our sixth iteration of our practice management guidelines,” Cordts said. “As a leader you need to think of the resilience of your team and what it will take to keep them going and doing their heroic work.”

The awards display military medicine’s vast capabilities, especially during an unexpectedly adverse and potentially deadly situation. According to Heidi King, DHA patient safety program manager for medical affairs, it’s situations like these that show military training and resourcefulness, as well as teamwork, and can bring stability to chaos.

“There have been so many awesome stories that have come in that are being recognized, both individuals and teams, to safeguard our staff as well as our patients, and this just shows how we are ready and reliable and resilient during this heightened stress and uncertain times,” King said.

One example, featuring dozens of awardees, was Naval Hospital Rota in Spain.

Like other commands outside the continental United States, proactive and creative responses including a “pseudo-ICU” were needed early in the pandemic to deal with factors such as the lack of established evidence-based practices or higher authority guidance due to COVID-19’s swift spread through Europe prior to its arrival in the United States.

“Battling COVID and social isolation, the team at Naval Hospital Rota was able to effectively mitigate spread and yield 100% force health protection success as evidenced by Naval Hospital Rota’s selection for this and other awards,” said Navy Cmdr. David Paz, Rota’s chief medical officer.

The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in Ft. Hood, Texas, also recognized dozens of staff members who quickly adapted to their new reality.

“The biggest contributors were open communication, team collaboration, and knowledge-sharing, as well as encouragement and massive cross-training,” said Sonya Woodson, chief of patient safety at Ft. Hood. “It was instrumental in the team’s ability to not only overcome challenges, but create multiple avenues to delivering health care innovations.”

Another example was Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where more than 100 staff members were recognized.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight, of course, on our health care heroes,” said Executive Officer Navy Capt. Anja Dabelić. “Through teamwork, resiliency and championing, Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay staff has adapted to these challenges through multi-disciplinary teams and a COVID-19 task force.”

Measures taken at Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay included the construction of a triage center, quarantine tent, a negative pressure isolation center, single points of entry for patients and staff and a drive-through pharmacy.

“This is truly a peer-to-peer award, and you all spent a lot of time putting in the effort to recognize your peers at the front line of what military medicine is all about,” said Dr. Brian Lein, DHA assistant director for health care administration, “patient safety, focusing on the patient, and going that extra mile in support of staff that are around you.”

The DHA Patient Safety Program is accepting and reviewing submissions for the next round of awards. Military hospitals and clinics can nominate as many individuals and teams as they wish.

Anyone with questions about the award can email the Patient Safety Program. To nominate an individual or team, please visit the TeamSTEPPSTeam Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) is an evidence-based teamwork system designed to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare. TeamSTEPPS consists of a collection of instructions, materials and tools to help drive a successful teamwork initiative from the initial planning to implementation through to sustainment. The system is designed to improve patient safety using a three-phase approach: Phase I Assessment: Facility determines organizational readiness; Phase II Planning, Training & Implementation: Facility “decides what to do” and “makes it happen;” and Phase III Sustainment: Facility spreads the improvements in teamwork performance, clinical processes and outcomes resulting from the TeamSTEPPS initiative.TeamSTEPPS page on the Patient Safety Learning Center site.

You also may be interested in...

BDAACH Enhances Its Surgical Capability Through Robotic Surgical System

Article Around MHS
6/6/2022
Surgical hospital

Three years of dedication to activating the robotic surgical system in the Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital (BDAACH) finally came to fruition on May 16, 2022.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Research and Innovation

Creative Learning Techniques Promote Culture of Patient Safety

Article Around MHS
4/8/2022
Military personnel holding clipboard

During this year's Patient Safety Awareness week, the Patient Safety team at US Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command, Guantanamo Bay (US NRMTC GB) is reinforcing the hospital's culture of safety through interactive learning.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety

A Germ of an Idea for Patient Safety Awareness Week

Article Around MHS
4/5/2022
Pictures of germs

From countertops and cutting boards to television remotes and cell phones, the immediate world of many – sight unseen - has a host of germs readily intent on meeting anyone, anytime and anywhere.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety

Latasha Smith: Warrior against COVID-19

Article Around MHS
2/18/2022
Military personnel looking at a patient's cardiac rhythm

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Latasha Smith, an Airman assigned to the 86th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, was celebrated as Airlifter of the Week, Jan. 27, 2022, after leading the assault against COVID-19 for over a year.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

COVID-19 therapeutics support DOD pandemic response

Article Around MHS
2/11/2022
Military personnel getting COVID-29 doses ready

The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency is helping to protect the operational force by distributing several new therapeutic options that help to lessen the symptoms of mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 and keep Soldiers, their families and beneficiaries out of the hospital.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

COVID-19 Health Action Response for Marines continues to study long-term effects of COVID-19 on Marines

Article Around MHS
2/10/2022
Medical military personnel talking to a patient

A team composed of U.S. Navy medical personnel and civilian technicians based out of the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, assembled during the initial outbreak of COVID-19 to study the short and long-term effects that the virus has on Marines. 

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Getting up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccine

Article Around MHS
2/8/2022
Military personnel giving the COVID-19 vaccine

The U.S. Guard Coast is that we have vaccines to help prevent serious illness if you contract COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Oregon National Guard surging to support hospitals again

Article Around MHS
1/27/2022
Oregon Army National Guard touring a hospital

Hundreds of Oregon National Guard members are increasing support of hospitals throughout the state in their second hospital relief mission during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Readiness Capabilities

Public Health nurses offer insights on living with COVID-19 now, looking into future

Article Around MHS
1/25/2022
The Challenges of Living with COVID

One of the more challenging jobs for any public health professional is dealing with unpredictability inherent in outbreaks like the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Navy Hospital Corpsman steps into the breach in the war on COVID-19

Article Around MHS
1/18/2022
Hospitalman Hector Conde standing in front of a immunization office's refrigeration

First responders and those fighting on the medical battleground have earned well-deserved recognition for their efforts.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

This is my Why

Article Around MHS
12/30/2021
Air Force Senior Airman Marcus Bullock poses for a photo after receiving his COVID-19 vaccination

Air Force Senior Airman Marcus Bullock stated his reason for getting the vaccine was to help his mother and son be able to have a play date again.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

So others may breathe - Navy Medicine Respiratory Therapist cares for COVID casualties

Article Around MHS
12/13/2021
Military Health personnel posing for a picture

Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Tessa Hazard, a respiratory therapist, recently deployed to Alabama as a member of a COVID-19 response team.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Army Public Health Center provides update on Long COVID risks

Article Around MHS
12/1/2021
COVID19 Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

JTF Coyote begins pediatric COVID-19 clinics as adult booster vaccination numbers increase

Article Around MHS
11/23/2021
Military health personnel giving the COVID-19 vaccine

The Vermont National Guard now supports the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic with vaccinations for youth in the 5 to 11 age group and booster clinics for the general adult population.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

USECAF receives insight into COVID19 vaccinations at Reserve wing

Article Around MHS
10/8/2021
Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones visits with 433rd Airlift Wing members at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Oct. 2, 2021.

Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones visited the 433rd Airlift Wing here to meet with Reserve Citizen Airmen leaders on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination efforts, Oct. 2, 2021.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 2
Refine your search
Last Updated: March 08, 2021

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.