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

Military medicine heroes recognized for COVID-19 pandemic response

Image of Photo of the virtual "Heroes of Military Medicine" award ceremony. Army General Gustave Perna credited “the true unsung heroes” of the COVID-19 pandemic, “the over 100,000 Americans who supported clinical trials, who made delivering hundreds of millions of vaccines possible.” Perna made his remarks virtually to the Henry Jackson Foundation “Heroes of Military Medicine” awards ceremony May 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C., where he was honored for his senior leadership of the COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutics effort. (Courtesy of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc.)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a lifetime impact on how military medicine is conducted, Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place told the Henry M. Jackson Foundation (HJF) for the Advancement of Military Medicine "Heroes of Military Medicine" awards ceremony May 6, in Washington, D.C.

"The events of the past year will have profound effects on medicine, military medicine, for years to come in how we prepare for threats, how we organize, who we organize alongside of in making the system better for everyone," Place said.

Of the honorees and the whole-of-America effort to detect and mitigate the impact of the virus, he said, "Success requires shared commitments and shared responsibilities." Readiness, he said, "means being ready for anything. This is what our future looks like."

"That's what the Military Health System does best," Place said, with "medical teams coming together to improve health care for those we serve, whether that is caring for a wounded soldier in Afghanistan or a retired Marine battling a novel infectious disease."

"Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, told attendees: "As the complexity of bringing health care to all military members around the globe has increased, so too has our appreciation for the broad spectrum of skills that make military medicine truly world class. Tonight, we just don't recognize clinicians, we recognize laboratory expertise, logistics professionals, and acquisition specialists."

"This is a total team effort that exemplifies military medicine's potential during the COVID-19 pandemic," Adirim said. "Perhaps more than ever before, we have pushed laboratories to deliver more results faster, we've asked acquisition systems to produce equipment at a wartime scope and scale, and we've relied on our logisticians to figure out how to get vaccines delivered around the world. These are unprecedented facts."

The foundation recognized as its senior leader honoree Army Gen. Gustave Perna, the chief operating officer for the federal COVID-19 vaccines/therapeutics operation (Operation Warp Speed). He co-leads the partnership to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.

Said HJF president and CEO, Dr. Joseph Caravalho of Perna: "There was no individual in this country better positioned to lead the whole-of-government, public-private logistics operation to ensure every eligible American had ready access to the newly developed vaccines. History will show this critical aspect of supply chain logistics was accomplished with precision. For that, the nation owes a debt of gratitude to this senior leader and his management team."

In his previous assignment, Perna served as the 19th general commander of U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC), one of the Army's largest commands.

DHA Director Dr. Ronald Place speaking at a podium
DHA Director Dr. Ronald Place tells HJF awards ceremony that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lifetime impact on how military medicine is conducted. (Courtesy of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc.)

Introducing Perna, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley said if AMC were a private company, it would be among the Fortune 100.

He called Perna "the most talented logistician who has ever worn the uniform." And added, "No one demonstrates personal perseverance and organizational logistics leadership better than General Perna."

Perna said the situation with COVID-19 is much like the WWII war-time footing and deployment. "The situation is very similar. While we're in different times, our 'whole-of-America' response harnessed the power and existing capabilities of government, scientists, and industry. Without them, delivering safe and effectives vaccines and therapeutics in under a year would not have been possible."

He credited "the dedication and hard work of our entire team, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services, industry partners, and the true unsung heroes - the over 100,000 Americans who supported clinical trials, who made delivering hundreds of millions of vaccines possible."

Army honoree Lt. Col Michelle Colacicco-Mayhugh is the military deputy to the principal assistant for acquisition at the U.S. Medical Research and Development Command. Since April 2019, she has served as a product lead for the COVID-19 Joint Acquisition Task Force and the Defense Assisted Acquisition Cell, supporting the interagency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Army Brig. Gen Mary Kreuger introduced Colacicco-Mayhugh as making "an incredible impact on our nation's efforts to combat COVID-19 in the last year." Krueger, the deputy chief of staff of support, U.S. Army Medical Command, said Colacicco-Mayhugh has "delivered critical solutions for the nationwide vaccine campaigns and her contributions and leadership were instrumental in developing the initial strategy to ensure that the supplies required to manufacturer, package, and administer COVID-19 vaccines were readily available."

Colacicco-Mayhugh credited "a massive team of people" who took on more work to fill in for the first-line teams. "Those people are not recognized nearly enough, but their contributions are equally as critical as each of the people who ended up supporting a specific pandemic-response effort," she said.

Introducing Air Force military medicine honoree Lt. Col. Patrick Kennedy was Air Force Maj. Gen. Dorothy Hogg, surgeon general of the Air Force. She quoted poet/writer Maya Angelou about who is a hero - "a person really intent on making this a better place" - and said "this is exactly was Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Kennedy has done."

Kennedy is the director of the 60th Medical Group's Clinical Investigation Facility at Travis Air Force Base, California. He supports the Air Force Medical Service line and readiness mission research requirements by addressing medical capability gaps to improve health outcomes.

Army Lt. Col. Michelle Colacicco-Mayhugh accepting an award
Army Lt. Col. Michelle Colacicco-Mayhugh accepts her 2021 “Heroes of Military Medicine” honor at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine awards ceremony May 6, 2021. (Courtesy of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc.)

Discussing the pandemic, Kennedy said: "The ambiguity of COVID-19 drove my team on every front to learn more."

Having worked on the Ebola crisis, Kennedy said: "I was aware of the potential of a large-scale respiratory pandemic from the onset. Particularly of concern was the high transmissibility rate."

Kennedy manages more than 50 human/animal research protocols, a $31.8 million budget, and a 45-member staff that includes physicians, nurses, scientists, and support personnel, according to HJF. In addition, he oversees regulatory compliance with federal/DOD/Air Force research guidelines.

He has been honored for his work on the Ebola outbreak, for improving wounded soldier outcomes at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, and for his work on an advisory committee to convey and assess biosafety security risks to the Assistant Secretary of Defense on nuclear, biological, and chemical entities, HJF said.

Navy honoree Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Matthew Hall serves as the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery's preventive medicine and public health policy advisor during the pandemic. His initial work in coordinating logistic and medical policy efforts in the Department of the Navy and across the joint force was instrumental in the successful implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination program, HJF said. As a public health emergency officer, he has conducted numerous COVID contact investigations, overseen outbreak responses, and advised on the safe operations of Navy installations worldwide under pandemic precautions, said HJF.

He is also a major contributor in the development of Navy COVID-19 containment policy and oversees the Department of the Navy's influenza vaccination program, which is responsible for the vaccination of more than 500,000 service members and dependents.

Navy Surgeon General Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham said of Hall: "I've had him on speed dial as one of my closest advisors throughout the pandemic...so that I can provide the best possible guidance to the fleet marine force as they operate around the world."

The annual awards "recognize outstanding contributions by senior military leaders and medical professionals, as well as civilians who have distinguished themselves through excellence and dedication to advancing military medicine and enhancing the lives and health of our nation's wounded, ill, and injured service members, veterans, and their families."

Also honored during the ceremony were COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen, AstraZeneca and Sanofi-Pasteur.

You also may be interested in...

Partnerships, COVID-19 are catalysts for enterprise virtual health

Article
1/14/2021
Image of Mr. Adler with text: "Partnerships, COVID-19 are catalysts for enterprise virtual health."

Jamie Adler, the lead for the DHA’s Virtual Health Clinical Integration Office, discusses the future of virtual health (VH).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Health Care Technology | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID presents new set of challenges for DOD environmental health

Article
1/12/2021
Group of Marines, snowshoeing through the snow

One of the most important factors to take into account when maintaining one’s overall fitness is physical environment.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Total Force Fitness

DOD Launches “My MilLife Guide” Text Message Program to Boost Wellness

Article
1/11/2021
The new My MilLife Guide program supports the wellness of the military community.

DoD has launched My MilLife Guide, a new program that sends text messages designed to help the military community boost overall wellness while navigating stresses related to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Public Health | Total Force Fitness | Health Readiness & Combat Support

Navy corpsman provides multitude of support to hospital

Article
1/8/2021
Two military personnel, wearing masks, in a supply room looking at the shelves

“Thinking outside the box is what makes a great person, let alone a Sailor," Tie said.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

BACH healthcare workers and first responders vaccinated for COVID-19

Article
1/6/2021
Soldier gives a nurse a vaccine in her left arm

BACH now joins other Defense Health Agency military treatment facilities that have received the vaccine, marking the start of a phased-in vaccination program to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance

MHS operational innovations continue in battle against COVID-19

Article
1/5/2021
Two medical personnel, wearing full PPE, in an operating room

MHS innovations in 2020 include a new registry for real-time COVID-19 data and a system to free up hospital beds and protect patients from the disease.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Research and Innovation | | Health Care Technology | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Health Innovation Toolkit

Countering seasonal depression during the COVID-19 pandemic

Article
1/5/2021
Man with his head in his hands, sitting in front of a Christmas tree

SAD, or sometimes called seasonal depression, is a subtype of a major depressive disorder.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Psychological Fitness | | Depression | Suicide Prevention

Remote monitoring program enables COVID-19 patients to recover at home

Article
1/4/2021
Image of two medical personnel, wearing masks, looking at the contents of a home-based COVID treatment kit. Click to open a larger version of the image.

The program equips COVID-19 patients needing additional monitoring with a home healthcare kit and 24/7 oversight from registered nurses to ensure a higher level of post-hospital care.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | | Nursing in the Military Health System

DHA’s IT innovation continues during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
12/31/2020
Image of three military personnel, wearing masks, in front of a computer screen. Click to open a larger version of the image.

IT innovations keep pace despite COVID-19 road blocks.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Research and Innovation | Health Care Technology | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

MTFs respond to COVID-19 with increased telehealth, drive-thrus

Article
12/29/2020
Military physician sitting at desk, talking to patient on his computer

COVID MTF innovations include more virtual health options and drive thrus.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Health Care Technology | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

HHS and DOD statements on FDA authorization of Moderna vaccine

Article
12/28/2020
Image with documents and vaccine products laying on table

Operation Warp Speed has allocated more than 5.9 million doses of the vaccine for jurisdictions to receive in the coming week.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Vaccine Trials | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Protecting the Force: How the MHS helped sustain readiness in the face of COVID

Article
12/23/2020
Hospital personnel treating a patient on a stretcher

The Military Health System is reviewing how it kept warfighters mission-ready and units online in 2020 during the ongoing pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Readiness Capabilities

AFHSD’s GEIS collect data worldwide to support force protection

Article
12/22/2020
Medical personnel scanning forehead of soldier with thermometer

AFHSD/GEIS continue work with partners across the globe in their efforts to combat COVID-19 and protect military readiness.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Environmental Exposures | Global Health Engagement | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

MHS Team Resiliency Awards recognize medical response to COVID-19

Article
12/22/2020
Sailors wearing masks, leaning on a table and writing on sheets of paper

Outstanding efforts recognized during Resiliency Awards

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Research and Innovation | Patient Safety | Patient Safety Awards Program | Ready and Resilient Award

Military Health System encourages influenza vaccination for 2020

Article
12/21/2020
Military personnel giving patient a flu vaccine in her left arm

The CDC notes that COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people.

Recommended Content:

Influenza, Northern Hemisphere | Influenza, Southern Hemisphere | Influenza Summary and Reports | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Public Health | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 136 - 150 Page 10 of 17
Refine your search
Last Updated: May 17, 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.