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

Senior Medical Leaders Discuss COVID-19 Response

Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency making remarks Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, makes remarks during a panel discussion on the COVID-19 Emergency Response and Post-Pandemic National Security at the Sea-Air-Space Conference and Exposition at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, August 4 (Photo by: Jacob Moore, MHS Communications).

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

At the beginning, the key to tackling the emerging COVID-19 pandemic was to quickly develop a comprehensive understanding of the virus, and then put a plan in place to fight it, explained Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency.

Place's remarks came during a panel discussion on the COVID-19 response and post-pandemic national security at the Sea-Air-Space Conference and Exposition at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor in Maryland, August 4.

The panel was moderated by Dr. Eric Thompson, vice president and director of strategy, policy, plans and programs for the Center for Naval Analysis, and included Place, Navy Surgeon General Rear Adm. (Dr.) Bruce Gillingham and Coast Guard Rear Adm. (Dr.) Dana Thomas, director of health, safety and work-life for the Coast Guard.

Early in the pandemic, Place said, the mission of military and public health officials was, first and foremost, to understand how to frame the problem.

"What is it? How do you diagnose it? How is it transmitted? How can you protect yourself from it? How can you treat it? What are the right diagnostic tools?" were some of the questions asked in early 2020,Place said.

Another concern Place shared was whether the Department of Defense had the correct systems in place to combat the disease, either at individual locations or throughout the department.

Quick action and early understanding of the virus drove the number of DOD laboratories that were able to test for COVID-19 from 11 in February 2020 to approximately 177 currently.

The integrated nature of the Military Health System pre-pandemic greatly assisted in DOD's readiness, Place said.

"We have a system in place that knows how to [integrate care]. We have a system in place that knows how to talk to each other. We have a system that has a centralized logistics arm, a centralized pharmacy arm. We already had on-the-shelf pandemic plans," said Place.

While perhaps not perfect or designed for a pandemic on the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic these pre-existing plans helped position the DOD to respond.

Military personnel on a panel
A panel on the COVID-19 Emergency Response and Post-Pandemic National Security hosted by Dr. Eric Thompson, vice president and director of strategy, policy, plans and programs for the Center for Naval Analysis, and consisting of Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, Navy Surgeon General Rear Adm. (Dr.) Bruce Gillingham and Coast Guard Rear Adm. (Dr.) Dana Thomas, director of health, safety and work-life for the Coast Guard, speaks to audience members at the Sea-Air-Space Conference and Exposition at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, August 4 (Photo by: Jacob Moore, MHS Communications).

Gillingham added that these plans extended to working with other agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to support the civilian pandemic response outside of the DOD.

"To General Place's point, the framework was there. The way that we were set up within the Military Health System lent itself (to the response)," said Gillingham. "Early on, we established a really good battle rhythm of interagency coordination."

He also commended Place and the DHA for their coordination of vaccine distribution.

"Hats off to General Place and his team at the Defense Health Agency for providing the central coordination, and establishing and leading the OPT, the Operational Planning Team to say, "how are we going to distribute the vaccine?" and then working through the services to execute," said Gillingham. "That really is a very effective model that I think we can leverage into the future."

Gillingham said that he is continuing to push his sailors to get vaccinated and, for him, getting vaccinated is a "game changer."

"We continue to push for our force to get vaccinated. It's a readiness issue for us, first and foremost. If you're vaccinated, you're much less likely to get very ill or be hospitalized, so you're going to be in the game," said Gillingham.

We would not send our folks into combat without flak and Kevlar. The enemy, this time, is a virus and we have a biological body armor for them to take and use to protect themselves," he added.

Place also took the opportunity to remind those in attendance that the battle against COVID-19 is not over.

"I think one of the things that many of us believe - which is a fallacy - is that [COVID-19] is going to go away. It's not going away, just like influenza is not going away. And the thing about many viruses is they tend to mutate, and they tend to do things that keep them alive."

He noted, however, that the DOD medical team has an "insatiable curiosity," and that medical research within the department is in a continuous process of improvement.

The full discussion can be found here.

You also may be interested in...

Got Your 6 - June 6, 2021

Video
6/7/2021
Video screen image for the June 6, 2021 Got Your Six video

"Got Your 6" is TRICARE's COVID-19 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 for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Army’s 773rd administers mobile COVID-19 testing during DEF21

Article
6/4/2021
Three military personnel, wearing masks and lab coats, pose for a picture in an Albanian lab.

Approximately 800 Army Reserve soldiers from the U.S. and Europe participated in DEFENDER-Europe 21.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Readiness Capabilities

Facemask Required

Infographic
6/4/2021
COVID-19 poster showing doctors and patients in a health care setting wearing masks. The sign reads, "Masks are required in health care settings even if you're fully vaccinated. Please make sure your mask is on."

While the CDC relaxed mask requirements for vaccinated people, you're still required to wear masks in health care settings. Print this poster and put it around your facility to let patients and visitors know the requirements.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Prevent COVID-19

Mental Health Panel Discusses Impact of COVID-19

Article
6/3/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask speaking on a panel

Walter Reed Bethesda hosts mental health panel to discuss the impacts of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | Psychological Fitness

Based on data, MHS experts encourage vaccines for adolescents

Article
6/1/2021
Sister and brother smiling at each other

With the Pfizer vaccine approved for youth ages 12 to 15, MHS adolescents are lining up to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Children's Health | Vaccine Eligibility

VAX Facts: Which Vaccine is Right for Me?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting the first vaccine available to you. Don't hold out for a certain brand; they're all safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

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

VAX Facts: Breastfeeding after the COVID-19 Vaccine

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins encourages people who are breastfeeding to get the vaccine. Since the vaccine doesn't contain live virus, you can't pass COVID to your baby.

Recommended Content:

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

What is an mRNA vaccine?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins explains how mRNA vaccines work to protect you from COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

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

VAX Facts: Do I Need the Vaccine if I Had COVID?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting vaccinated even if you already had COVID. We're not sure how long natural immunity lasts, so getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself.

Recommended Content:

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

Are mRNA vaccines safe?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins explains the years of research and ongoing monitoring to show how mRNA vaccines are safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

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

“Shots in arms” – OPT planned & coordinated to meet COVID-19 mission

Article
5/28/2021
Military personnel sitting around a table talking

The Department of Defense’s COVID-19 Operational Planning Team has been the quiet force behind the DOD’s vaccination effort since November.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Vaccine Leader Card

Publication
5/27/2021

This printable card provides talking points when discussing the COVID-19 vaccine with servicemembers who are reluctant or indifferent to accepting the vaccine. The card lists common concerns and impressions, top 5 key messages, and supporting facts about the vaccine.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines | COVID-19 Vax Facts

COVID-19 Vaccination Card Second Shot

Infographic
5/27/2021
Graphic saying that keeping track of your vaccination card is important. Includes a helpful tips section, a link to www.tricare.mil/covidvaccine, and what to do when you didn’t get your vaccination card or don’t have a copy. The TRICARE logo is on the bottom right of the page.

Keep track of your vaccination card. Tips include keeping your card on you and taking a picture of it as a backup copy.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Costs and Documentation | Coronavirus

Adolescents ages 12 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
5/27/2021
Son of military personnel receiving his COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer vaccine now authorized for children 12 and older.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Town Hall May 26 2021

Video
5/26/2021
Town Hall May 26 2021

RADM Anne Swap will discuss the National Capital Region's response to COVID-19

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | National Capital Region Market
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 76 - 90 Page 6 of 43

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.