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

Senior Medical Leaders Discuss COVID-19 Response

Image of 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:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | 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...

Maintaining Mission Readiness During a Pandemic

Article
8/24/2021
Gen. Place presents at HIMSS in Las Vegas.

DHA Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place discussed the national security implications of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Coronavirus | Health Readiness Support

LTG Place on Vaccine Importance

Video
8/17/2021
LTG Place on Vaccine Importance

LTG Place presents his concerns over those who are still unvaccinated during these unprecedented times. Take the right steps to prevent tragedy befalling your family and schedule your vaccine today at https://tricare.mil/vaccineappointments.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Got Your 6: August 16, 2021

Video
8/16/2021
Got Your 6: August 16, 2021

‘Got Your 6’ is TRICARE’s COVID vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, on days that end in ‘6.’ 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:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Lt. Gen. Place and Command Sgt. Maj. Gragg on Getting Vaccinated

Video
8/16/2021
Lt. Gen. Place and Command Sgt. Maj. Gragg on Getting Vaccinated

DHA Director Lt. Gen. Ron Place and DHA Senior Enlisted Leader Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Gragg talk about how getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is more important than ever.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Reform, COVID-19 Have Been Catalysts for Change in Military Medicine

Article
8/16/2021
Dr. Terry Adirim speaking to an audience at a conference

Healthcare is about taking care of people, so no amount of change or innovation is ever sufficient if modernization does not lead to helping patients, says acting ASDHA at HIMSS21 in Las Vegas.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Military Health System Transformation

Don't Hesitate: Vaccinate Today for School

Article
8/13/2021
A boy gets the COVID-19 vaccine

Back to School Means Vaccine Time

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Vaccine Recommendations | Children's Health | Immunizations | About TRICARE

Services Will Make Call on Religious Exemptions to COVID-19 Vaccines

Article
8/13/2021
Two medical people prepare syringes with doses of the COVID-19 vaccine

"There is a religious exemption possibility for any mandatory vaccine, and there's a process that we go through to counsel the individual both from a medical and from a command perspective about using a religious exemption," Kirby said.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Austin Seeks Presidential Approval for Mandatory Troop Vaccinations by Mid-September

Article
8/10/2021
Sailors receive COVID-19 vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for service members by mid-September, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a message to the force released yesterday.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Top Military Medical Doctor Predicts Coronavirus Longevity

Article
8/9/2021
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, director of Defense Health Agency, delivers remarks at a media briefing on COVID-19 at the Pentagon, April 21, 2021

I believe we will get to a place where we're not talking about COVID all the time

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Debunking Anti-Vaccine Myths with Scientific Facts

Article
8/5/2021
A soldier gets a shot in the arm.

Get the facts: Myths on why not to get COVID-19 vaccination debunked by science

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Line Leader Presentation (PDF)

Publication
8/4/2021

This document is identical to the PowerPoint presentation for line leader reference and use.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Line Leader Presentation (Powerpoint)

Publication
8/4/2021

Leaders across the Department can leverage this briefing deck to discuss COVID-19 vaccines with their troops. Don't forget to reference speaker notes and to personalize the title slide!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Mask Guidance for Department of Defense Facilities

Infographic
7/30/2021
Mask Guidance for Department of Defense Facilities

In accordance with CDC guidance, the Department of Defense (DOD) requires all Service members, Federal employees, onsite contractor employees, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask in all indoor DOD facilities. If you are not vaccinated, continue to physically distance consistent with applicable CDC and DOD Force Health Protection Guidance.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

COVID-19 Vaccines: Benefits Still Outweigh the Risks

Article
7/30/2021
Military personnel getting vaccinated

Breakthrough COVID-19 Infections are extremely rare, DHA’s Place says

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DOD Directs Employees to Start Wearing Face Masks Again

Article
7/29/2021
Military personnel wearing a face masks

Following guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the DOD has directed employees working in areas at high risk for transmission to begin using face masks again

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 91 - 105 Page 7 of 37
Refine your search
Last Updated: August 06, 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.