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...

Vaccine for Children

Infographic
11/4/2021

Getting your children vaccinated can help protect them against COVID-19, as well as reduce disruptions to in-person learning and activities by helping curb community transmission.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Vaccines for Children

Vax Facts for Children

Infographic
11/4/2021

Should Young Children Get the COVID-19 Vaccine? Yes. The CDC recommends that children ages 5-11 receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 pediatric vaccine.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Vaccines for Children

Vaccine for Children TLDR

Infographic
11/4/2021

Vaccination is our best defense against the spread of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Vaccines for Children

Vaccines for Teens

Infographic
9/17/2021
Adolescents can get COVID-19. The Pfizer vaccine has been tested for those ages 12-15. Visit www.TRICARE.mil/VaccineAppointments to make an appointment.

A graphic showing the types of vaccines, how they work, and safety monitoring of the vaccines. Includes the MHS and TRICARE logos on the bottom right, and includes graphics of scientists, doctors, and patients.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines | Vaccine Eligibility

Get to know the COVID19 Vaccines

Infographic
9/17/2021
Get to know the vaccines – they do not contain the live virus, they do not interact with our DNA, and have been tested rigorously.

Get to know the vaccines - they do not contain the live virus, they do not interact with our DNA, and have been tested rigorously

Recommended Content:

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

Get to Know the Vaccines

Infographic
9/17/2021
Get to know the vaccines – types of vaccines, how they work and safety monitoring.

A graphic showing the types of vaccines, how they work, and safety monitoring of the vaccines. Includes the MHS and TRICARE logos on the bottom right, and includes graphics of scientists, doctors, and patients.

Recommended Content:

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

COVID-19 Booster Shots

Infographic
8/27/2021
If you have an immune system that is moderately to severely compromised, the CDC recommends you may receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). This would be at least 4 weeks after your second dose.

If you have an immune system that is moderately to severely compromised, the CDC recommends you may receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). This would be at least 4 weeks after your second dose.

Recommended Content:

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

Mask Guidance for Department of Defense Facilities

Infographic
7/30/2021
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.

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:

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

The Delta Variant: Are You Protected?

Infographic
6/28/2021
Graphic with the title, “Are you Protected?” and the TRICARE logo on the bottom right. States that the Delta variant of the virus is spreading and that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are effective. Links to www.tricare.mil/COVIDVaccine

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are effective against the Delta Variant. If you've received your first dose, don't forget to get your second dose.

Recommended Content:

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

The Delta Variant: Fact Check

Infographic
6/28/2021
A Fact Check graphic. Features a quote in the center of the graphic and states that the Delta variant is a reason to get vaccinated. The TRICARE logo is on the bottom right. Links to www.tricare.mil/COVIDVaccine

The Delta variant of the virus is a reason to get vaccinated. This variant spreads easily, with increased rates of sickness and hospitalization.

Recommended Content:

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

The Delta Variant

Infographic
6/28/2021
Graphic stating that the Delta variant is a reason to get vaccinated. The TRICARE logo is on the bottom right. Links to www.tricare.mil/COVIDVaccine

The Delta variant of the virus is a reason to get vaccinated. The variant is expanding, especially where vaccination rates are low.

Recommended Content:

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

The Delta Variant: Stop the Spread

Infographic
6/28/2021
Graphic describing the Delta variant. Includes three bullet points describing the variant and a link to www.tricare.mil/COVIDVaccine and includes the TRICARE logo on the bottom right.

The Delta variant is expanding, especially where vaccination rates are low. Visit www.tricare.mil/COVIDVaccine to learn more.

Recommended Content:

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

COVID-19: Get Your Second Shot

Infographic
6/22/2021
Get Your Second Shot! You're not fully vaccinated - or protected - until you receive your second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

You're not fully vaccinated - or protected - until two weeks after getting your second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

How COVID-19 Vaccines Work

Infographic
6/9/2021
Describes how the mRNA and viral vector vaccines work to educate beneficiaries about the COVID-19 vaccines.

This graphic showing how the mRNA and viral vector vaccines work to educate beneficiaries about the COVID-19 vaccines. Graphics are informational and provide facts on how they work in our bodies.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccines Safety Monitoring

Infographic
6/9/2021
Graphic that assures beneficiaries that the COVID-19 vaccines are monitored for safety. Has information on how they are being reviewed. Graphics include doctors in a laboratory and a doctor with a shield fending off the virus. The MHS and TRICARE logos are on the bottom right.

Graphic that assures beneficiaries that the COVID-19 vaccines are monitored for safety. Has information on how they are being reviewed. Graphics include doctors in a laboratory and a doctor with a shield fending off the virus.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 6

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.