Skip to main content

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

Dr. Jay Montgomery Details Importance of the Immunization Healthcare Division

Image of Dr. Jay Montgomery is a medical director for DHA’s Immunization Healthcare Division. In addition to being a clinician and educator, he also volunteers with Wounded Warriors to design, build and fly radio controlled helicopters. (Courtesy Photo) . Dr. Jay Montgomery is a medical director for DHA’s Immunization Healthcare Division. In addition to being a clinician and educator, he also volunteers with Wounded Warriors to design, build and fly radio controlled helicopters. (Courtesy Photo)

Dr. Jay Montgomery is a medical director for the Defense Health Agency’s Immunization Healthcare Division’s North Atlantic Region Vaccine Safety Hub. Montgomery helps address vaccine and immunization questions and concerns, both clinical and administrative. Previously, he also served as specialty consultant to the White House Medical Unit from 2003 to 2016. As a retired Navy captain, Montgomery continues to play a key role in ensuring vaccine safety and efficacy within the DOD. 

Q: Describe your role in DHA’s Immunization health care. 

Montgomery: I provide supervisory support to my staff and clinical expertise to the Immunization Healthcare Division, providers, service members, their families, and geographic combatant commands. My Hub’s area of responsibility spans the North Atlantic from Virginia to Wisconsin as well as the U.S. European Command’s and U.S. Africa Command’s area of operations. I also participate in influenza and COVID-19 vaccine trials. 

Q: Why are immunizations an important part of public health? 

Montgomery: Vaccines, by presenting our body’s immune system with a weakened germ or piece of the germ, allow us to become resistant to the effects of a serious disease without the risk of actually contracting the disease. Vaccination, along with sanitation and clean water, are undeniably responsible for improving and prolonging people’s lives, especially in the case of children. 

Q: What are some major components of your position?  

Montgomery: I provide specialized medical support to those with immunization concerns or who experience adverse events following immunizations. As a member of the Immunization Healthcare Division’s Immunization Support Center, this can be a 24/7 responsibility. Along with the office’s team of clinicians, educators, administrators, and remote immunization health care specialists, I provide a range of immunization health care education from grand rounds to vaccinator training. And, I am pleased to be able to contribute to vaccine knowledge in a broader sense through the publishing of vaccine-related research made possible by the unique opportunities available to the Immunization Healthcare Division.

Q: How is vaccine guidance developed for active-duty service members preparing for deployment? How does it compare to guidance given to forces and their family members who remain at home? 

Montgomery: DOD follows the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Guidance for immunizations is based upon age-appropriate preventive medicine, as well as potential occupational and geographic exposure. Routine vaccine-preventable diseases include measles, whooping cough, chickenpox, tetanus, polio, hepatitis, influenza, pneumococcal disease, shingles, and others. There are also vaccines for diseases unique to specific locations such as Japanese Encephalitis, tick-borne encephalitis, typhoid, etc., as well as military-relevant vaccines for Adenovirus, Smallpox and Anthrax. Vaccine guidance is a matter of evaluating individuals to ensure they have not only the protection against routine diseases, but also protection appropriate for their geographic and occupational environments. 

Q: How do you support IHD’s response to vaccination questions or concerns? 

Montgomery: My position occupies a central role in assessing vaccine and immunization questions and concerns (whether clinical or administrative) which may come to my office through a variety of venues; direct military hospital and clinic patient referral, the Immunization Healthcare Support Center, the Global Telehealth Portal, other federal agencies (i.e., CDC), the field (via our Immunization Healthcare Specialists), etc.  My goal, and that of the Immunization Healthcare Division, is to aid the DOD in attaining the highest level of vaccine safety, efficacy, and acceptability. 

About Dr. Montgomery  

Dr. Montgomery has traveled extensively as a clinician and educator. Despite his schedule, he finds time to design, build and fly radio controlled helicopters. As a Red Cross volunteer, Montgomery assists Wounded Warriors’ cognitive and fine-motor rehabilitation by helping those patients to build radio controlled quadcopters, also known as drones, and teaches them to fly the machines first using computer simulators. A special waiver granted by the Federal Aviation Administration allows them to fly their self-built drones, under Montgomery’s supervision, in designated areas on the Naval Support Activity Bethesda campus in Maryland. In addition to the rehabilitation benefits, the program provides a comfortable environment to reintegrate teamwork and social interaction.


Videos from Around the MHS:

Air Force Medical Student Called to Work as Translator

You also may be interested in...

Topic
Nov 8, 2023

Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

In this section, find information about several diseases including an overview of the disease and vaccine and important information about the vaccines.

Topic
Nov 8, 2023

Immunization Healthcare Division

The DHA Immunization Healthcare Division supports all DOD immunization programs, and provides clinical consultative services, educational support, and training resources for the entire DOD family.

Article
Nov 8, 2023

Military Health System Leaders Discuss Support, Future Initiatives During AUSA Family Forum Panel

Military Health System Leaders Discuss Support, Future Initiatives During AUSA Family Forum Panel

“Our mission is improving health and building readiness and I put it in that order, because we are responsible for improving the health of all 9.5 million beneficiaries, families, retirees, their families service members,” said .U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Telita Crosland, the director of the Defense Health Agency.. “When we do that, we will build readiness ...

Article Around MHS
Nov 8, 2023

Army Distributes Nearly 1.4 Million Vaccines to Combat Expected Annual Flu Spike

Leaders and soldiers receive their influenza vaccination as the annual flu shot campaign kicks off at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence headquarters at Fort Novosel, Alaska, on Oct. 18, 2023. (Photo by Kelly Morris/U.S. Army)

The cooler temperatures of fall traditionally usher in yearly influenza spikes all around the globe, and this year is expected to be much of the same. To help protect soldiers this flu season, the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency’s Distribution Operations Center expects to distribute nearly 1.4 million doses of vaccine this flu season.

Fact Sheet
Nov 6, 2023

Warfighter Brain Health After TBI: Guidance for Leaders

.PDF | 895.85 KB

This TBICoE fact sheet, Warfighter Brain Health After TBI: Guidance for Leaders, condenses the basics of recognizing, reporting, and preventing TBI in service members. It updates and supersedes the Line Leader Policy Guidance fact sheet and includes a list of what the DOD has defined as potentially concussive events and outlines leaders’ ...

Publication
Nov 3, 2023

Immunization Tool Kit 9th Edition

.PDF | 5.37 MB

A practical reference that facilitates and enhances the global delivery of quality immunization healthcare to Department of Defense beneficiaries and employees. The Defense Health Agency Immunization Healthcare Division publishes the Immunization Tool Kit based on national recommendations, evidenced-based, peer-reviewed published medical literature, ...

Topic
Oct 5, 2023

Health Readiness & Combat Support

The Defense Health Agency provides support for operating forces engaged in planning for, or conducting, military operations, including support during conflict or in the conduct of other military activities related to countering threats to U.S. national security. Among DHA’s most important combat support responsibilities is its work to increase ...

Article Around MHS
Sep 15, 2023

Health Affairs Secretary Visits San Diego Facilities Discusses Importance of Readiness Quality Health Care

SAN DIEGO (Sept. 14, 2023) Dr. Lester Martinez-Lopez, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, is briefed on Naval Medical Center San Diego's (NMCSD) Bioskills and Simulation Training Center's (BSTC) capabilities by Capt. Cory Gaconnet, BSTC department head. The BSTC offers medical students, nurses, interns, residents and hospital clinical staff the opportunity to train in a virtual patient care environment using simulated patients and sophisticated technology. The center contains overhead cameras that tape the medical team's actions, so leaders can provide feedback after the simulated training. The BSTC plays a key role in maintaining patient safety and ensuring the operational readiness of all hospital staff. The mission of NMCSD is to prepare service members to deploy in support of operational forces, deliver high quality health care services and shape the future of military medicine through education, training and research. NMCSD employs more than 6,000 active-duty military personnel, civilians and contractors in southern California to provide patients with world-class care anytime, anywhere.  (Photo: Marcelo Calero)

The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Lester Martinez-Lopez, visited the Defense Health Agency’s San Diego Market from Sept. 13-14, touring research and medical facilities and meeting with staff to discuss the unique challenges facing Southern California’s medical treatment facilities.

Article Around MHS
Aug 28, 2023

Army Reserve-led Mountain Medic Soars to New Heights

U.S. Army Reserve critical care flight paramedics from 5-159th General Support Aviation Battalion, 244th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, Army Reserve Aviation Command, guide U.S, Air Force Reserve medical personnel from the 302nd Airlift Wing in offloading a casualty from a HH-60 MEDEVAC Black Hawk during exercise Mountain Medic at Fort Carson, Colorado, on Aug. 14, 2023. Mountain Medic is an Army Reserve-led joint, multi-component, multi-domain aeromedical evacuation exercise geared at improving and reenforcing medical evacuation operations in a simulated large-scale combat operations environment. (U.S. Army Reserve Photo by Master Sgt. Joy Dulen)

The third iteration of the fast-paced joint operation known as Mountain Medic 2023 was conducted in August 2023. Against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, the exercise aimed at improving and reinforcing medical evacuation operations and skill sets while pushing its medics, pilots, and aircrews nonstop in austere environments set for large-scale ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 23, 2023

MHSRS 2023 Kicks Off with Powerful Message: Medical Readiness for the Future Fight

Team members from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's Medical Material Development Activity - Broad Spectrum Snakebite Antidote (BSSA) program, receive the Military Health System Research Symposium 2023 Outstanding Research Accomplishment award in team/program management in Kissimmee, Florida on August 14, 2023.  (Photo: Danae Johnson)

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Lester Martinez-López kicked off the 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium with a keynote speech on the morning of August 14, delivering powerful words to the more than 4,000 people attending the event. Weaving his heartfelt sentiments into an overall call for action, Martinez put the ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 17, 2023

Naval Medical Research & Development Researchers Participate in Undersea Operational Research Panel at MHSRS

Panel presenters for the Undersea Operational Research panel at the 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Medical researchers from the Naval Medical Research & Development (NMR&D) enterprise specializing in undersea health met for a panel during the 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium (MHRSR) on Aug.15.

Refine your search
Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery