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DHA Region Indo-Pacific Standardizes Medical Readiness and Health Care

Image of A man speaks into a microphone on a podium. U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Heck, the first director of the Defense Health Agency Region Indo-Pacific, speaks at a ceremony Sept. 27 formally establishing the new overseas health region. The region consists of 45 military hospitals and clinics in Hawaii, Guam, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. (Photo: DMA Pacific - Hawaii Media Bureau)

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, hosted a ceremony officially establishing the DHA Region Indo-Pacific on Sept. 27. The ceremony was held at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii.

Led by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Heck, director of the DHAR-IP, the region oversees health care delivery for over 234,000 beneficiaries currently enrolled in military treatment facilities in Hawaii, Guam, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. Comprised of 45 medical facilities, the region provides health care to the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Space Force service members, their families, and military retirees in an area of responsibility spanning nearly half the earth’s surface.

“Each military treatment facility has a unique mission, unique geography, and even unique history,” said Place. “We know that health care is a local experience, and what we aim to achieve with this transition is a consistently excellent, standardized approach for our patients and our health care team wherever they serve.”

Following the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, DHA assumed responsibility for the administration and management of MTFs, including clinics and hospitals, throughout the world. By establishing the DHAR-IP, DHA and military service branches can tailor health care delivery and medical readiness to the needs of an increasingly critical strategic location.

“We must deliver the best possible outcomes to the patients we serve, and we must maintain a ready medical force and a medically ready force,” Place explained. “A medically ready force means we must ensure everyone in uniform is healthy and safe from potential medical threats. A ready medical force means we must support health care professionals through training, education, and clinical settings in which our medical teams obtain and sustain necessary skills to serve the men and women in uniform, their families, and those who have served our country in the past.”

Heck added, “The purpose of the DHAR-IP is to support our military service members and their families. As we move from transition to optimization, we must remember that our MTFs are operational readiness platforms. We are charged not only with providing high reliability health care to our beneficiaries, but meeting the requirements of our combatant commanders.”

The establishment of DHAR-IP is part of the transformation of the Military Health System to improve readiness of our forces and the health care of our warfighters, retirees, and their families.

Watch the entire ceremony on DVIDS, and learn more about the MTFs in the DHAR-IP here.

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