Skip main navigation

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.

DHA and Veterans Health Administration Collaborate to Innovate, Improve Patient Care

Image of DHA and Veterans Health Administration Collaborate to Innovate, Improve Patient Care. Defense Health Agency Director U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Telita Crosland talks about innovation and advanced technology at an innovation symposium with DHA and Veterans Health Administration leaders Sept. 18 in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo: Robert Hammer/Military Health System)

Senior leaders from the Defense Health Agency and Veterans Health Administration came together to discuss the value of collaboration and innovation between the two agencies to improve the health care experience for their patients during an innovation symposium on Sept. 18, 2023, in Bethesda, Maryland.

DHA Director U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Telita Crosland said leveraging advanced technology brings value quickly and at scale.

“That's why we're here today,” she told the audience. “What we're really looking for are some quick wins that bring value to the Department of Defense and into our Military Health System at scale.”

She spoke about the importance of the DHA being agile, flexible, and willing to move quickly.

“If we're not agile and move at the speed of relevance, we will be unsuccessful,” said Crosland.

She also described the two agencies as “teammates” in their work to enhance health care delivery for patients.

“Figuring out how you navigate, that requires teammates,” Crosland said. “We've got some teammates doing some great stuff, we should look at what they're doing.”

Crosland was joined by Carolyn Clancy, the VHA’s assistant under secretary for health for discovery, education, and affiliate networks.

“Collaboration is key,” said Clancy. “We have to invest 100 percent in the people who invested 100 percent in us,” referring to the veteran beneficiaries.

Many in attendance agreed that innovation isn’t always about the technology or health care advancements—it’s about the people in your organization.

“Technology isn't always the answer,” Clancy said. “It can be an amazing accelerator and enabler, but sometimes I think we get a tiny bit distracted. It's often about the idea. It's all about what problem are you trying to solve.”

Clancy mentioned that both agencies have people that are trying to solve the same, or very similar problem, but in a different context, and that they will benefit by “having exposure to each other.”

She noted the importance of human capital and having those people in the right places.

She said that you must look at “who can be part of a broader extended team to help active duty service members, families and veterans that we serve.”

“We cannot do it without the innovators,” said Naomi Escoffery, deputy to the DHA’s deputy assistant director, acquisition and sustainment. “We have great people that do a lot of great things.”

Terry Dover, assistant program manager of product support with DOD Healthcare Management System Modernization office, said that for innovation to be of any use “we have to make it very seamless and to find a way to keep data safe and secure.”

Leaders agreed that bringing about innovation isn’t simple or even always wanted.

“We’re changing the culture in medicine,” said Crosland. “To do that, we’ve got to change the narrative.”

Along with the discussions between Crosland and Clancy, several other leaders from both organizations gave presentations outlining how they utilized cooperation to bring about innovation.

VHA Innovation Project Sharing

VHA researchers have recently worked with DHA on behavioral research projects focusing on suicide among veterans.

  • Dr. Joseph Geraci, director, Transitioning Servicemember/Veteran and Suicide Prevention Center and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Chris Paine, DHA Central Texas Market Lead, Behavioral Health Fort Cavazos, presented their behavioral health project looking at guns and suicide attempts.
  • Dr. Amanda Lienau, director of data analytics innovation, Office of Healthcare Innovation and Learning at the VA discussed the VA’s Mission Daybreak Project, a 10-year strategy to end veteran suicide through a comprehensive, public health approach. 
  • Dr. Anne Lord Bailey, director, clinical tech innovation and VA immersive lead, Office of Healthcare Innovation and Learning, talked about the variety of virtual reality projects at the VA.

DHA Innovation Project Sharing

DHA staff have recently been focused on projects relating to the DHA-wide focus to make the agency “digital-first.”

  • Dover talked about the ‘Virtual First – Digital Front Door’ project at the DHA.
  • Escoffery discussed her presentation titled “DHA’s Innovation Ecosystem.”

As the event concluded, leaders from DHA and VHA agreed that innovation requires collaboration and aligning the human capital from each agency is necessary to drive performance and outcomes.

You also may be interested in...

Article Around MHS
Aug 24, 2023

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Performs First Robotic Bronchoscopy Within the Defense Health Agency

Walter Reed’s Interventional Pulmonology team gears up for first Robotic Bronchoscopy within the Defense Health Agency. Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Robert F. Browning (1st row 4th from left) and U.S. Navy Capt. Sean McKay (1st row 5th from left). (Photo: James Black)

Walter Reed performed the first robotic bronchoscopy procedure in the Defense Health Agency. Using the robotic bronchoscope to augment our current cutting edge cone beam CT Bronchoscopy program, Walter Reed now offers state of the art services in precision lung biopsy and early lung cancer diagnosis previously unavailable within the DHA.

Article
Aug 23, 2023

Military Health System: How Ideas Are Adopted to Help Patients, Providers

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Victoria McPhall hands Lt. Laken Koontz an intrauterine device at Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River. IUDs are one of the many birth control options offered during the clinic’s walk-in contraceptive clinic every Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. The Defense Health Agency’s Women’s Health Clinical Management team faced an aggressive three-month deadline to roll out new Walk-in Contraceptive Services walk-in contraceptive services at military hospital and clinics across the Military Health System. (Photo: Photo by Kathy Hieatt, Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River, Maryland)

New evidence-based practices can improve health care, yet they don’t always get adopted. There are many reasons for this, including a lack of awareness, lack of training and implementation support, and a reluctance to doing things differently than in the past—to name a few. Even mandates to adopt a certain new service or practice may not overcome some ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 23, 2023

Researchers Say 'Warfighters Must Train like They Fight,' Emphasizing Mental Resilience During MHSRS

Susannah Knust, a research psychologist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, speaks during a 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium session on Warfighter Operational Resilience on August 17, 2023. (Photo credit: Danae Johnson, USAMRDC Public Affairs)

Nearly all military physical and field training exercises can enhance mental toughness and physical endurance, which researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command believe can prepare Warfighters for the future, they explained during a session on the final day of the 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium on August 17, ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 23, 2023

Forward Care for the Warfighter: U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command Talks Battlefield Countermeasures at MHSRS

Soldiers with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command perform a battlefield care scenario during the MRDC 2023 Best Squad Competition at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, on April 11, 2023.  (Photo: Danae Johnson)

With time spent on the battlefield being an increasing reality, products to help deliver immediate prolonged care to the Warfighter are now more important than ever. A concept known well by Maj. Zachary Booms, an emergency medicine physician at the Combat Casualty Care Research Team at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's Institute ...

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
Jul 13, 2023

Entomologist Augments Warfighter Research Across Indo Pacific Region

U.S. Navy Lt. Thomas McGlynn, a medical entomologist at the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence, poses for a photo with Malaysian commissioned and noncommissioned officers, Malaysian public health officials, and researchers from the University of Malaysia Sabah during their training in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on Feb. 9. (Photo: U.S. Navy Lt. Nicholas Johnston)

Naval Medical Research Unit 2 was established during World War II in Guam to conduct applied research in support of force health protection and has operated intermittently since 1955. Currently, NAMRU-2 is located in Singapore and acts as the center of a hub-and-spoke research model in multiple southeastern Asian countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, ...

Article Around MHS
Jul 7, 2023

Fate Brings Accident Victim to Brooke Amy Medical Center for Groundbreaking Procedure

Madisyn Cardenas, center, is pictured with her family after a graduation ceremony for her sister Larissa Sanchez at Texas A&M University in Kingsville, Texas, on May 12. From left, dad Stephen Cardenas, brother Stevie Cardenas, sister Larissa Sanchez, Madisyn Cardenas, mother Jennifer Cardenas, sister Natalie Villarreal. Cardenas was severely injured in a roadside accident on Oct. 5, 2022 and brought to Brooke Army Medical Center for a groundbreaking procedure. (Photo Courtesy Department of Defense)

After being struck by a car, Madisyn Cardenas had a torn aorta, broken hip, pinky finger, pelvis, and clavicle; lacerated tongue; separated abdomen; kidney lacerations; colon tear; brain hematoma; and multiple cuts, bruises, and puncture wounds. “The scariest of all was a tear in my aorta that went undetected until my arrival at Brooke Army Medical ...

Skip subpage navigation
Refine your search
Last Updated: October 23, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery