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    Defense Health Agency ushers in new era for Naval Hospital Bremerton as part of Puget Sound Military Health System

    Defense Health Agency ushers in new era for Naval Hospital Bremerton as part of Puget Sound Military Health System

    Photo By Douglas Stutz | The Latin inscription, ‘pro cura militis’ on the standard unfurled by Lt. Gen....... read more read more

    The Latin inscription, ‘pro cura militis’ on the standard unfurled at Madigan Army Medical Center encapsulated the purpose of the Puget Sound Military Health System (MHS) Market establishment ceremony, Dec. 1, 2021.

    ‘For the care of the soldier’ is the mission objective of the Defense Health Agency (DHA), which now officially oversees all Army, Navy and Air Force military treatment facilities (MTF) in the Pacific Northwest part of the Puget Sound MHS.

    What that means for approximately 284,000 active duty service members, retirees and family is they all will have standardized care at Madigan Army Medical Center, Naval Hospital Bremerton, Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor and the Air Force’s 62nd Medical Squadron.

    Administrative and management functions are now handled by DHA, with each MTF linked via the Department of Defense electronic health record, MHS GENESIS to enhance teamwork and collaboration between all services in providing patient-centered care to all eligible beneficiaries. DHA will standardize processes like appointments and referrals to ensure no matter where service members and their families go, care will be consistent.

    “I’m honored to represent the Defense Health Agency. Thanks for the effort and the vision that led to this market establishment ceremony. I have been privileged to participate in a number of ceremonies across the country, this being the 19th of the 20 markets being established,” said Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, DHA director, citing the importance of recognizing that each market and associated military communities have their own unique missions, characteristics, geographies and histories.

    “Health care is a local experience, best managed by those of you here interacting with our patients directly,” continued Place. “There is a long legacy of the Puget Sound market, shaped over the years in shaping a positive joint medical environment that is enshrined today.”

    A typical day in the Puget Sound MHS has 4,589 appointments, 3,939 lab procedures, 104 emergency room visits, 112 staffed inpatient beds, 996 radiology procedures, 4,756 pharmacy prescriptions, five births, 558 dental procedures and 268 immunizations.

    Such routine characteristics are well known to Place.

    “This market is quite frankly home to me. I first came to Ft. Lewis more than 35 years ago. From medical school rotations to general surgeon training at Madigan, this market is where I’ve spent one third of my military career. It matters to me what we do here,” exclaimed Place.

    Place readily affirmed that the Puget Sound MHS is a crucial component to empowering readiness in a region vital to the nation’s defense.

    “I’m not just talking about our medical presence here. This might be one of the most powerful force protection sites in the entire Department of Defense with all classes of submarines to aircraft carriers to electronic attack aircraft at naval installations, to 1st Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and advanced airlift capability with the 62nd Airlift Wing. It is formidable military capability at work every single day,” Place said.

    Along with supporting operational and mission readiness across all service branches in the Pacific Northwest, the Puget Sound MHS also maintains a number of overlapping affiliations with a host of civilian and community entities.

    “The community understands the value of joint, integrated operations, embraces their affiliation with the Department of Defense mission and welcomes military families as part of their family. There’s exceptional and trusted partnerships with civilian providers and institutions in the community. Today’s ceremony is an acknowledgement of this team, line leaders, medical leaders, staff, and our VA colleagues committing to the health of this entire military community. It is also an acknowledgment of the local elected leaders, business leaders, our colleagues in academia, all working together to serve our military families past and present,” stated Place.

    The past 20-plus months have taxed the doctors, nurses, medics, hospital corpsmen and support staff across all service branches as much as their civilian counterparts in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19. Military members continue to answer the nation’s call for support on Joint Task Force Civil Support as part of the Department of Defense COVID response operations in conjunction with U.S. Northern Command and Federal Emergency Management Agency to help overwhelmed hospital staff deal with an influx of COVID-19 patients. Place continues to lead and focus on the DHA ongoing COVID-19 response.

    “We know the military health system has needs similar to needs of other health systems like ensuring people we care about get vaccinated against COVID, confident in the overwhelming scientific evidence that vaccines are safe and work-well as part of the program to get the pandemic under control and delivering the best outcomes of the patients we serve whatever their medical condition,” Place said.

    Place noted that the Puget Sound MHS has led the military health system for more than two decades as a multi-service market and has always shared insights and best practices with colleagues across the Department of Defense.

    “Our mission is to sustain a ready medical force and a medically ready force,” stated Place. “That is still the reason why we’re all here. A ready medical force means we help everyone in uniform to ensure they are healthy and safe from potential health threats.”

    Col. Jonathan Taylor has assumed duties as Puget Sound Market director and Madigan Army Medical Center commander.

    To complement NHBs transition to DHA, Navy Medicine has established a co-located Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command (NMRTC). Navy Medicine - through the NMRTC - will retain command and control of the uniformed medical force and maintain responsibility for operational readiness. This includes the medical readiness of Sailors and Marines, as well as the clinical readiness of the medical forces.

    Capt. Patrick Fitzpatrick will serve as Naval Hospital Bremerton director under DHA and as NMRTC commanding officer under Navy Medicine.

    “During the two decades which we were at war, we proved that the three services’ medical department could work together seamlessly. I am excited about the possibility of working together as a market as are all commanding officers within the Puget Sound MHS, to further develop that relationship as we work towards fulfillment of the quadruple aim [increased readiness, better health, better care, all lower cost].

    Implementing aspect of change is nothing new to NHB, as the command deployed the Department of Defense’s new electronic health record MHS GENESIS in Sept. 2017.

    The Puget Sound MHS market establishment is based upon mandated congressional and Department of Defense-directed reforms.



    Date Taken: 12.01.2021
    Date Posted: 12.02.2021 17:34
    Story ID: 410360
    Location: TACOMA, WA, US 

    Web Views: 327
    Downloads: 1