Back to Top Skip to main content

Medical helps prevent the flu amongst service members through teamwork

Members of DLA Troop Support Medical supply chain and DLA Distribution pose for a photo at an after action review for the Department of Defense’s Influenza Vaccination Program at Fort Detrick, Maryland Feb. 5, 2019. The Medical supply chain made approximately 3.4 million doses of the influenza vaccine available at military treatment facilities and U.S. Navy Fleet clinics around the world in support of the DOD’s Influenza Vaccination Program. (DoD photo by Alexander Quiñones) Members of DLA Troop Support Medical supply chain and DLA Distribution pose for a photo at an after action review for the Department of Defense’s Influenza Vaccination Program at Fort Detrick, Maryland Feb. 5, 2019. The Medical supply chain made approximately 3.4 million doses of the influenza vaccine available at military treatment facilities and U.S. Navy Fleet clinics around the world in support of the DOD’s Influenza Vaccination Program. (DoD photo by Alexander Quiñones)

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Immunizations | Combat Support

PHILADELPHIA — If service members avoided the achy muscles, runny nose or fever symptoms that often come from the flu virus by getting a seasonal vaccination, they can thank the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support for keeping them from getting sick.

The Medical supply chain made approximately 3.4 million doses of the influenza vaccine available at military treatment facilities and U.S. Navy Fleet clinics around the world in support of the Department of Defense’s Influenza Vaccination Program. For nearly a year, Medical worked with DLA Distribution and representatives from the Defense Health Agency and each military service to ensure program success during the 2018-2019 Influenza Season.

“The [DoD] Influenza Vaccine Program is an extremely complex operation, where no one component is more important than the other...without each partner in the process, it would never succeed,” said Dana Dallas, Medical cold chain program manager. “[All the partners] work extremely hard, over long days, overcoming every obstacle to ensure the warfighter and our treasured beneficiaries get the care they need...and we do a great job at it.”

Medical representatives, logistics counterparts, and DHA partners recently conducted an after action review at Fort Detrick, Maryland to discuss their efforts and results of the program. Medical credits the program’s success to teamwork.

“Every team member is dedicated to the success of the program and focused on meeting every deadline; ensuring a successful flu season,” said Theresa Rucci, Medical Pharmaceutical Distributor integrated support team chief.

The program’s goal was to have a 90 percent DoD compliant rate by Jan. 15. Medical and its partners were so successful that the DoD exceeded its goal with a 92 percent compliant rate, according to Rosalyn Brown, a DHA communications synchronization chief.

In addition to preventing the flu, the vaccine is viewed to be as important as other DoD protective items.   

“The influenza vaccine is [one of the] ‘personal protective’ items issued to service members,” said Dr. Jay Montgomery, DHA’s North Atlantic Regional Vaccine Safety Hub Immunization Healthcare Branch Medical director. “Employed with other hygiene measures, the military’s influenza vaccination program has demonstrably improved operational effectiveness of active duty personnel and decreased morbidity and mortality among the broader Department of Defense’s beneficiary population.”

The annual program relies on Medical working with its partners to coordinate delivery of the vaccines. Medical is responsible for contracting, which includes awarding contracts and placing delivery orders, in addition to cold chain management, which includes providing technical input for packaging, tracking shipments and coordinating with customers.

Every January, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturer and Distributor Division begins procuring the vaccines and becomes the main point of contact for the services and vendors, said Rucci. Once the contracts are awarded, the Supply Support Division creates the vaccines’ ordering information.

Because the vaccines have a sensitive shelf life, the contracts require staggered deliveries to the DLA Distribution Depot Susquehanna Pennsylvania throughout the flu season. Once the vendor starts delivering vaccines to the depot, communication and coordination becomes vital.

“After the contracts are awarded it is imperative that the teams work together to ensure the close coordination of the shipments,” said Dallas. “The [influenza] vaccine is extremely temperature sensitive and cold chain shipping protocols must be maintained. All members of the team communicate very well with each other; always sharing information, details about customers, shipments, deliveries etc.”

By August, the Collective Customer Facing Division works with the DDSP in distributing vaccines from the depot to the customers. The DLA Troop Support Business Process Support office also gets involved to help with delivery efficiency and effectiveness.

Depending on customers’ availability, the delivery process can run until March. However, once the next January comes around, most of the deliveries are complete and the program comes full circle as the procurement process starts all over again for the upcoming flu season.

Although the program was a success, there were some challenges.

During the 2018 flu season, the program lost more vaccines than it did in 2017, due to weather and mechanical refrigeration related issues according to Jenna Wesolowski, a Medical contracting officer. However, because the program’s planning incorporates the need for extra quantities, known as “reship doses,” service members were not negatively affected.

“The flu team in Medical, on both the supplier and customer operations sides, does an outstanding job supporting the warfighter’s annual requirements,” said Alexander Quiñones, Pharmaceutical Manufacturer and Distributor Division chief. “Each year, there are always new challenges that present themselves, but I am always confident that the team will overcome anything they face and provide the best possible outcome to our customers worldwide.”

Wesolowski said the success of the Influenza Vaccination Program would not be possible without the relationship that Medical has with DLA Distribution.

It is a shared sentiment.  

“The relationship built between Troop Support and Distribution has always been based on dedication to mission success and mutual respect,” said Robert Garrettson, a DLA Distribution Shelf Life Special Commodities team lead. “The [cold chain management] teams rely on each other’s professional expertise to provide the highest levels of customer satisfaction. Beyond seamlessly executing the influenza vaccine mission annually, both [major subordinate commands] work to enhance the program in an effort to achieve cost savings and better service.”

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Military pharmacy teams continue dedicated legacy of service

Article
10/19/2020
Black and white image of soldiers on the battlefield

Seven military pharmacy professionals have been awarded the Medal of Honor.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

NH Bremerton relies on experienced nurse to help new moms

Article
10/16/2020
Military personnel gives nurse an award

"Navy Medicine has taken me from novice to expert over a 20 year career..."

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Women's Health | Patient Safety

Air Force Unit provides worldwide medical response capability

Article
10/15/2020
Two military personnel loading equipment onto an aircraft

The 379th EAES crews provide time sensitive in-flight patient care.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support

DHA’s new Joint Operations Center serves as essential integration hub

Article
10/14/2020
Three military personnel looking at a document

From conference rooms to one location, DHA’s JOC gets an upgrade.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Annual flu vaccine remains a health priority during COVID-19 era

Article
10/13/2020
Military personnel getting flu shot

Annual vaccine is a covered TRICARE benefit.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Public Health | Coronavirus

DHA priorities focused on readiness, patients, outcomes

Article
10/7/2020
Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place speaks at a podium.

Adaptation key to providing outstanding care to beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support | Access to Health Care | Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

NMHM documents military medicine advancements during the Civil War

Article
10/5/2020
Old-time photo of soldiers with crutches, canes, and missing limbs.

Initial challenges to military medicine stemmed from limited medical knowledge and lack of organization in the medical corps.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Army Medical Service Officers achieve Quartermaster School first

Article
9/29/2020
Two military personnel in masks pose for picture

The curriculum covers airdrop planning, leadership, supervision, and management.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

DHA’s Vaccine Safety Hubs emphasize safety

Article
9/29/2020
Soldier filling a vaccine needle

How MHS works to improve “all things vaccine related."

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Who’s got YOUR six?

Article
9/25/2020
Military husband hugging his wife

Social support is critical for performance and well-being, but your vast sources of support might not be fully obvious.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Combat Support

Immunization Tool Kit 9th Edition

Publication
9/25/2020

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

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare

DoD pharmacy innovation improves patient safety and convenience

Article
9/22/2020
A pharmacy technician opens a locker holding prescription medication

Pick up your prescription when it’s convenient for you

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Technology

Life Support training classes begin at DHHQ

Article
9/21/2020
Four military personnel in masks, in a conference room, looking at a presentation on a screen, with several practice dummies

The DHHQ’s inaugural American Red Cross Basic Life Support class took place Sept. 14.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

WRAIR develops TeamCORE to support small cohesion

Article
9/17/2020
Group of soldiers in a field

[C]ohesive units meet higher standards, fight better, suffer fewer casualties and manage stress better.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

MHS immunization experts will answer questions about flu vaccine

Article
9/16/2020
Soldier giving another soldier a flu shot

Real-time Facebook event set for 3-4 p.m. EDT Sept. 17

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Preventive Health | Public Health | Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 11

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.