Back to Top Skip to main content

McCaffery offers MHS view with Blue Star Families panel

Thomas McCaffery (center) participated in the Blue Star Families Panel at American Red Cross National Headquarters Feb. 26. He is seen here with Amy Goyer (left), family and caregiving expert at AARP, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Patty Horoho (right), CEO of OptumServe. The panel discussed timely, quality health care for service members and their families. (Photo by MHS Communications) Thomas McCaffery (center) participated in the Blue Star Families Panel at American Red Cross National Headquarters Feb. 26. He is seen here with Amy Goyer (left), family and caregiving expert at AARP, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Patty Horoho (right), CEO of OptumServe. The panel discussed timely, quality health care for service members and their families. (Photo by MHS Communications)

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | MHS Transformation | MHS GENESIS | Mental Health Care

Thomas McCaffery participated in a Blue Star Families panel at American Red Cross National Headquarters Feb. 26. As the assistant secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, McCaffery briefed the audience on how the Military Health System is changing to help military families receive timely, quality health care.

Blue Star Families held the event to discuss results of the annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey, BSF’s yearly “snapshot” of military families. It offers insights to military and national leaders, as well as local communities.

“An organization like this is critical in terms of connecting military families with our fellow citizens,” McCaffery said of BSF’s work on the survey.

Hisako Sonethavilay, director of applied research at BSF, agreed. “We’re really dedicated to ensuring that research like ours is done in a way that we’re able to … really make some change for military families,” she said.

Survey respondents highlighted relocation, employment and sense of community for military families, and resources for children with special needs as particular areas of concern. Suicide and mental health were also important to respondents. About 40% of surveyed military, veteran, National Guard, and Reserve family respondents said they had attempted or seriously considered suicide in the past year. Nearly half of this group did not get professional help, with 48% of them indicating they did not seek help out of fear for their careers or those of loved ones.

McCaffery urges service members and beneficiaries to use the many resources throughout the Department of Defense that target mental health care.

“Seeking mental health care is no different than seeking care for any other serious health condition,” he said. “You need to seek out services. You need to consult other professionals and ask about those services.”

Multimedia efforts like the Real Warriors Campaign encourage service members to seek treatment as a sign of strength. Real Warriors also provides resources for service members to seek treatment. Programs like InTransition ensure treatment continues as service members and their families move between medical facilities.

These tools are readily available for beneficiaries to use. More changes are underway as a part of the MHS transformation to improve readiness and the quality of health care.

The Defense Health Agency began assuming administrative responsibility for all military hospitals in October 2019. Results from the survey show these changes need to happen. Respondents said finding timely, specialty medical care after a relocation can be challenging.

“One of the benefits of consolidating the management of our facilities is a common, standardized experience,” McCaffery said, “so you can know how to get your prescriptions, how to get lab tests, and most importantly how to get those referrals to specialists.”

MHS GENESIS, the military’s official electronic health record, also helps address this need. As families move from location to location, their records will be stored in one location. Easy access to medical records, from point of injury to treatment, should speed the referral process for families.

McCaffery stressed that patient-centered care is a top DHA priority. Results from the Military Family Lifestyle Survey help leadership create processes to improve care across the services.

“We have to do this together,” Sonethavilay said, “We want to help the [DoD] and military leadership advance military family outcomes…and also understand that there is a critical component to making sure that your civilians have an understanding as well.”

“Our patients are our top priority,” McCaffery agreed. “Everything the MHS does works to enhance the patient experience. We’re going to treat the health system not as separate systems, but as one enterprise.”

You also may be interested in...

MHS Transformation results continue during COVID-19

Article
1/21/2021
Military personnel in a supply room, reaching for the top shelf

The MTF transition has enabled the DHA and the Services to increase standardization, eliminate duplicative contracts, and realize cost efficiencies by beginning the management of an enterprise-wide program.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | MHS Transformation

MTF facilities, markets set to resume transition heading into 2021

Article
1/6/2021
A military nurse, wearing a mask, prepares a needle for a vaccination

Butler says transition on track.

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Coronavirus

Countering seasonal depression during the COVID-19 pandemic

Article
1/5/2021
Man with his head in his hands, sitting in front of a Christmas tree

SAD, or sometimes called seasonal depression, is a subtype of a major depressive disorder.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Mental Wellness | Mental Health Care | Depression | Suicide Prevention

DHA’s IT innovation continues during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
12/31/2020
Three military personnel, wearing masks, in front of a computer screen

IT innovations keep pace despite COVID-19 road blocks.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation | Technology | MHS GENESIS

MHS GENESIS offers patients secure access for their healthcare needs

Article
12/28/2020
Image of military personnel, wearing a mask and looking at a computer screen

The Patient Portal is one of the key features and benefits for any beneficiary using MHS GENESIS.

Recommended Content:

Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) Program Office | MHS GENESIS

Seeking help from friends and family vital for mental health

Article
12/23/2020
Image of three people on a zoom call

Reaching out for help with your mental health is not a sign of weakness, according to Tim Hoyt.

Recommended Content:

Mental Wellness | Mental Health Care | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Suicide Prevention

Top five digital health trends for military medical providers in 2021

Article
12/17/2020
Image of Dr. Pincus with text "Top Five Digital Health Trends for Military Medical Providers in 2021"

One way the MHS will provide...improved care is through DoD’s new electronic health record MHS GENESIS, which will continue its rollout through 2023.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS

Deputy defense secretary stresses team approach in battling COVID

Article
12/10/2020
Soldier wearing mask, standing at computer monitors in an office building

The Military Health System has played an important role implementing the National Defense Strategy, Norquist said.

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Health Readiness

Wave PENDLETON sees more MTFs deploy new electronic health record

Article
12/9/2020
Image of soldier, wearing a mask, in front of a computer screen

“We are returning to regular deployments of MHS GENESIS following a pause brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic."

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS

MHS leaders discuss future of military medicine during AMSUS panel

Article
12/9/2020
Military personnel, wearing masks, standing in a line in front of flags

For Dingle, readiness is the key issue during the transition.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program | MHS Transformation

Pandemic underscores MHS’ need for reform, McCaffery tells AMSUS

Article
12/8/2020
Army soldier gets nose swab

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the MHS had embarked on reforms and initiatives to improve its medical support to the armed services.

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Trials | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Warrior Care Month puts a spotlight on the inTransition Program

Article
11/25/2020
Two women in an office, talking

inTransition supports service members and veterans who want to get connected to mental health care in their area.

Recommended Content:

November Toolkit | Warrior Care Month | Mental Health Care

WRNMMC displays the “Art of Healing” through December

Article
11/13/2020
Woman wearing mask, standing in front of several paintings

[T]he main focus of the exhibit was the art on display, and the artists behind it.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Mental Health Care

Naval Medical Forces Pacific’s commander tours NH Twentynine Palms

Article
11/12/2020
Four military personnel in uniform, wearing masks

Weber was briefed on the implementation of MHS GENESIS...and the hospital's response to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS

MHS GENESIS goes live at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton

Article
11/2/2020
Four military personnel, wearing masks, standing in front of two computer screens that say "MHS GENESIS."

These SME’s impart invaluable knowledge to new users, enabling a successful go-live evolution

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Electronic Health Record Modernization & Interoperability
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 22

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.