Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

From the front lines to the home front, Military Medicine is always ready

Army Lt. Gen. Ron Place and two soldiers stand at a table with COVID-19 testing supplies Defense Health Agency director, Army Lt. Gen. Ron Place, visited medical personnel at a COVID-19 screening station outside the Emergency Department at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. WRNMMC instituted additional safety measures including separate entry points for staff and patients to screen for coronavirus symptoms on March 12, 2020. (MHS photo by Navy Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Benson)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Who would have imagined this? We’ve stopped almost everything else we were doing and turned our energies toward fighting this pandemic. As the specific impacts take shape within the United States, the Military Health System is surging forward, implementing standing plans and showing agility in responding to events that some believed were unthinkable even a few short months ago.

Federal and state officials are requesting military medical forces to assist in stemming the spread of infection both directly and indirectly. Hundreds of thousands of professionals who are supported by the relatively young Defense Health Agency are reinforcing our civilian medical capabilities. Just as we’ve done throughout our history, when the U.S. military is called in times of crisis and natural disaster, we answer.

Military medicine is providing assistance in unprecedented ways. Already, two hospital ships, the USNS Mercy and the USNS Comfort, are positioned in Los Angeles and New York City, respectively, providing much needed additional medical capability to civilian medical facilities overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. The Army has also established field hospitals in New York and is increasing bed space elsewhere with the phenomenal work of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It’s the right thing to do, right now.

In the best of times, the primary mission of the Military Health System is to maintain a medically ready force and a ready medical force. This means we must ensure American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen are medically ready to deploy anywhere, anytime to defend the Nation. It also means we must develop and sustain our own medical teams to be trained and ready to support the force. Shifting focus from this primary mission carries risk; however, after two decades of conflict, we are well prepared to both identify risk and develop strategies to mitigate it.

This is not theoretical. We’re taking actions with tangible effects. For instance, we are rapidly shifting as many physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals as we can from administrative duties to direct patient care. We’re plowing new ground by graduating new doctors and nurses months early from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the military’s medical school, so they can join the fight – now. In our military hospitals and clinics, we’ve limited elective medical and dental procedures, so we can decrease surgical inpatient needs, shift clinical staffing toward COVID response, and conserve medical resources for the COVID fight.

Additionally, we’re identifying patient bed space on military installations and planning how to quickly convert – or return to use – unused space, with all of the needed equipment and supplies. That means, in some cases, converting office space once used as patient rooms when our military was twice the size, back to treatment areas. Fighting this pandemic is all-hands-on-deck. No good idea is off the table.

The reassuring news is that the Military Health System is, in some ways, uniquely suited for this crisis. Just as every Marine is a rifleman, every medical provider in our system is a generalist. While many of our health care providers normally do focus on specific diseases or specialties, they are trained to treat patients across the range of needs wherever they’re called to serve. Agility is part of what we offer our nation every day.

Facing multiple challenges is nothing new for us. Together, across the levels of government, we can do this. At this extraordinary time, we can play a significant part in caring for citizens in need, while still ensuring our military forces are medically ready to defend our Nation. With the support of the 9.5 million beneficiaries who depend on us for their health care, our agile and dedicated Defense health team is surging thousands of service members to the front lines, helping our fellow Americans, and meeting our obligation to the nation’s sons and daughters who have volunteered to defend them.

You also may be interested in...

Modification and Reissuance of DoD Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 -Travel Restrictions

Publication
4/20/2020

All DoD Service members will stop movement, both internationally and domestically, while this memorandum is in effect. All DoD civilian personnel, and dependents of DoD Service members and DoD civilian personnel, whose travel is Government-funded will stop movement, both internationally and domestically, while this memorandum is in effect.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Chaplains virtually bolster resiliency in the midst of COVID-19

Article
4/20/2020
Image of a laptop on a table, with two chaplains on the laptop conducting a virtual service

The pandemic has charged the team to strengthen the bonds of interaction between itself and the community.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

AFMES missions continue through COVID-19

Article
4/17/2020
Two men sitting at a table going through sample bottles

AFMES is a resilient organization that is committed to accomplishing the mission during the global pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Coronavirus

Mobile app may offer hope in times of distress

Article
4/16/2020
Image of man holding cell phone

Virtual Hope Box is one mobile app solution that may help individuals cope

Recommended Content:

Connected Health | Coronavirus

Uniformed Services University Adds COVID 19 Training to Curriculum

Article
4/16/2020
Army technician fits soldier with face mask

All of the university’s medical school Class of 2020 students completed the training prior to graduating, and the rest of the medical students have until April 15 to finish.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

COVID-19 and its impact on healthcare in Europe

Article
4/15/2020
Nurses review medical charts

MTF staffs are working hard to meet the needs of beneficiaries across Europe

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Implementation Guidance for Presidential Memorandum, "Providing Federal Support for Governor's Use of the National Guard to Respond to COVID-19 ," Dated April 7, 2020

Publication
4/14/2020

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Benefits Eligibility for 32 USC 502(f) Missions

Publication
4/14/2020

A chart outlining the various Benefits Eligibility for 32 USC 502(f) Missions

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | TRICARE Health Program

Memorandum on Providing Federal Support for Governors' Use of the National Guard to Respond to COVID-19

Publication
4/14/2020

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Military medical training continues during COVID-19

Article
4/14/2020
Students and instructors in the METC Respiratory Therapist program practice safe distancing and wear face coverings while training with mechanical ventilators. (Photo by Oscar Lopez)

METC’s mission - to train the world's finest medics, corpsmen and technicians - is vital to force readiness and the nation.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness

Military hospital dials in virtual healthcare to combat COVID-19

Article
4/13/2020
Technician standing at a computer

At BAMC, traditional face-to-face appointments for most routine care have increasingly shifted to virtual care to ensure social distancing as well as patient and provider safety.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Technology | Heroes Behind the Mask

Stay Home Slide Show

Video
4/10/2020
DHA Seal

Slide show of photos from BAMC's #stayhome campaign

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Delegation of Authority for Reserve Component Activation Authorities during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Response

Publication
4/10/2020

This delegation assigns to the Service Secretaries the authority to activate Reserve Component personnel and to modify their orders as needed to employ and retain them for the COVID-19 response.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Army Corps Launches Alternate Care Facility Construction

Article
4/10/2020
Image of three men in construction gear standing around plans

Building health care facilities isn’t a new task for USACE, which has years of experience designing and building hospitals and clinics for the military health system.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

inTransition Teams Up with the Veterans Crisis Line to Support Service Members in Crisis

Article
4/10/2020
Image of smiling woman with telephone headset sitting at her desk

In response to an increased volume of calls to the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), inTransition is partnering with the VCL to coordinate certain types of care for active duty service members.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Suicide Prevention | September Toolkit
<< < ... 26 27 28 29 > >> 
Showing results 376 - 390 Page 26 of 29

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.