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

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

Image of Three military personnel looking at a document. Don Dahlheimer, Defense Health Agency’s deputy assistant director for Combatant Command Operational Support (right) briefs Army Brig. Gen. George Appenzeller, DHA’s assistant director for combat support; and Army Sgt. Maj. Esteban Alvardo, senior enlisted advisor to the assistant director for combat support, about the DHA’s new Joint Operation Center’s capabilities. (Photo by Mark Oswell, MHS Communications.)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

The Defense Health Agency relies on rapid information exchange to provide combat support to U.S. military forces stationed worldwide. With many changes taking place in military health care and the ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, integrated communication from the bottom to the top, and vice versa remains essential for service members, civilians, stakeholders and beneficiaries.

The Joint Operations Center (JOC) acts as a conduit for this information. As the information hub of DHA, the JOC collects requests and data from across the Military Health System, including the Joint Staff, combatant commands, and a variety of other military organizations. The JOC then provides that information to the proper authorities in DHA to take action.

“By ensuring that the JOC is getting current and accurate information, we can make sure that the DHA leadership provides our primary stakeholders with the best resources we can offer,” said Neil Doherty, head of the Operations Division at DHA.

DHA recently finished construction of a new facility for the JOC within DHA headquarters. Formerly operating from a series of reserved conference rooms, the JOC is now co-located in one space that improves its capabilities. The facility offers advanced screens to monitor and project information, the ability to host video calls with remote locations through VTC, and a secure space to hold meetings with high-ranking leaders.

Jerry Vignon, manager of DHA’s continuity program, emphasized the importance of the monitoring screens in the JOC’s day-to-day activities. The screens allow the JOC to display different types of information and data feeds, from open source material like news outlets and weather services to health surveillance information - all of which are vital to DHA leadership, he explained. This capability keeps the JOC up-to-date without having to relay information being ferries to and from various offices.

“If something does hit the airwaves, we are aware of it right away,” Vignon said. “It gives us more of a real-time connectivity to information that’s helpful for us as we're responding to events around the world.”

While each of the services and combatant commands has a JOC of their own, DHA’s unique operations center brings all of them online together in one secure location to discuss issues pertinent to military health care. Air Force Col. Jennifer Garrison, deputy chief and deputy assistant director for Combatant Command Operational Support at DHA, shared how the JOC’s Joint Staff calls help connect the services in order provide the best possible healthcare for our warfighters and their families.

“You have Joint Staff, the combatant commands, and all the services on call at the same time,” she explained. “It’s a way for them to ensure that if there’s a concern like a pandemic or any contingency, that we have 24/7 coverage to keep information flowing to make critical decisions collectively with our stakeholders in a timely manner,” she said.

This collaboration has proven to be essential during the DHA’s support of the national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The JOC stood up a crisis action team, or CAT, made up of subject matter experts who work together to share information on wide-impact, unplanned events like the pandemic. The team met regularly to funnel information about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 throughout the Military Health System so that leaders at all levels could make necessary decisions for their commands to fight the pandemic.

“The JOC is the first line of defense when it comes to working with the Joint Staff, combatant commands, and services for support and knowing all the critical information to improve on readiness, safety, quality, and patient expectations across the Military Health System.” Garrison said. “So, if they need something for COVID-19, whether it is flu immunizations, blood, equipment, or supplies, that’s able to be communicated at this level.”

Now that they have the facility to support around the clock operations, Doherty said that the next step is to fully staff the center.

“The goal is to get staffed up to support 24/7 operations so that we are connected to all of the organizations in the Department of Defense (DOD) across the globe,” Don Dahlheimer, deputy assistant director for Combatant Command Operational Support at DHA. “It’s a great opportunity for the agency to efficiently collaborate with our DOD, component, and interagency stakeholder, and across the DHA in support of our beneficiaries and warfighters.

“We want to ensure the best possible care from the battlefield to our military medical treatment facilities, and this JOC supports collaborative communications,” concluded Dahlheimer.

You also may be interested in...

Corpsman Care during Atlantic Ocean ops on MSC ship

Article Around MHS
8/4/2022
Military medical personnel performing emergency surgery

There’s a reason why U.S. Navy independent duty corpsmen are found assigned on isolated platforms from the wide expanse of the Indo-Pacific Theater to the far reaches of the Atlantic Ocean.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Global Health Engagement

Wellness Fair Showcases Ample Resources at Naval Hospital Bremerton

Article Around MHS
8/2/2022
Military personnel demonstrating a grip therapy

Naval Hospital Bremerton hosted a holistic Wellness Fair in late July 2022.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Performance Nutrition: Fuel Your Body and Mind | Total Body Preventive Health - Dental, Medical & Mental | Nutritional Fitness | Health Readiness Support

Soldiers Not Immune to Damage of Sun's Rays

Article Around MHS
7/28/2022
Soldiers not immune to damage of sun’s rays

Some soldiers have a greater risk for developing skin cancer than others. For July’s UV Safety Awareness month, soldiers should be aware of their risks and how to reduce their chances of skin cancer.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Summer Safety

Mind-Body Mental Fitness

Article Around MHS
7/27/2022
Mountain view

The lifestyle of active duty service members and their families comes with unique stressors that can often be compounded by living overseas. What most people don’t realize is that stress is a normal part of life. The feelings of stress are just indicators that something in our life needs attention, and even presents a possibility for positive change and growth.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Physical Fitness | Psychological Fitness | Stress | Mental Health is Health Care

Teddy Roosevelt, Navy Medicine, and the Birth of Physical Readiness

Article Around MHS
7/25/2022
Military personnel in exercise drill on deck of Navy ship

Today’s U.S. Navy espouses a “culture of fitness,” and “physical readiness,” but this was not always the case. In the early 1900s, many including the president himself, Theodore Roosevelt, were appalled by the lack of physical conditioning in the Navy.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Physical Fitness

Family Care Plan Sustains Unit Readiness

Article Around MHS
7/20/2022
Military personnel hugs family member

A Family Care Plan (FCP) is a method by which the Army ensures a Soldier’s Family is taken care of when the Soldier is absent due to military requirements.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

DHA Program Supports Training Education of Future Medical Providers

Article
7/20/2022
Military personnel looking at display

The Clinical Investigations Program combines research and training to teach and develop the future clinicians of the Military Health System.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Education & Training | Health Care Technology | Health Readiness & Combat Support

Power Plate: Eat to Fuel Your Performance

Article Around MHS
7/19/2022
Infographic for Power Plate

Food is our secret weapon. When planned and executed well food can supply everything our bodies need to thrive, whether we’re running a marathon or taking a rest day.

Recommended Content:

Performance Nutrition: Fuel Your Body and Mind | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Nutritional Fitness

The Need for Speed Requires Intense Training

Article
7/18/2022
 Military personnel conducts routine ops in US 3rd Fleet

Tom Cruise has nothing on real military pilots and their training.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Education & Training | Physical Fitness

Medical Airmen Crew Ambulance, Keep Mission Ready

Article Around MHS
7/18/2022
Military personnel inspect an ambulance

Airmen with the 75th Medical Group here are staying mission ready by crewing Hill AFB’s ambulance service alongside firefighters from the 775th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Fire and Emergency Services Flight.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Emergency Preparedness and Response

Dental Health Aboard USS Tripoli

Article Around MHS
7/14/2022
Military dental personnel working on a patient

The USS Tripoli is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Dental Health | Global Health Engagement

Fort Hunter Liggett First in Army to Receive Prehospital Whole Blood Transfusion Capability

Article Around MHS
7/14/2022
Military medical personnel standing by EMS vehicle

Army Garrison Fort Hunter Liggett’s remoteness, and the robust efforts of Fire Captain Devon Haggie allowed the installation to be the first in the Army and Department of Defense to receive the life-saving capability to transfuse whole blood by its Emergency Medical Service (EMS).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Readiness & Combat Support | French Freeze-Dried Plasma Use in the DOD

The Dangers of Dietary Supplements

Video
7/11/2022
The Dangers of Dietary Supplements

Did you know that 75% of service members use at least 1 dietary supplement? Experts from the Uniformed Services University discuss the risks and safety concerns of dietary supplements. Learn more about dietary supplements at www.OPSS.org and The Consortium of Health & Military Performance (CHAMP).

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Performance Nutrition: Fuel Your Body and Mind | Health Readiness & Combat Support

What is Performance Nutrition

Video
7/11/2022
What is Performance Nutrition

Learn more about Performance Nutrition and healthy eating habits at the Consortium for Health & Military Performance. https://champ.usuhs.edu/. For more information about the Dietician Approved Fueling stations at your local commissary, go to https://www.commissaries.com/fueling_stations

Recommended Content:

Performance Nutrition: Fuel Your Body and Mind | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Nutritional Fitness

Performance Nutrition: The Best Ways to Eat

Video
7/11/2022
Performance Nutrition: The Best Ways to Eat

USU professor and nutrition specialist, Jonathan Scott PhD, gives advice on eating healthy. Learn more about the Dietician Approved Fueling stations at your local commissary here: https://www.commissaries.com/fueling_stations

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Performance Nutrition: Fuel Your Body and Mind | Nutritional Fitness
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 38
Refine your search
Last Updated: August 08, 2022

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.