Back to Top Skip to main content

Deputy defense secretary stresses team approach in battling COVID

Soldier wearing mask, standing at computer monitors in an office building Army Maj. Nicholas Gauvin works inside Operation Warp Speed headquarters in Washington, D.C., last month. (Photo by EJ Hersom, DOD.)

Recommended Content:

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

Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist emphasized a years-long reform of the Military Health System while praising the short-term effort of private industry, other government agencies, and the MHS working together toward a COVID-19 vaccine goal in his speech this week at the virtual 2020 annual meeting of AMSUS, the Society of Federal Health Professionals.

In his address, “The National Defense Strategy in 2020,” Norquist said while the general news of the COVID-19 vaccines in development and testing have been in the news for the past month or so, what we’re really seeing has been ongoing for 2020 — and even well before.

Norquist said that careful planning, correct execution, and making sure the vaccines are safe, effective, and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards are crucial, whether in another pandemic or a different crisis.

Early on, leaders need to say, “what do we need to be as the end solution, not just the response to today, and how do I put in place a team to do that?” Norquist said.

Focusing solely on that long-term solution is what MHS has done with the Department of Health and Human Services and Operation Warp Speed, he emphasized.

Image of Deputy Secretary Norquist
Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist praised the operation during his speech to the 2020 Annual Meeting of AMSUS. (Photo by EJ Hersom, DOD.)

The Military Health System has played an important role implementing the National Defense Strategy, Norquist said. By undertaking critical reforms, the MHS is working on fulfilling the strategy’s first line of effort: to build a more lethal and ready force.

The MHS is one of the largest DOD programs, with a budget of more than $50 billion each year, and “warrants extra attention,” Norquist said.

In 2017, Congress directed the largest health care system reform in over a generation, recognizing the need to reform the military medical force and military medical treatment facilities.

“We need personnel with the right specialties to treat patients on and off the battlefield,” Norquist said. “Congress recognized that we were short on critical wartime specialties. Many of our military medical personnel provide services that are similar to the private sector. But we have fewer prepared to meet warfighter needs. As a result, Congress mandated DOD to rethink how we organize, train, and equip our medical force.

“Our goal is to achieve and sustain an appropriate specialty mix,” Norquist added. “While beneficiary care will always be important, Congress recognized the DOD needs to lead in the area it knows best. This change will save lives. The second major change concerns our [military medical treatment facilities]. This reform is related to the first, and it addresses efficiency in one of the largest cost drivers of the Military Health System. Congress directed us to transfer control of [military medical treatment facilities] from the services to the Defense Health Agency.”

Consolidating beneficiary care to the Defense Health Agency and focusing the service surgeons general on readiness removes risk, Norquist said, and leads to greater efficiencies and lower costs.

“Of course, I’d be remiss if I did not mention our progress on Operation Warp Speed, a joint effort with HHS to deliver safe and effective vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics in record time,” he added.

“Operation Warp Speed will enable immediate large-scale delivery of millions of doses, something only possible because production is already ongoing,” Norquist said, underscoring military readiness well before the vaccines were fully developed.

You also may be interested in...

Printable Pharmacy Insert

Infographic
3/16/2021
An insert with links to learn more about vaccination options. Options include MTFs, state health departments, and local retail pharmacy. Graphics include medical personnel wearing masks on the bottom as well as the TRICARE logo.

An insert with links to learn more about vaccination options. Options include MTFs, state health departments, and local retail pharmacy. Graphics include medical personnel wearing masks on the bottom as well as the TRICARE logo.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Screensaver COVID19 Vaccine Costs

Infographic
3/16/2021
A screensaver graphic of medical personnel on the upper right corner. Text includes a reminder that TRICARE covers the cost of the vaccine, including at retail pharmacies. Note that civilian providers may charge for office visits. TRICARE logo on the bottom right of graphic.

A screensaver graphic of medical personnel on the upper right corner. Text includes a reminder that TRICARE covers the cost of the vaccine, including at retail pharmacies. Note that civilian providers may charge for office visits. TRICARE logo on the bottom right of graphic.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Screensaver: You Are At Increased Risk

Infographic
3/16/2021
A screensaver graphic listing conditions that put beneficiaries 16-64 in the “at-risk” category. This includes cancer, smoking, kidney disease, and more. Graphics include a group of people wearing masks and the TRICARE logo.

A screensaver graphic listing conditions that put beneficiaries 16-64 in the “at-risk” category. This includes cancer, smoking, kidney disease, and more. Graphics include a group of people wearing masks and the TRICARE logo.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Screensaver: You Might be at Increased Risk

Infographic
3/16/2021
A screensaver graphic listing conditions that might put beneficiaries 16-64 in the “at-risk” category. This includes asthma cystic fibrosis, hypertension, and more. Graphics include a group of people wearing masks and the TRICARE logo.

A screensaver graphic listing conditions that might put beneficiaries 16-64 in the “at-risk” category. This includes asthma cystic fibrosis, hypertension, and more. Graphics include a group of people wearing masks and the TRICARE logo.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Specialized team assists Navajo Nation COVID-19 response

Article
3/16/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask posing for a picture

An RRRT is a small team comprised of specialized individuals that can be deployed to rural locations of the country.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus

Army Reserve nurse assists with Federal COVID response in Arizona

Article
3/15/2021
Military personnel posing for a picture while driving a truck

Celeski brought experience in COVID-19 care from her civilian position as a registered nurse with the Veterans Affairs medical system in San Antonio.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

TRICARE | COVID-19 Vaccine | Together, We Are Stronger

Video
3/15/2021
DHA Seal

In the past year, we've faced challenges, and we've done it with courage. Now, hope is on the horizon. Get vaccinated, and let's take care of each other. Together, we are stronger: www.tricare.mil/CovidVaccine

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Naval Air Facility El Centro administers COVID-19 vaccine

Article
3/12/2021
Military health personnel administering the COVID-19 vaccine

Sailors and select Department of Defense civilians at Naval Air Facility EL Centro in California began receiving their COVID-19 vaccines in early March.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

NMRTC Bremerton nurse supports the COVID-19 vaccine effort

Article
3/12/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask posing for a picture

Bremerton nurse oversees several hundred beneficiaries given their initial dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Get the COVID-19 vaccine you can and get it now, Fauci and Place say

Article
3/11/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

Get the COVID-19 vaccine, whichever you can, as soon as you can is the message from Dr. Fauci and DHA chief Dr. Place

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Q&A: Are COVID-19 Vaccines Safe and Effective?

Article
3/11/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask and a face shield administering the COVID-19 vaccine

Military Health System provides answers to COVID-19 vaccine questions.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine at Civilian Pharmacies

Publication
3/9/2021

YOU CAN GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE FROM ANY CIVILIAN PHARMACY AT NO CHARGE, EVEN NON-NETWORK PHARMACIES, BUT HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

DOD identifies more troops to help administer COVID-19 vaccine

Article
3/9/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask filling up syringes with the COVID-19 vaccine

The DHA supports the DoD's administering COVID-19 vaccinations at community vaccination centers around the country.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

MHS GENESIS MassVax system rolling out with COVID19 vaccines

Article
3/9/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask sitting in a line waiting for their COVID-19 vaccine

The new MHS GENESIS MassVax record-keeping tool is expediting and simplifying the process of COVID-19 vaccinations across the DOD

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | MHS GENESIS | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | MHS GENESIS

Is It Your Time to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Infographic
3/5/2021
This graphic informs TRICARE beneficiaries which tier they fall into as their local military treatment facility or clinic offers the vaccine.

This Infographic informs TRICARE beneficiaries which tier they fall into as their local military treatment facility or clinic offers the vaccine.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 46 - 60 Page 4 of 76

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.