The Department of Defense Military Health System has begun the process of transitioning to a Defense Health Agency by October 2013 with the announcement of a new Director, LtGen (promotable) Douglas J. Robb. General Robb is currently serving as the Joint Staff surgeon in the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In addition to the Department’s announcement of General Robb’s appointment, the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Dr. Jonathan Woodson, has informed staff that Mr. Allen Middleton will be serving as the Acting Deputy Director of the TRICARE Management Activity and Chairperson of the Defense Health Agency Transition Team, along with his current role as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.
HIMSS anticipates a great deal of activity as the Military Health System stands up the Defense Health Agency. The transition will include oversight from three executive advisory councils:
- Military Health System Executive Review council – a new council chaired by the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness that will include the Service Vice Chiefs of Staff and the Assistant Service Secretaries for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. This is similar to a group that was created in the late 1990s when the Department established the TRICARE Management Activity.
- The continuation of the Senior Military Medical Action Council, which has been in place since 2003.
- The Military Deputies Action Group, which includes the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) and will include the Service Deputy Surgeons and the Joint Staff Surgeon.
As we learn more about the transition, HIMSS will include updates in our Health IT Policy Update.