Skip to main content

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

Skip subpage navigation

Defense Health Agency: Improving Health and Building Readiness

The Defense Health Agency is a joint, integrated Combat Support Agency that enables the Army, Navy, and Air Force medical services to provide a medically ready force and ready medical force to Combatant Commands in both peacetime and wartime. While the Defense Health Agency is still a young organization, its history dates back to the beginning of organized military medicine.

Improving Health and Building Readiness

Medic bag and helmet on a plank background. "Defense Health Agency: Improving Heath and Building Readiness. Links to the DHA Historical Timeline at https://www.health.mil/About-MHS/Military-Medical-History/Historical-Timelines/History-of-the-DHA

An interactive timeline commemorating the foundations of the Defense Health Agency.

1775 The Army Medical Department

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1775 Army Medical Dept

The origins of the U.S. Army Medical Department predate the founding of the United States. On July 27, 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the establishment of a hospital, which in those days meant a hospital system or medical department, for its army of 20,000 soldiers. That army hospital was a medical department, consisting of civilian practitioners, many without military experience. Provisions were made for a director general and chief physician (surgeon general), four surgeons, one apothecary, 20 surgeon's mates, one clerk, and two storekeepers. The Continental Congress also allocated one nurse to every 10 sick soldiers and laborers as needed. Revolutionary army apothecaries (early pharmacists), physicians, and surgeons did the best they could, practicing medicine before the inventions of the stethoscope, antibiotics, x-rays, and more.

1776 Continental Army Medical Department

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1776 Med Dept Cont Army

The Continental Congress established the Medical Department of the Continental Army on July 17, 1776. The Congress authorized the employment of "Hospital Stewards" (Medical NCOs), which were the forerunners of the Army Medical Department Non-Commissioned Officer Corps. Although not authorized prior to this legislation, Hospital Stewards were assigned to hospitals as early as December 1775. This marked the beginning of organized medical support for the American military during the Revolutionary War.

1842 The Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

DHA 10 Year Ann 142 Navy BUMED

Throughout the early 1800s, U.S. Navy medicine did not have a central administrative hub. That changed on Aug. 31, 1842, when the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery was established as one of five bureaus established by Congress to administer the activities of the U.S. Navy. The General Order of November 26, 1842, charged BUMED with managing medications to treat the wounded and sick, clothing and bedding, all surgical appliances and instruments, and the management of Navy hospitals. Today, the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery is an agency of the Department of the Navy that manages health care activities for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps. It is one of two bureaus still in existence.

1862 The Army Medical Museum

DHA 10 Year Ann 1862 Army Medical Museum

On May 21, 1862, during the Civil War, the Army Medical Museum, now known as the National Museum of Health and Medicine, was established. Then-Army Surgeon General William A. Hammond established the Army Medical Museum to serve as a center for the collection of specimens for research in military medicine and surgery. The museum's first curator, John Brinton, visited battlefields and asked for contributions from doctors throughout the Union Army. During and after the war, museum staff took photographs of wounded soldiers, showing the effects of gunshot wounds, as well as the results of amputations and other surgical procedures.

1917 The Army Medical Research Board

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1776 Army Med Resch Board

The Army Medical Research Board was formed during World War I to conduct medical research and develop strategies to improve the health and medical care of soldiers.

1943 Medical Research & Development Board

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1776 Surgeon General Med Rsrch Dev Board

The U.S. Army Surgeon General's Medical Research and Development Board was established in 1943 to coordinate all medical department research with agencies both inside and outside the Army. In 1958, the Army Medical Research Board was folded into the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, becoming the central agency for all Army military medical research and development efforts. Its main efforts were to improve preventive medicine measures and rapid treatment techniques. For example, the board’s research program addressed problems unique to the military and led efforts to preserve the general health and safety of soldiers.

1945 The Cambridge Research Laboratories

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1945 Cambridge Research Labs

Cambridge Research Laboratories were established in 1945. After World War II, the lab evolved into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory and the Harvard Radio Research Laboratory. It developed telephone modem communications for digital radar relay, and in 1949 grew as a Cold War systems development organization. It rose to become one of the premier medical research laboratories in the world. In 1951, the U.S. Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories became part of a new Air Force Cambridge Research Center.

1947 The Hall Board

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1947 The Hall Board

General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower requested the Hall Board be assembled to advise on the evolving unification bill in Congress, which the War Department approved. When the U.S. Air Force grew out of the U.S. Army, becoming a separate service in 1947, the newly formed military department needed its own service support personnel (including medical) to maintain military readiness. The Hall Board analyzed how to best divide the U.S. Army’s established medical facilities, personnel, policies, practices, and procedures between the two. The board also recommended the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force strike a balance by establishing a separate medical service for the U.S. Air Force, with general hospitals remaining under Army control.

1947 The First Hoover Commission

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1949 1st Hoover Commission

In 1947, Congress established the first Hoover Commission to find ways to unify the services, including the medical departments. Downsizing the massive structure of post-World War II veterans' benefits was part of this plan, calling for consolidation of most large-scale federal medical activities—military and VA hospitals as well the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps—into a new United Medical Administration. As part of this recommendation, VA would undergo a structural overhaul; however, none of the Hoover Commission’s suggestions about VA were enacted. VA remained mostly intact after the Hoover Commission disbanded in 1952.

1948 The Hawley Board

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1948 Hawley Board

Post-World War II, the U.S. intelligence community recognized medical intelligence was part of the overall national intelligence landscape and sought solutions to that end. The Hawley Board was one of several committees that studied the challenges facing the medical intelligence program and advocated for greater centralization of the military medical assets. The board evaluated two plans: a plan to establish a single medical service for all three existing departments, and a plan to establish three distinct medical services—one within each branch of military service. The board unanimously came down in favor of the latter, reporting the "separation of the medical services from the departments which they serve and sustain…would greatly reduce the efficiency and the effectiveness of the medical services."

1949 The Air Force Medical Services

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1949 AF Medical Services

The Air Force Medical Service was founded in 1949 when the U.S. Army and President Harry S. Truman concluded the U.S. Air Force needed its own medical service. The Air Force Medical Service offered the following officer personnel components: Medical Corps, Dental Corps, Veterinary Corps, Medical Service Corps, Nurse Corps, and the Women's Medical Specialist Corps. Today, the Air Force Medical Service supports the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force through the provision of full spectrum medical readiness to the more than 200,000 airmen and guardians currently engaged in operations around the globe.

1949 The Cooper Committee

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1949 Cooper Committee

The Cooper Committee, also known as the Armed Forces Medical Advisory Committee, was established to succeed the Hawley Board, which had failed in its job to engender greater centralization of the service's medical departments. The Cooper Committee developed recommendations on general policies, established rapport between the physicians of the armed services, and advised and assisted the secretaries of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force, as well as the newly titled Research and Development Board in the Defense Department.

1949 The Office of Medical Services

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1949 Office of Medical Services

In 1949, the Secretary of Defense established the Office of Medical Services, with a director who had authority to set general policies for the medical services of all three military departments.

1951 The Armed Forces Medical Policy Council

1951 Armed Forces Med Pol Council

In 1951, DOD strengthened the Office of Medical Services and renamed it the Armed Forces Medical Policy Council. Originally, the Armed Forces Medical Policy Council was composed of a civilian physician chairman, three civilian national authorities in medicine and health care, and the three U.S. military service surgeon generals who, for the first time, were granted the authority to represent their departments during the formation of unified medical policies at the DOD level. The new agency provided coordination of medical policy within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, DOD, and other government agencies, to include civilian medical and allied health organizations, agencies, and professions.

1952 The Armed Services Blood Program

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1952 ASBP

President Harry Truman implemented the ASBP in 1952 as a joint field operating agency, and it became a fully operational blood program in 1962. After the Korean War, ASBP assumed collecting, processing, and transporting blood products for the military community from the American Red Cross. When the Vietnam War started, the ASBP was a distinct program, ready to support the military's blood product needs.

1955 The Second Hoover Commission

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1955 2nd Hoover Commission

In 1955, a second Hoover Commission was established after noticeable redundancies and inefficiencies in health care for military dependents. The primary recommendation from the Hoover Commission was medical and hospital services of the armed services could be improved through better coordination and integration. While the commission fell short of a mandate to merge the services' medical organizations, it did promote greater uniformity and cooperation to improve overall health care delivery. Despite this support, there would be no action to unify the redundant military health and medical systems until the 1970s.

1956 The Dependents’ Medical Care Act

DHA 10 Year Ann 1056 The Dependents

Congress passed the Dependents' Medical Care Act, officially establishing health care for active duty family members, retirees, and their family members at military treatment facilities, on a space-available basis. The bill signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on June 7, 1956.

1959 The Military Medical Supply Agency

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1959 Military Medical Supply Agency

The Military Medical Supply Agency was conceived to run as manager for wholesale supply of medical and dental material for the three military services, with the Navy serving as its executive agency. In its first 10 years of operation, the office reduced the number of medical supply depots from 19 to 12. The office also enacted policies to standardize medical equipment specifications, reducing significant costs in equipment purchases, and it streamlined the various medical departments' logistical chains.

1965 Wound Data & Munitions Effectiveness Team

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1965 Would Data Munitions Efficiency Team

The Wound Data and Munitions Effectiveness Team was established during the Vietnam War. The team included medical and weapons experts who collected data on wounds and injuries sustained by service members during the war. The team's findings were used to improve the design and effectiveness of military weapons and protective gear. The team operated until 1973 and collected data on over 7,000 wounded personnel.

1966 CHAMPUS

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1966 CHAMPUS

Congress passed the Military Medical Benefits Amendments; collectively, these acts founded the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services, known as CHAMPUS. CHAMPUS established a way for DOD to contract with civilian facilities so beneficiaries could receive non-hospital-based services through civilian health care plans.

1979 The Defense Resource Management Study

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1979 Defense Resource Management Study

The Defense Resource Management Study was commissioned during the administration of President Jimmy Carter to provide an organizational review into several resource management issues. The study focused on five topics, including one focused on the infrastructure of the military service's medical departments The study concluded the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff should develop a plan to use non-DOD hospitals in wartime to meet medical requirements or shorten the evacuation policy. On the benefits side, the DRMS recommended limited out-of-pocket expenses, nominal charges for outpatient services, exemptions for active duty personnel, well-child exams, and immunizations up to two years of age, along with benefits for retirees and their dependents.

1979 Electronic Health Care Documentation

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1979 Electronic Health Care Documentation Begins

The Defense Department ushered in electronic health care documentation with computerized physician order entry. This allowed physicians to record prescribed medications and view alerts for drug allergies or adverse interactions. This innovation marked the beginning of electronic health care across military medical departments.

1982 The Grace Commission

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1982 Grace Commission

Authorized by President Ronald Reagan, the Grace Commission was established as part of the administration's "drain the swamp" government plan of action. The commission investigated cost control, waste, and inefficiency in the U.S. federal government. One of its conclusions was savings could be made in the military base structure—including military medical facilities—and recommended the establishment of an independent commission to study the issue. In 1988, the Defense Authorization Amendments and Base Closure and Realignment Act authorized the special commission to recommend base realignments and closures to the secretary of defense.

1988 Composite Health Care System

DHA 10 Year Ann 1988 Composite Health Care System

The Composite Health Care System was the DOD's first health record system to go paperless with electronic order entry. CHCS is also the basis of AHLTA focused on delivering a military treatment facility-centric electronic health record that supported computerized physician order entry and integrated outpatient ancillary services.

1990 Telehealth and Telemedicine

DHA 10 Year Ann 1990 Telehealth and Telemedicine

Many people first heard about telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, but did you know telehealth has been around for more than 30 years? In the 1990s, the medical field was exploring how telehealth and telemedicine could enhance medical operational support. This was most notable in 1993, when the U.S. Army first used video-enabled care in Somalia. This care quickly expanded in 1994 and 1995 during operations in the Balkans. During the same period, the first U.S.-based military telehealth programs were launched, using the hub-and-spoke care management model pioneered by Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes, known as Project ECHO, which worked to bring telehealth support to remote military bases and facilities.

1992 DOD and VA Head Injury Program

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1992 Defense Veterans Head Injury Program

The Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs successfully collaborated to form the Defense and Veterans Head Injury Program which was later named the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. Until then, there had been no systematic program for providing traumatic brain injury care and rehabilitation within DOD or VA. The program tracked service members' head and neck injuries, ensured they received the right treatment, studied the treatment outcome, and counseled family members regarding the service members' injuries.

1993 TRICARE Replaces CHAMPUS

DHA 10 Year Ann 1993 TRICARE Replaces CHAMPUS

Congress instructed DOD to consider the health maintenance organization model, establishing TRICARE: the uniformed services health care program for active duty service members. It offered a three-pronged health coverage approach to beneficiaries, such as TRICARE Prime, and HMO-like options like TRICARE Extra, a system where patients could reduce costs by choosing in-network civilian providers. The program also began offering TRICARE Standard, which was like CHAMPUS, where beneficiaries could receive care from non-network providers but pay more out of pocket.

1995 Gulf War Health Center

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1995 Gulf War Health Center

The Gulf War Health Center at Walter Reed Army Medical Center was established to care for Gulf War veterans with war-related physical and mental health challenges. In 1999, it became the Deployment Health Clinical Center—one of three DOD centers of excellence for deployment health—along with the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center and the Naval Health Research Center. The center managed coordinating the evaluation of veterans seeking care for post-deployment health concerns.

1996 Combat Casualty Care Research Program

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1996 Combat Casualty Care Research Program

The Combat Casualty Care Research Program was established to drive medical innovation through development of knowledge and materiel solutions for the acute and early management of combat-related trauma, including point-of-injury, en-route, and facility-based care.

1997 Air Force Research Laboratory

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1997 Air Force Research Laboratory

Founded on Oct. 31, 1997, the Air Force Research Laboratory leads the discovery, development, and delivery of warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyber forces. One of the centers is the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, an internationally renowned center for aerospace medical learning, consultation, aerospace medical investigations, and aircrew health assessments. The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory trains approximately 6,000 students each year.

1997 The Electronic Health Record

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1997 Electronic Health Record

The end of the Gulf War resulted in a recognition an electronic health record was needed. President Bill Clinton directed establishment of a new Force Health Protection program. Under his plan, every soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine would have a comprehensive, lifelong medical record.

1998 TRICARE Management Activity Chartered

DHA 10 Yr Ann 1998 TRICARE Management Activity Chartered

Defense Secretary William Cohen started reforms to separate elements of the DOD Health Affairs agency's operations and from policy making. Health Affairs policy makers remained housed in the Pentagon, while TRICARE operations and support relocated to Washington, D.C., and Aurora, Colorado. The TRICARE Support Office's priorities included force medical protection, Medicare subvention, which provided alternatives for delivering accessible and quality care to certain veterans, and preventive medicine and wellness issues. The agency also facilitated the consolidation of TRICARE regional lead agents and infrastructure reductions.

2001 DOD HIV/AIDS Prevention Program

DHA 10 Yr Ann 2001 DOD HIV/AIDS Program

DHAPP was established in 2001 to help contain the global health threat posed by the HIV pandemic. DHAPP’s mission was, and still is, to assist foreign militaries in developing HIV control programs in support of global health security and DOD security cooperation efforts.

2003 12 TRICARE Regions Consolidated to 3

DHA 1o Year Ann 2003 DOD Consolidates 12 TRICARE Regions into 3

In 2003, TRICARE’s original 12 stateside regions were consolidated to three regions: TRICARE West, TRICARE North, and TRICARE South.

2004 AHLTA Deployed Worldwide

DHA 10 Yr Ann 2004 AHLTA Deployed Worldwide

In 2004, the Composite Health Care System II deployed worldwide and was rebranded to the AHLTA. The software improvements focused on upgrading operational availability, speed, provider capabilities, and interoperability between DOD and VA.

2004 Joint Theater Trauma Registry Established

DHA 10 Yr Ann Joint Theater Trauma Rgstry Established

In 2004, the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Health Affairs, directed the military medical departments to establish a single trauma registry. The mandate was to collect and aggregate combat casualty care epidemiology, treatments, and outcomes essential to understanding the challenges, successes, and failures the military medical corps faced in providing effective and timely care for combat casualties. The Joint Trauma System was established as the agency to build and manage the Joint Trauma Registry.

2007 Defense Centers of Excellence

DHA 10 Yr Ann DCoE for Psychiatric Health and TBI

The DOD/VA Wounded, Ill, and Injured Senior Oversight Committee, chaired by the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, officially established the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury in a memorandum dated Aug. 31, 2007. DCoE began operating in November 2007, and was charged with evaluating, integrating, and promoting psychological health and TBI practices and policies across the services. DCoE brought together existing centers with expertise in psychological health and TBI-related issues to form a collaborative and integrated framework. The original network of centers included the Center for Deployment Psychology, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, and Deployment Health Clinical Center. DCoE was involved in the founding of two new centers: National Intrepid Center of Excellence and National Center for Telehealth and Technology.

2007 Joint Task Force National Capital Region

DHA 10 Yr Ann 2007 Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical

Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England established the Joint Task Force National Capital Region, Medical, on Sept. 14, 2007. The JTF was established to oversee the consolidation and realignment of military health care within the joint operating area in accordance with 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendations.

2008 Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center

DHA 10 Yr Ann 2008 Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center

In February 2008, the Deputy Secretary of Defense established the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center to the be central epidemiologic health resource for the U.S. military.

2010 The National Intrepid Center of Excellence

DHA 10 Yr Ann The National Intrepid Center of Excellence

The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act directed DOD to establish a comprehensive plan for programs to prevent, diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate service members with TBI, PTSD, and other mental health conditions. DOD accepted an offer from the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund to build and outfit the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, which would become the prototype for 10 other centers at military hospitals and clinics across the U.S. The NICoE opened its doors on June 24, 2010, as a part of DCoE. Later, they would become a directorate of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Since 2010, NICoE has grown to host 13 partner sites, with the interdisciplinary care model as the foundation.

2013 Enhanced Multi-Service Markets

DHA 10 Yr Ann Enhanced Multi Service Markets

On March 11, 2013, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum outlining the implementation of MHS governance reform as it was outlined in section 731 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. While the centerpiece for this reform was the establishment of the Defense Health Agency as a Combat Support Agency, this memorandum also established the multi-service market areas. MSMs were geographic areas where at least two military medical hospitals or clinics from different military service branches had overlapping service areas.

2013 JTS Designated as COE

DHA 10 Yr Ann Joint Trauma System Recognized as a DCoE

In June 2013, the Joint Trauma System was recognized by the Oversight Board of the Defense Centers of Excellence as a Defense Center of Excellence. The Center of Excellence recognition is awarded to organizations which create value by achieving improvement in outcomes through clinical, educational and research activities.

2013 Defense Health Agency Established

DHA 10 Yr Ann 2013 Defense Health Agency Established

On Oct. 1, 2013, DOD established the Defense Health Agency as a one of eight Combat Support Agencies supporting joint operating forces and Combatant Commands engaged in military operations and to direct the execution of 10 joint shared services, including the TRICARE health program; pharmacy operations; health information technology; medical logistics; facility management; research and development; education and training; public health; budget and resource management; and contracting.

2013 1st DHA Director

DHA 10 Yr Ann Robb Named First DHA Director

Prior to joining DHA, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Doug Robb spent 20 years practicing aerospace medicine in a range of positions, including as the chief flight surgeon of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe, command surgeon of the U.S. Central Command, command surgeon of the Air Mobility Command, and joint staff surgeon. In 2013, Robb was nominated to serve as DHA’s director. Congress approved his nomination and DHA was chartered and appointed as a combat support agency.

2014 DHA’s Public Health Division

DHA 10 Year Ann 2014 DHA Public Health Division

On Sept. 30, 2014, the DHA Public Health Division reached initial operating capability after assuming authorities over three former Army executive agencies, DOD Veterinary Services, the Military Vaccine Healthcare Network (now the DHA Immunization Healthcare Division) and the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (now the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division), as public health product lines.

2015 NMHM Joins DHA

DHA 10 Year Ann 2015 National Museum of Health Medicine Joins DHA

On Aug. 23, 2015, the National Museum of Health and Medicine—founded in 1862 as the Army Medical Museum—joined DHA. NMHM became an element of DHA's Research, Development, and Acquisitions directorate, as it was known at the time. The museum spans five collections consisting of about 25 million artifacts, including 5,000 skeletal specimens, 8,000 preserved organs, 12,000 items of medical equipment, an archive of historic medical documents, and collections related to neuroanatomy and developmental anatomy. Among the museum's most recognized artifacts is the bullet that killed President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

2015 AFHSC Joins DHA

DHA 10 Year Ann 2015 AFHSC Joins DHA

In August 2015, the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center joined DHA and was renamed the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch under DHA’s Public Health Division. AFHSB assumed responsibility of the health service capabilities of the Service Public Health Hubs, which included personnel from the U.S. Army Public Health Command, U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine and the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center. Today, the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division is the central epidemiologic health resource for the U.S. military.

2015 AFMES Joins DHA

DHA 10 Year Ann 2015 AFMES Joins DHA

The Armed Forces Medical Examiner System has a history dating back to the 1950s and early 1960s, which evolved by the expansion of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology's field of study that included a forensic pathology registry in 1958. In 1959, the Military Environmental Pathology Division was established, consisting of forensic pathology, aviation medicine and toxicology, and in 1962, the first forensic pathology fellowship in the United States was established. Over the years, AFMES transitioned from the AFIP to the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command in the fall of 2011 with its move to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware; AFMES was formally transferred from MRMC to the Defense Health Agency in a flag-casing ceremony of the AFMES colors on Aug. 31, 2015.

2015 DHA Achieves Full Operational Capability

DHA 10 Year Ann 2015 DHA Achieves Full Operational Capability

On Oct. 1, 2015, DHA achieved full operational capability, two years after the agency was first established.

2015 DHA Launches MHS GENESIS

DHA 10 Year Ann 2015 DHA Launches New ECR: MHS GENESIS

The Defense Department awarded the health IT companies Cerner (now known as Oracle Cerner), Leidos, Henry Schein, and Accenture contract to the electronic health record contract and ECR were rebranded as GENESIS. The deployment of MHS GENESIS began in the Pacific Northwest followed by 25 unique waves encompassing military hospitals and clinics in the United States. In September 2023, MHS GENESIS began to deploy to military hospitals and clinics in the European and Indo-Pacific regions.

2015 2nd DHA Director

DHA 10 Year Ann 2015 Bono Named 2nd DHA Director

On Nov. 2, 2015, U.S. Navy Vice Adm. (Dr.) Raquel Bono was named DHA's second director. Prior to taking the helm, Bono, a board-certified trauma surgeon, was the first female surgeon in the military to hold the rank of vice admiral. At DHA, Bono led a joint, integrated support agency that enabled all branches of the U.S. military medical services to provide medical care for combatant commands. In 2018, Bono was recognized by Modern Healthcare Magazine as one of the 50 most influential physician executives and leaders of the year.

2016 Joint Trauma System Joins DHA

DHA 10 Year Ann 2016 Joint Trauma System Joins DHA

In fall of 2016, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness recommended the DOD "establish the JTS, in its role as the DOD Trauma System as the lead agency for trauma in DOD with authority to establish and assure best-practice trauma care guidelines to the Director of the Defense Health Agency, the Services, and the Combatant Commanders."

2016 Hearing Center of Excellence Joins DHA

DHA 10 Year Ann 2016 HCE Joins DHA

On Dec. 11, 2016, the Hearing Center of Excellence became a part of DHA. The DOD established the Hearing Center of Excellence in 2009 to focus on the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of hearing loss and auditory injury. The center also partners with the VA, institutions of higher education, and other mission-minded public and private organizations to advance research and care in hearing loss.

2016-2017 PHCoE and TBICoE Join DHA

2016 2017 DCoE for Psych Health and TBI and PHCoE

In 2016, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury and its centers transitioned to DHA. The Deployment Health Clinical Center officially changed its name to the Psychological Health Center of Excellence to better align with its current mission. The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center retained its enduring mission of evaluating, integrating, and promoting TBI practices and policies across the services.

2017 National Defense Authorization Act

DHA 10 Year Ann 2017 National Defense Authorization Act

Section 702 of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and subsequent guidance provided by Congress in 2018, 2019, and 2020 directed the MHS to reorganize, redefining the roles of the military departments and DHA in the administration and management of military hospitals and clinics.

2017 MHS GENESIS Goes Live

DHA 10 Year Ann 2017 MHS GENESIS Goes Live in PNW

In 2017, the initial operating capability sites implemented the DOD’s new electronic health record, MHS GENESIS, in the Pacific Northwest. The first rollout established lessons learned for future deployments. To learn more about the evolution and milestones of MHS GENESIS, visit Genesis of MHS GENESIS.

2018 3 TRICARE Regions Consolidated to 2

DHA 10 Year Ann 2018 DHA 3 TRICARE Regions into Two

In January 2018, TRICARE regions went from three geographical locations—TRICARE West, TRICARE North, and TRICARE South—to two regions across the United States. Each region has its own TRICARE contractor: TRICARE East is managed by Humana Military, while TRICARE West is managed by Health Net Federal Services.

2018 Vision Center of Excellence Joins DHA

DHA 10 Year Ann 2018 VCE Joins the DHA

In March 2018, the Vision Center of Excellence joined the DHA family. VCE was established to address the full scope of vision care in the armed forces, including prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, research, and rehabilitation of military eye injuries and diseases. This includes visual dysfunctions related to traumatic brain injury. Today, VCE leads and advocates for programs and initiatives with the following three interrelated goals: to improve vision health, optimize readiness, and enhance quality of life for service members and veterans.

2018 ASBP & DHAPP Join DHA

DHA 10 Year Ann 2016 ASBP and HIV/AIDS Prevention Program Join DHA

On July 9, 2014, the Deputy Secretary of Defense approved realignment of the Armed Services Blood Program and DHAPP to DHA and on Aug. 20, 2017, in coordination with the Military Departments—U.S. Army Medical Command for ASBP and the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery for DHAPP—DHA assumed operational management and support for both programs. On Aug. 7, 2018, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs signed a memo officially transferring both programs to DHA.

2018 MTFs Begin to Follow DHA Policies

DHA 10 Year Ann 2018 Military Hospitals and Clinics Follow DHA Policies

On Oct. 1, 2018, all military hospitals and clinics began to follow DHA standardized policies, procedures, and clinical and business practices.

3rd DHA Director

DHA 10 Year Ann 2019 Place Named 3rd DHA Director

On Sept. 4, 2018, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place was named DHA’s third director. Place, board certified in both general surgery and colorectal surgery, was the author of over 40 peer reviewed articles and book chapters, and an assistant professor of surgery at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences.

2020 1st Military Medical Markets Aligned

DHA 10 Year Ann 2020 First Military Markets Aligned by Geographic Location

On Jan. 30, 2020, facilities in four regions within the United States became the first military medical markets aligned by geographic location. The markets included hospitals and clinics in the National Capital Region (Washington, D.C., southern Maryland, and northern Virginia), along with Jacksonville, Florida, the Mississippi coast (Biloxi, Gulfport, and Pascagoula), and Central North Carolina (Fayetteville). For more information about the transition of military hospitals and clinics and new markets to DHA, visit the Transition Timeline.

2020 DHA Migrates MTF Websites

DHA 10 Year Ann 2020 DHA Launches, Completes Migration of MTF Websites

In September 2020, DHA launched 74 new websites for U.S. Air Force hospitals and clinics. Each transitioned to the TRICARE domain to provide a standardized patient experience across MHS. On Dec. 20, 2020, DHA completed the migration of 140 military hospital and clinic websites to the TRICARE.mil domain, a key milestone in the transition of management and administration of the military hospital and clinic from the services to DHA. The three-year project modernized the web presence of military hospitals and clinics worldwide and provide a standardized experience for patients throughout MHS.

2020-2022 DHA Responds to COVID-19

DHA 10 Year Ann 2020 DHA Responds to COVID-19 Pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, DHA emerged as a global health care leader. DHA led the military medical departments in establishing a vaccination program and policies and led the charge to implement the DOD’s deliberate and phased plan to distribute and administer initial COVID-19 vaccines. While the military health landscape changed dramatically during the pandemic, DHA’s most successful actions included:

  • Establishing a real-time COVID-19 global registry to track hundreds of thousands of DOD patients and their health outcomes.
  • Collecting over 12,000 units of convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients in less than four months, exceeding the original DOD request for 8,000 - 10,000 units.
  • Conducting the COVID-19 and subvariant vaccine delivery system worldwide.
  • Expanding telehealth services to more than half of all health care patient encounters early in the pandemic.

DHA was awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Award for its work on COVID-19 from January 2020 through October 2020.

2022 Service Public Health Centers Move to DHA

DHA 10 Year Ann 20222 Service Public Health Centers Move to the DHA

In October 2022, the Army, Navy/Marine Corps, and Air Force moved public health centers and programs to the DHA. The Army Public Health Center became the Defense Centers for Public Health at Aberdeen, Maryland. The Navy/Marine Corps Public Health Center became the Defense Centers for Public Health at Portsmouth, Virginia. The Air Force public health programs that were previously at the US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine became part of the Defense Centers for Public Health at Dayton, Ohio. The newly established DHA Public Health enterprise supports the Joint Force and the DOD across the globe by combining and integrating the efforts of the service components to enable a healthy ready force that includes our military families and other beneficiaries. DHA Public Health's goal is to ensure force health protection to establish common, quality, health practices across the DOD.

2022 DHA Health Care Market Structure Complete

DHA 10 Year Ann 2022 Standup of DHA Health Care Market Complete

DHA Director Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place presided over a ceremony in Germany establishing DHA Region Europe on Oct. 25, 2022, marking the end of a four-year process to transition more than 700 military medical and dental facilities from the individual military services to DHA. For more information about the transition of military hospitals and clinics and new markets to DHA, visit the Transition Timeline

2023 4th DHA Director

DHA 10 Year Ann 2023 Crosland Named 4th DHA Director

On Jan. 3, 2023, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Telita Crosland made history, becoming DHA's fourth director in its 10-year existence and serving as the first African American DHA director. Crosland joined the U.S. Army as a Medical Corps officer in 1993. She is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

2023 Stateside Rollout of MHS GENESIS Complete

DHA 10 Year Ann 2023 Stateside Deployment of MHS GENESIS Complete

In 2023, deployment of MHS GENESIS was completed at military hospitals and clinics in the continental United States. Completed on-time and on-budget, this DOD milestone brought DHA one step closer to providing a standardized and integrated health information system for all beneficiaries. To learn more about the evolution and milestones of MHS GENESIS, visit Genesis of MHS GENESIS

2023 Overseas Deployment of MHS GENESIS Begins

DHA 10 Year Ann 2023 OCUNUS Deployment of GENESIS Begins

With deployment of MHS GENESIS complete at military hospitals and clinics in the continental United States, sights were set on transitioning overseas. On Sept. 23, 2023, the deployment wave included overseas military hospitals and clinics at bases in Europe, such as Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and the Royal Air Force Lakenheath in the United Kingdom.

2023 New DHA Defense Health Networks

DHA 10 Year Ann 2023 DHA Stands Up DHN Networks

On Oct. 1, 2023, DHA moved from 20 markets to nine Defense Health Networks supported by Defense Health Support Activities. This advancement also eliminates stand-alone military hospitals and clinics and will align every facility to a Defense Health Network. DHA is advancing the organization to streamline processes and stabilize our system, thereby enhancing employee satisfaction, building readiness, and improving our ability to provide health care anytime, anywhere - always.

You also may be interested in...

Last Updated: October 30, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery