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DHA Launches 9 Defense Health Networks to Improve Health Care Delivery to Joint Force

Image of DHA Launches 9 Defense Health Networks to Improve Health Care Delivery to Joint Force. On Oct. 1, the Defense Health Agency launched phase one of its DHA Advancement plan into motion. The DHA stood up nine new Defense Health Networks to strengthen the management of health care delivery, combat support and support to the military health enterprise worldwide. As part of reorganizing 20 military medical markets into these nine networks, all military hospitals and clinics, like the Fort Sam Houston physical therapy clinic pictured here, will be aligned to one of the new networks. The DHA currently operates nine medical centers, 36 hospitals, 525 clinics, and 138 dental facilities worldwide. (Photo by Jason W. Edwards)

“The Military Health System is changing … changing how we organize to counter threats that surround us, how we deliver care on the battlefield or at home, and how we leverage the tools and technologies of this digital age to better service our patients,” said Defense Health Agency Director U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Telita Crosland in a recent message to agency employees.

On Oct. 1, the Defense Health Agency, or DHA, launched phase one of its “Organizational Advancement” plan into motion. This plan carries out a deliberate organizational change to strengthen the management of health care delivery, combat support and support to the military health enterprise worldwide.

“Advancement will make our organization better,” said DHA Deputy Director Dr. Michael Malanoski. “It will streamline how we work with the service medical departments, strengthen the connection between headquarters and our teammates across the organization, and improves our support request response times.”

The first phase realigns the former 20 direct reporting medical markets – each a grouping of military hospitals and clinics with varying leadership rank structures – into nine Defense Health Networks (DHN). Every military hospital and clinic reports to one of these one networks, each led by a general or flag officer.

“Moving to the network structure led by general officers, most of whom are dual hatted holding both DHA and military department medical command positions, standardizes leadership to improve health care delivery around the globe,” said Malanoski. “This simultaneously enhances the ability of both DHA and the military departments to meet the requirements of distinctly separate yet mutually reliant medical missions.”

Established on Oct. 1, 2013, by congressional requirements laid out in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the DHA had an initial headquarters structure that was policy driven under the original TRICARE Management Activity. Because DHA was designated a combat support agency to provide operational support to the military departments and combatant commands to enhance military medical readiness, DHA has changed significantly during its 10-year history. The most notable change came on Oct. 1, 2019, when, following requirements set forth in the 2017 NDAA, military hospitals and clinics around the world transitioned from the three military departments to DHA.

As the medical facilities transitioned, DHA established the original market model to provide operational communication and coordination. Using lessons learned from the market model, this new advancement plan alleviates identified gaps, empowering decision making at echelon, aligning functions, and streamlining processes to improve the workplace and to improve health care provision.

“The talent and expertise of our employees, from the headquarters to the hospitals and clinics, is exceptional; this a truly dedicated and professional workforce,” Crosland said. “Advancing the market model, empowering leaders at echelon, eliminating overlap, and strengthening processes frees our talented workforce to focus on what they do best – making extraordinary experiences normal and exceptional outcomes routine as we improve health and build readiness.”

The Nine Defense Health Networks and their Leaders

A Defense Health Network is a group of military medical and dental facilities that operates as a coordinated system and improves the delivery and continuity of your health services.

Defense Health Network Atlantic 
Director: Rear Adm. Matthew Case, U.S. Navy

Defense Health Network Central 
Director: Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Harrell, U.S. Air Force

Defense Health Network Continental 
Interim Director: Rear Adm. Tracy Farrill, Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Defense Health Network East 
Director: Brig. Gen. Lance C. Raney, U.S. Army

Defense Health Network West 
Director: Brig. Gen. E. Darrin Cox, U.S. Army

Defense Health Network National Capital Region
Director: Brig. Gen. Deydre Teyhen, U.S. Army

Defense Health Network Europe 
Director: Brig. Gen. Clinton K. Murray, U.S. Army

Defense Health Network Indo-Pacific 
Director: Col. Bill A. Soliz, U.S. Army

Defense Health Network Pacific Rim
Director: Rear Adm. Guido F. Valdes, U.S. Navy

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Last Updated: October 17, 2023
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