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Military Health System Conference Returns: ‘It’s Time for a Family Reunion’

Image of Military Health System Conference 2023 logo. After a decade-long hiatus, the Military Health System Conference is returning and being held in Portland, Oregon, April 8-12, with the theme, “Future of Military Medicine: Integrated, Innovative, Ready.”

After a decade-long hiatus, the Military Health System Conference is returning and being held in Portland, Oregon, April 8-12, with the theme, “Future of Military Medicine: Integrated, Innovative, Ready.”

Sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, the conference enables health care and industry partner engagement in delivering patient-centered care.

The conference will provide military health care staff a unique opportunity for sharing knowledge, innovative ideas, lessons learned, and exciting new developments within the MHS.

“It’s been far too long since we have come together as an enterprise to spend focused time together, and it’s time for a family reunion,” said Dr. Lester Martinez-Lopez, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.

The conference will be a collaborative environment, where senior leadership can elaborate on the MHS Strategy via expanded, subject matter expert-driven discussions. Sessions will cover consistent direction, guidance, education, training, and professional development on topics relevant to the full range of attendees. The meeting will be a forum for military hospital and clinic directors and leaders to communicate directly with policymakers and senior leaders in support of a unified mission.

“The MHS Conference will ensure efficient and robust interaction across the DOD and MHS medical leadership communities to reinforce current and future-state priorities, communicate lessons learned, and to provide a forum for a collaborative and holistic approach to unified innovation,” said Hon. Ashish Vazirani, acting undersecretary of defense, personnel and readiness. “These purposes are all in support of the advancement of health operations and shared services for military members and beneficiaries.”

The conference will offer sessions on artificial intelligence, the TRICARE Health Plan, President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot, advancements in digital capabilities, provider burnout, hiring initiatives, and many other important areas of military health.

“We have gathered an exciting lineup of plenary speakers, panels, and breakout sessions that I hope our attendees will find interesting and inspiring,” said Martinez.

Speakers throughout the week include senior leaders from across the MHS, and the DOD, including Vazirani and Martinez; U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Telita Crosland, director of the Defense Health Agency; Dr. Jonathan Woodson, president of the Uniformed Services University; and Dr. Shereef Elnahal, under-secretary for health for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The services surgeons general in attendance will be; U.S. Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Mary Izaguirre; U.S. Air Force Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Robert Miller; U.S. Navy Surgeon General Rear Adm. Darin Via; and U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. John Andrus.

The departments of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force will open the week on Monday, April 8 with a service day for select service members. The U.S. Armed Services Blood Program will sponsor a blood drive during the conference on April 9-11.

Martinez views the conference as key to collaboration for warfighter health.

“I want us all to come away from this week with a renewed sense of identity as a cohesive system, not a group of separate parts,” he said. “Together, we will celebrate our accomplishments and candidly discuss our challenges and how we’re meeting them.”

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Last Updated: April 08, 2024
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