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Defense Health Agency Collaborates to Create DHA Academy, Strengthen Workforce

Image of DHA Academy Graphic. DHA Academy is a new tool for employees to access online training and professional development opportunities in a single digital platform. The DHA Academy is available via the Joint Knowledge Online platform since April 2024. (Credit: Kim Farcot/Military Health System)

The Defense Health Agency Academy was created to consolidate all staff development and education and training opportunities in one, easily searchable location from across the Military Health System.

Since the launch in April 2024, the use of the DHA Academy has been picking up quickly, and responses have been positive, according to Mark Heist, learning management system manager with DHA’s Education and Training Directorate.

“The initial launch of the DHA Academy was an exciting time for the DHA and the academy project team,” said Mike Brouillard, portfolio manager, DHA Strategy Management directorate.

The DHA Academy provides easy access to staff development and educational and training opportunities for all staff by consolidating DHA learning assets and course offerings under a single digital platform hosted on the CAC-enabled DHA Learning Management System portal. It offers professional development opportunities designed to enable personal growth and enhance job performance.

“It is serving its intended purpose in providing a centralized location for agency personnel to locate staff development and education and training opportunities,” said Scott Warnberg, Joint Medical Executive Skills Institute branch chief, DHA, whose team led the project. “We receive multiple inquiries each day through the ‘contact us’ feature, which lets us know people are using the site.”

The DHA Academy provides access to over 250 courses available to all agency personnel. Some of the categories included within the course catalog are human resources, patient administration, risk management, leadership, resilience, and process improvement, according to Warnberg.

Creation and Launch Took Division-wide Teamwork

The complexity of creating such a resource took cooperation from many personnel across multiple divisions of the DHA, each with their own very specific role.

“The DHA Academy was conceived and implemented in less than six-months thanks to a joint effort led by the DHA education and training directorate,” said Brouillard.

The combined effort included the J-1, Administration and Management; J-5, Strategy Management Division; J-6, Health Information Technology; J-7, Education and Training; and strategic communications teams.

“The DHA Academy project was truly a team effort … virtually, every DHA directorate provided input into the creation of the course catalog,” said Warnberg.

Project management support from the J-5, Strategy Management Division enabled the development of a project plan and schedule ensuring the successful execution of the project within scope, cost, and time, while delivering a quality product aligned with stakeholder expectations, said Brouillard.

The project management team worked with all teams to ensure a successful build and launch. Website development worked to ensure the look and functionality of the site.

The workforce development team provided access to their site which is currently being incorporated into the DHA Academy as well as inputs to the course catalogue. The strategic communications team provided communication support for both internal and external audiences.

The continuing education management systems team gave the development team access to host the required assets, build and populate academy categories and designed the new coding of the DHA Academy homepage.

What Future Looks Like for DHA Academy

The DHA Education and Training Directorate will continue to oversee the maintenance of the DHA Academy homepage, course catalog, and drive continued maturation of the DHA Academy.

As the DHA Academy matures, gaps in curriculums will be identified and new programs, courses, and capabilities will be added to enhance the learning experience for all DHA staff in support of the Military Health System, the military departments, and combatant commanders, according to Brouillard.

Warnberg said, “Moving forward, we will be evaluating enhancements to the website to make the user experience more tailored to the individual’s training needs.”

“All of our learning and developmental assets and courses are designed to enable personal growth and/or enhanced job performance,” said Brouillard. “As we continue to mature the DHA Academy, we ask for your inputs on courses you would like to have available, and any other suggestions you may have to further enhance the DHA Academy.”

To provide input and recommendations, go to the DHA Academy site, select the menu at the top right, and then click Contact Us, or email.

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Last Updated: June 20, 2024
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