eaders of the Military Health System met with the newly confirmed U.S. Surgeon General at the Pentagon on March 11. Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, and Air Force Lt. Gen. Douglas Robb, director of the Defense Health Agency, discussed military health and the MHS’ critical role in support of the National Health Strategy in their first meeting with Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy since his confirmation by the U.S. Senate in December 2014.
“Our partnership with the Public Health Service has been instrumental in helping the Department and the Military Health System achieve its mission,” said Woodson. “Public Health Service officers have worked side-by-side with us in our military hospitals and clinics, in our laboratories, in support of our global health mission, and as part of the medical team serving all of our beneficiaries. One of the most prominent areas where we have collaborated is on implementation of health prevention and wellness initiatives. I look forward to continuing to work in close partnership with Admiral Murthy to promote health and healthy behaviors for our force and all of our beneficiaries.”
The meeting gave the leaders the important opportunity to discuss the Military Health System as a strategic asset in support of national security objectives, and the important role DoD plays in supporting the National Health Strategy, especially in areas such as reducing obesity and tobacco use.
“Our military medical personnel are all members of the larger federal team focused on improving the health and wellness of the entire country,” said Robb. “I am privileged to have Public Health Service officers working with me in the Defense Health Agency on a number of critical health matters. We’re one team engaged in one fight. It was a great opportunity to show Admiral Murthy everything we have to offer, and to express our appreciation for the talented people the Public Health Service shares with us.”