HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force begins transition of hospitals, clinics to the Defense Health Agency

U.S Air Force Col. Beatrice Dolihite, 81st Medical Group commander, briefs Keesler Medics on the Keesler Medical Center's transition to the Defense Health Agency during a commander's call at the Welch Theater on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Oct. 1, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S Air Force Col. Beatrice Dolihite, 81st Medical Group commander, briefs Keesler Medics on the Keesler Medical Center's transition to the Defense Health Agency during a commander's call at the Welch Theater on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Oct. 1, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

KEESLER AIR FOCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) -- The 81st Medical Group officially transferred management and administration functions to the Defense Health Agency today as part of a transition that will eventually include all Defense Department health care facilities.

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal years 2017 and 2019, Section 702, titled “Reform of Administration of the Defense Health Agency and Military Medical Treatment Facilities,” mandated the transfers to the DHA.

The Military Health System is conducting the transition in phases. The 81st MDG, along with hospitals and clinics at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida; Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina; Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, in addition to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital are all part of the Phase 1 transition.

The ultimate goal of this transition for the DoD is a more integrated, efficient, and effective system of readiness and health that best supports the lethality of the force.

“From a patient perspective, most of these changes will go unnoticed,” said U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Raquel C. “Rocky” Bono, DHA director. “Patients can expect the same high quality, trusted care they have come to know at our military treatment facilities. Providers can expect to focus on practicing medicine and maintaining their preparedness in the event of crisis.”

The DHA will be responsible for all facilities budgetary matters, information technology, healthcare administration and management, administrative policy and procedure and military medical construction.

“We’re honored and excited to be a part of this transition to DHA,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Beatrice T. Dolihite, 81st MDG commander. “We look forward to the opportunity to transform military health care into a more integrated system which will lead to consistent, high-quality health care experiences for our patients.”

The Keesler Medical Center is the first hospital in the Air Force to transition. The remaining facilities currently administered by the armed services, which includes more than 50 hospitals and 300 clinics within the MHS, will be phased in under DHA on a rolling basis over the next few years.

The next phase of integration, which includes hospitals and clinics in the Eastern U.S., should be complete by Oct. 1, 2019. Subsequent phases, which include hospitals and clinics in the Western U.S., followed by overseas medical facilities, should be completed by Oct. 1, 2020, and Oct. 1, 2021, respectively.

"Our amazing 81st MDG has a reputation in the Air Force as an innovative organization, first in robotics surgery in DoD and now the only training platform for robotics in the DoD,” said U.S Air Force Col. Debra A. Lovette, 81st Training Wing commander. “This professional team was also the first to use leadless pacemakers, groundbreaking work in the medical field. Excellence in the 81 MDG will continue, making this location well suited to lead the Air Force Medical System in this historic transition to DHA. We, at Keesler Air Force Base, are committed to partnering with DHA to optimize resources and provide support to ensure a smooth transition for our installation, our personnel and our beneficiaries."

Any changes to hours of operation or medical services will be communicated to patients and other customers in various ways. Information will come in the form of news stories the official KAFB app, social media and website and future MHS web platforms. Any specific questions or concerns can be directed to the KMC at (228) 376-2550.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @HQAirUniversity: AU recently partnered with @ASU to transform the distance learning experience for @USAirForce officers and civilians g…
.@GrandSlamWing leadership discusses the mission of the Combined Air Operations Center & its ability to execute air… https://t.co/9OnqXnsXLO
Air Force Col. Robert Behnken makes history alongside @USMC Col. (ret.) Douglas Hurley with the first manned launch… https://t.co/vlwqAecwrL
June Primary Elections season is coming! Contact the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) by calling 1-800-438… https://t.co/QrstiCwhez
RT @NASA: .@AstroBehnken = joint operations commander for the mission https://t.co/QuSYOgvRKK
RT @SecAFOfficial: Watch #LaunchAmerica live from @NASAKennedy tomorrow, May 27 at 4:33 p.m. ET ⬇️The @usairforce & @SpaceForceDoD are supp…
.@SecAFOfficial visited @HollomanAFB, @CannonAFB_, & @KIRTLAND377ABW during a 3-day trip. SECAF met with Airmen wh… https://t.co/NlwcJPg8k5
#ICYMI All official fitness testing has been suspended until Oct. 1 due to #COVID19. https://t.co/F7fWjfaInN https://t.co/plINnb0kj8
RT @AirNatlGuard: The @150SOW Medical Group assisted with #COVID19 testing at the Wellesley Health Center. While there, Airmen - along with…
Senior Amn Briana Cavassa conducts a medical screening for Airmen returning from deployment @AirAviano. To combat t… https://t.co/Hr99jonJtk
RT @AFmuseum: Already two years on public display! #WWII #memphisbelle https://t.co/sxbbaLeIsa
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE: @ChiefPentSpox, @DoD_USD_PR & DOD Chief Management Officer Lisa Hershman update Pentagon reporters. https://t.co/E…
RT @DeptofDefense: WATCH LIVE: @ChiefPentSpox Jonathan Rath Hoffman, @DoD_USD_PR Hon. Matthew P. Donovan, & DOD Chief Management Officer Ho…
A F-22 Raptor from @TeamTyndall flies alongside a F-35 Lightning II from the @TeamEglin over the Emerald Coast. The… https://t.co/asgdBrptNN
A C-21A Learjet taxies to the flightline @RamsteinAirBase. @NATO’s Rapid Air Mobility initiative allowed the aircra… https://t.co/uFkj2RUbwy
Thoughts about #MemorialDay from Lt. Col. Jeremy Guenet @129RQW. @AirNatlGuard https://t.co/arwZC9MIow
RT @SecAFOfficial: #MemorialDay is a time to remember those #Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and guaranteeing ou…