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Naval Hospital Jacksonville selected as first Navy facility to transition to Defense Health Agency

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Aug. 30, 2018) – Lt. Jacob Balesi, a flight officer with Patrol Squadron Thirty (VP-30), and his family visit Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s pediatrics clinic. On Oct. 1, NH Jacksonville, including its five branch health clinics in Florida and Georgia, will be the first Navy medical treatment facility to transition to the Defense Health Agency and establish a Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel, Naval Hospital Jacksonville/Released).

Story by Jeanne Casey
Naval Hospital Jacksonville

Naval Hospital Jacksonville, including its five branch health clinics in Florida and Georgia, will be the first Navy military medical treatment facility (MTF) to transition to the Defense Health Agency (DHA) on Oct. 1, 2018.

The change in administration will be transparent to patients — service members, family members, and retirees — with little or no immediate effect on their experience of care. For patients, their facility, physicians, and coverage will all remain the same. They will continue to receive the same exceptional level of care and service.

“Naval Hospital Jacksonville is honored to be selected as the first Navy facility to make this transition,” said Naval Hospital Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Matthew Case. “It’s a testament to our track record as an innovator.”

To achieve Congress’s requirements in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the DHA will assume administration and management of all MTFs. This transition will increase efficiency by eliminating duplication, and enhancing standardization and consistency across the military services.

Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s staff of over 2,300 active duty, civilians, and contractors across six locations stands ready to make this a seamless transition for patients. Where and how patients access care will not change, and they will continue to have full access to care and convenience care options. All phone numbers will remain the same. Additionally, the facilities’ names will not change, and will maintain their Navy affiliation.

Over time, these reforms will drive better integration and standardization of care across all MTFs, which means patients should have a consistent, high-quality health care experience, no matter where they are.

While DHA will be responsible for health care delivery and business operations, Navy Medicine will retain principal responsibility for operational readiness of the medical force.

To complement Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s transition, Navy Medicine is establishing a co-located Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC). Navy Medicine, through the NMRTC, retains command and control of the uniformed medical force, and maintains responsibility and authority for operational readiness. This includes the medical readiness of Sailors and Marines, as well as the clinical readiness of the medical force.

The Jacksonville NMRTC will improve the ability of Naval Hospital Jacksonville to meet the needs of operational commanders. Survivability of Navy and Marine Corps personnel in the future warfighting environment requires a medical force that’s ready to immediately deploy and save lives.

Case will serve as both the MTF director under the DHA, and the NMRTC commander under Navy Medicine.

“This transformation offers an opportunity to enhance what we already do. We ensure the medical readiness of active duty. We take care of patients — active duty, retired, and families. And we partner with private-sector health systems to maintain our clinicians’ advanced life-saving skills,” explained Case.

Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s priority, since its founding in 1941, is to heal the nation’s heroes and their families. The command is the Navy’s third largest medical treatment facility, comprising a hospital and five branch health clinics across Florida and Georgia. Of its patient population (163,000 active and retired sailors, soldiers, Marines, airmen, guardsmen, and their families), about 84,000 are enrolled with a primary care manager and Medical Home Port team at one of its facilities. To find out more, visit www.med.navy.mil/sites/navalhospitaljax.

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