JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- In an ongoing effort to receive health care feedback from military treatment facilities, Defense Health Agency (DHA) Director Navy Vice Adm. Raquel C. Bono visited Madigan Army Medical Center June 29 to discuss the DHA's evolving role in military medicine, MHS GENESIS, and much more with Madigan's staff.

When asked what Madigan patients can expect to see as far as changes with DHA's involvement with Army Medicine, Bono said, "I think that what the patients can expect to see is they're going to maintain a very high level of care. I don't see any need to do anything where things are working really well for our patients, but I would be interested in finding out if there are some things that DHA and Army Medicine can help move things in a way that is even more responsive because I think the experience of care that the patients have had here in the Pacific Northwest and certainly at Madigan is a very high level. I'm interested from a DHA perspective in what can I do to continue to support that, augment it and keep it moving forward."

The DHA director's message for patients was clear: "We're here for them. This is our whole reason for being here. This is their health care plan; this is their health services, and I'm very interested in continuing to support them in the fullest way possible," Bono said.

In October 2017, Madigan Army Medical Center implemented MHS GENESIS -- the new Department of Defense electronic health record. Madigan is only one of four military treatment facilities to be chosen as a pilot site for the program before it's fully deployed across all MTFs worldwide.

"For staff, I very much appreciate their leadership, their commitment and their dedication to really help with not only the MHS GENESIS deployment but also the transition as we move into the single integrated system of readiness and health," Bono said.

Medical readiness is essential to deployment and maintaining a medically ready force, she said. But how will MHS GENESIS change the care that service members receive downrange?

"I think the potential and the opportunity that we have here is to make it even more comprehensive in our care for all of our active duty members when they're in garrison and when they're deployed. Already, I'm starting to see early successes where the patient's medical record is very complete, no matter where they get their care, and I see that being extended into the battlefield or into the operational setting," Bono said.