FORT DETRICK, Md. -- U.S. Army Medical Logistics Command held its first Healthcare Technology Management workshop May 19.
The event coincided with Healthcare Technology Management, or HTM, Week and gave leaders a chance to recognize military professionals in the field.
“In the civilian sector, HTM professionals are engineers and technicians who work in hospitals, helping to purchase, repair and maintain medical devices and equipment,” AMLC Commander Brig. Gen. Michael Lalor said. “In the military, HTM professionals do the same thing, but often in austere environments under challenging circumstances.”
The military’s HTM workforce consists of warrant officers, enlisted Soldiers and civilian employees committed to the care of the nation’s warfighters through planning, procurement and sustainment of medical devices.
A team of dedicated professionals, the HTM community works collectively to deliver effective, efficient health care support, contributing to overall readiness throughout the Department of Defense.
Speakers from Army and DOD partners provided updates on the state of the HTM community, systems integration, and previously discussed challenges and progress toward closing those gaps.
“Medical technology is becoming more and more complex every day, and we need to keep up with the pace of that change,” Lalor said, also emphasizing that people remain “our No. 1 resource.”
The past year, especially in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, “has shined a bright light” on all health care professionals, including the military’s medical logistics and sustainment communities, he added.
“We know you put in long hours, worked many problems and adapted to changing mission requirements to support patients around the globe,” Lalor said. “I know there are people alive today because of the efforts you put in around the clock, seven days a week, to complete the mission.”
Other sessions during the workshop focused on COVID-19 response efforts to date, diversity within the HTM community and ways AMLC and partner agencies continue to support global efforts.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Deanna Hughes, one of five senior leaders to take part in a panel discussion to wrap up the event, said it was an honor to be asked to participate in the daylong workshop.
“This really is the greatest team of professionals for the health care technology field,” she said. “We produce in the military the most HTM professionals around the globe. It’s important for us to celebrate what we do for patient safety, patient care and saving lives.”
Hughes said one of the biggest takeaways from the workshop was the integration between different Army commands and DOD partners will be crucial to ensuring continuity of care and maintain readiness in preparation for future large-scale combat operations.
“This week has really showed me that we really are one team and we are fully integrated with AMLC,” Hughes said, stressing the importance of making sure “the left hand is talking to the right.”
“That total integration piece is going to be critical to being able to fight and win in a [large-scale combat operation] environment in the future,” she added.