New Hawaii Market strengthens DoD’s medical readiness, promises better patient experience

By Whitney TrimbleJuly 28, 2021

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

The Defense Health Agency (DHA) formally established the Hawaii Market, a critical milestone in once-in-a-generation Military Health System reform efforts to improve the readiness of the force and the health care service provided to warfighters, retirees and military families, on July 13, 2021.

The Hawaii Market will enable greater collaboration across military hospitals and clinics in the Hawaii region to strengthen the medical readiness of service members and enable these facilities to deliver better care and a better patient experience.

“I’m excited to hit the ground running as Hawaii Market’s director,” said Army Col. Martin Doperak, commander of Tripler Army Medical Center and director of the Hawaii Market.

“This change benefits everyone in our market," Doperak said. "Our patients can now access a larger network of providers and specialists; our medical professionals have greater opportunities to maintain their skills; and our facilities can more easily share resources.

"In other words, I know our system as a whole will be healthier and more prepared due to this transition,” Doperak added.

The Hawaii Market serves 150,000 beneficiaries, and includes Tripler Army Medical Center, Desmond T. Doss Health Clinic, Naval Health Clinics Hawaii, and the 15th Medical Group.

The Military Health System is transitioning administration and management of all military hospitals and clinics from the military departments to the DHA. To do so effectively, the DHA chose a “market approach,” based on the six enhanced Multi-Service Markets already in place.

Markets are groups of hospitals and clinics in one geographic area working together with their TRICARE partners, Veterans Affairs hospitals, other federal health care organizations, private sector teaching hospitals and medical universities, and other health care partners. They operate as a system, sharing patients, staff, budget, and other functions to improve readiness and the delivery and coordination of health services.

These changes are designed to increase overall access to care for beneficiaries; improve coordination, standardization, and best practices across the Military Health System; and provide more opportunities for military medical providers to get the training they need to meet readiness goals.

“This is why we standardize and integrate our health services – to improve the care we provide, and to be prepared to provide it in combat,” said Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, DHA director. “As our beneficiaries seek care throughout this community, they’ll see more and more common processes, a common health record, and a simplified means to access care; whether that’s in a military or civilian setting.”