March 23, 2017

Defense Health Agency director to speak on military health system

Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director of the Defense Health Agency and a career Naval officer, will visit Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Tuesday, March 28.

UPDATE: Vice Adm. Bono will not be able to make it to the lecture. In her place, the speaker will be Brigadier General James H. Dienst, Director, Education and Training, Defense Health Agency, Defense Health Headquarters, Falls Church, Virginia.

Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director of the Defense Health Agency and a career Naval officer, will visit Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Tuesday, March 28.

Vice Adm. Raquel Bono

As DHA director, Bono leads a joint, integrated Combat Support Agency that enables the Army, Navy and Air Force medical services to provide a ready medical force to Combatant Commands in both peacetime and wartime. The DHA, located in Falls Church, Virginia, achieved full operating capability in 2015; Bono is the second person to lead the agency.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for Vanderbilt,” said Jesse Ehrenfeld, M.D., associate professor of Anesthesiology, Surgery and Biomedical Informatics, who is coordinating Bono’s visit and is a Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

While at VUMC, Bono will participate in a round-table discussion with Medical Center senior leadership, tour the Trauma Center and meet with residents and students.

“She is particularly interested in understanding some things about our training partnerships with military facilities such as Fort Campbell and how we provide care for TRICARE beneficiaries who are referred to us on both the adult side and pediatric side,” Ehrenfeld said. TRICARE is the program that provides civilian health benefits for U.S Armed Forces military personnel, military retirees and their dependents.

Bono will meet with students who are either in the military or have committed to military service following graduation.

“We have a number of nursing and medical students who are scholarship recipients or otherwise have a service obligation and will, upon their completion of training at Vanderbilt, become providers in the military health system. She’s interested in how that’s working as she thinks about her vision for the military health system,” Ehrenfeld said. “For these students to have face time with Admiral Bono during the Q & A session will be an extraordinary experience for them.”

Bono will present “The Military Health System: A Vision for Health” at 4 p.m. in 214 Light Hall. The lecture is open to the public.

Bono obtained her baccalaureate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and attended medical school at Texas Tech University. She completed a surgical internship and a General Surgery residency at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, and a Trauma and Critical Care fellowship at the Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine in Norfolk.

From July 2013 to September 2013, she served as acting commander Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical. From September 2013 to October 2015, she served as director, National Capital Region Medical Directorate of the Defense Health Agency, and as the 11th Chief, Navy Medical Corps prior to being named director of the DHA.