Every year on November 11, we pause to show our admiration and appreciation to our veterans — both living and deceased — for their bravery, loyalty, and sacrifice. Many veterans walk among us, as colleagues and friends, as partners in bringing world-class health care to our nation’s veterans, service members, and their families. Thank you once again for taking the time to celebrate them and to thank them for their service. November is also Warrior Care Month, a time to contemplate the perseverance and strength of our wounded and injured service members. I met some of these amazing men and women, and the people that care for them, when I visited the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio. As you know, caring for these service members is a top priority for the DoD. The resources available for our wounded warriors goes far beyond their immediate health needs. From adaptive sports to education and employment resources, there are many ways that we support these wounded, injured, and ill service members.
Our mission requires an array of dedicated men and women at the top of their profession. This month, Dr. David Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Readiness Policy and Oversight, was named Healthcare Government Executive of the Year at the Pinnacle Awards, an annual program that highlights successful executives and businesses saving money and fostering innovation across the DC region. Dr. Smith spearheaded DOD’s change management effort to reform the Military Health System (MHS) developing 11 comprehensive initiatives resulting in sustained improvements in readiness, patient outcomes, and taxpayer savings of over $1 billion in 2019 alone. I would like to give a shout out to the MHS Communications Team for winning two awards at last month’s Public Relations Society of America virtual awards ceremony.
The 2019 Infectious Disease and Summer Safety Campaign called “Bug Week” received the Silver Anvil in the category Events and Observances, and the team also received a runner up Award of Excellence for their content marketing program. The Silver Anvil is recognized as the Oscar in the Public Relations career field. This is the second straight year the MHS has received a Silver Anvil. Congratulations to the entire communications team for this great achievement. As you know, each year on the 4th Thursday in November, Americans take a collective breath to celebrate the blessings of the last year. While 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, much occurred that reminded us how grateful we should be, especially the dedication of our nation’s health care workers and our MHS colleagues who have passionately supported the nationwide response to COVID-19. As we pause to celebrate on November 26th, I sincerely hope that your table will be filled with loved ones, whether in person or virtually, and filled with gratitude for our many blessings in this trying year.
Finally, please see attached, my November Monthly Newsletter: