Welcome Message from the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs

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Military Health System Colleagues,

My name is Terry Adirim and I am the new Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. It is an honor and a privilege to be back among you. Many of you know me from my time as the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and as a Deputy Assistant Secretary. I’m honored to be back and see so many familiar faces. For those who may not know me, I am a physician and a scientist, data driven but people focused. I pledge to bring that ethos to my work as a Military Health System leader.

I returned to Health Affairs because my time here was the best job I ever had. We are a mission driven organization that cannot fail because we serve our Nation’s service members, their loved ones, and the entire DoD family.

The Department is a vital force in supporting the national COVID-19 response and the roll out of the vaccine. I commend your steadfast approach to our response to COVID-19 and your dedication to our service members and their families. Continuing these efforts and ensuring that our troops, their families, and DoD personnel are vaccinated rapidly so we can defeat COVID-19, is my top priority. Thanks to your dedication, the end is within sight.

You are also shepherding and managing a tremendous healthcare transformation. We are making significant progress in this massive undertaking. The end result will be better healthcare for our beneficiaries and improved training opportunities for our uniformed medical providers. As we continue this transformation, I will do my best to smooth the way.

Finally, what drew me back to Health Affairs was its supportive, inclusive, and result driven culture that prioritizes service member and family readiness. Under my leadership, this organization will continue to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, because that’s the kind of culture that yields the best results for our service members, their families, and retirees.

I look forward to reengaging with many of you and meeting new faces. I am here to support you, so please reach out to me whenever you need me.


Terry Adirim, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.
Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense
for Health Affairs
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense – Health Affairs
Department of Defense

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