WASHINGTON — Karen Guice assumed duties last month as the DoD acting assistant secretary for health affairs with the retirement of Jonathan Woodson, MD, who stepped down at the end of April.
Woodson, who had been in the job since December 2010, is returning to Boston University School of Medicine, where he will help establish a health systems innovation and policy institute, according to DoD.
Prior to his DoD appointment, Woodson served as associate dean for diversity and multicultural affairs and professor of surgery at the Boston University School of Medicine, and senior attending vascular surgeon at Boston Medical Center.
Woodson’s tenure was defined by significant overhauls to the MHS. He served as the final director of TRICARE Management Activity, which was replaced by the Defense Health Agency in October 2013, after a task force identified it as the best governance model for the MHS. Under the DHA, DoD has been integrating several of the common tasks performed by the Army, Navy and Air Force medical departments into “shared services.”
Woodson told lawmakers earlier this year that DHA saved more than $700 million in its first two years and cited examples of the benefits of shared serves, such as health IT.
“A lot of money goes into health IT, bringing it into an enterprise focus, you can reduce the redundancy. … I don’t think we could field a new electronic health record without an enterprise focus on health IT,” he said at the time.
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