So Long TRICARE Health Management Activity, Hello Defense Health Agency

Douglas Robb tapped to head new agency.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel tapped Air Force Maj. Gen. Douglas Robb for promotion today to the rank of lieutenant general and to serve as director of the new Defense Health Agency.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter directed the establishment of the new agency – and the dissolution of the TRICARE Management Activity -- in a March 2, 2012 memo. But the Defense Health Agency is not supposed to go into operation until this October, according to a report from Dr. Jonathan Woodson, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.

I guess the nomination of Robb today will give him the time to go through the confirmation process between now and October. Board certified in aerospace medicine, Robb currently serves as Joint Staff Surgeon for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Based on the Carter memo, Robb will manage an impressive portfolio for the Military Heath System, including health information technology, pharmacy programs, acquisition, budgets and resource management.

I met Robb in 2006 when he was the top doc at the U.S. Central command with the rank of colonel and was impressed.