Lakeita Parmes, supervisor of the distro team of the Veterans Inquiry Branch, responds to a customer request at her workstation in the Maude Complex.

Lakeita Parmes, supervisor of the distro team of the Veterans Inquiry Branch, responds to a customer request at her workstation in the Maude Complex. The VIB program exists to support veterans by providing administrative processing and personnel transactions. VIB has an essential role within HRC to take care of Soldiers after they’ve completed their time in service. (Fonda Bock, U.S. Army)

The Defense Health Agency is launching the “DHA Academy” on April 1, 2024, to offer training resources in a centralized online location for staff members throughout the agency to access training and professional development opportunities.

The DHA Academy was established as an initiative in support the DHA strategic plan.

Dr. Lolita O’Donnell, chief for the Leadership, Education, Analysis, Development, Sustainment Division of the DHA Education and Training Directorate, said the lack of access to a single activity that consolidates and standardizes all professional development offerings was the driving force behind the academy’s stand-up.

“Developing our staff to perform their work at the best of their abilities is one of the goals of this project. We hope the DHA Academy will inspire them today, sustain them as they continue to serve, and cultivate their growth as DHA’s future leaders,” O’Donnell said.

Scott Warnberg, who manages the DHA Joint Medical Executive Skills Institute, said DHA training opportunities are currently available in a decentralized fashion, and it can take employees significant time and effort to locate training and find what is available to them. The DHA Academy aims to improve this process.

“The goal of the DHA Academy is to enhance staff knowledge, skills, and abilities through personalized, dynamic learning opportunities—thereby enabling the delivery of cutting-edge health care to our nation’s military service components, combatant commands, and beneficiaries,” said O’Donnell.

How Will the DHA Academy Work?

The DHA Academy directly supports DHA’s mission and vision of “improving health and building readiness” by ensuring our total workforce has access to the latest training resources.

The training resource will serve as a program and catalog that includes a consolidation of staff development educational and training offerings available at one online location.

“The DHA Academy will provide access to over 300 training opportunities available to agency personnel,” said Warnberg. “Some of the many categories included within the course catalog are human resources, patient administration, risk management, leadership, resilience, and process improvement.”

Courses and trainings will be available on the academy’s website on the Joint Knowledge Onlinegoes to JKO platform.

DHA Academy Aims to Positively Impact Motivation, Performance

Ensuring access to quality and effective training resources for DHA personnel will benefit the workforce and the communities they serve.

“The DHA Academy will enhance access to staff development and educational opportunities,” said O’Donnell. “The academy will provide staff the road map to training opportunities that will improve their work performance, which will have a positive impact on their departments and those they serve.”

She added, “Educated staff are more dedicated to their work, motivated to excel, and improve their overall performance, which may also benefit retention efforts.”

Providing access to the latest training and materials and filling in gaps where identified will ensure that DHA Academy remains responsive to future needs.

“As the DHA Academy matures, gaps in the curriculum will be identified and filled to promote a holistic learning and developmental program,” said O’Donnell. “It will offer programs and curricula based on job series for staff who want to advance in their current career field and enhance their skillset.”

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