During his confirmation hearing earlier this week, President Barack Obama’s nominee as assistant secretary of defense for health affairs vowed to strengthen the medical system for members of the military and their families.
Dr. Jonathan Woodson, an Army Reserve brigadier general, told the Senate Armed Services Committee of his plans to cooperate with other Defense Department components, federal agencies and civilian organizations to advance military health, its mission and benefits to its beneficiaries, and implement strong systems to provide quality military healthcare.
Woodson’s resume includes deployments to Saudi Arabia, Kosovo and the U.S. Central Command area of operations. Through these experiences, he pledged to focus on care for wounded soldiers.
“The highlight of my career as a surgeon has been caring for the wounded warrior on the battlefield,” he said. “These talented young men and women who have been asked to shoulder the responsibilities of defending this nation and have suffered the consequences of nearly a decade of war deserve the best medical care, both at home and abroad.”
Woodson explained he would use electronic health records to enhance quality care and streamline the military medical record system.
If confirmed, he would serve as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ top medical adviser. He would establish new models in the delivery of quality care – which he defined as “the right care, at the right time, in the right amount, at the right cost that is safe and patient-centered.”
Woodson currently serves as associate dean for diversity and multicultural affairs and associate professor of surgery at the Boston University School of Medicine. He is also the senior attending vascular surgeon at the Boston Medical Center.