The Senate has approved by voice vote the nomination of Thomas McCaffery as the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, Military.com reported Monday. McCaffery, who has been performing the responsibilities of primary adviser to the secretary of defense on health care on an acting basis, is expected to take on the permanent role later this month.
He concurrently serves as principal deputy assistant secretary for health affairs and is responsible for overseeing the Defense Health Program‘s $50B annual budget. Previously, McCaffery served as chief deputy director at the California Department of Health Services and held a vice president role at California State Partnerships at Blue Shield.
In his nomination hearing, McCaffery focused on providing soldiers with more access to mental health services and enhancing the psychological assessment of incoming and retiring military members. He will be the first permanent holder of the title since Jonathan Woodson, a major general in the Army Reserve, left the post in 2016.