First-Ever Professional Postgraduate Short Course Meeting for Military Medical Acquisition Personnel
On the Sunday leading into the Military Health System Research Symposium, the Department of Defense's premier scientific meeting at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida, the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity hosted the first Professional Postgraduate Short Course meeting for all 8X military personnel across the Army Futures Command, Army Contracting Command, Army Materiel Command, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, and the Defense Health Agency.
For Army officers currently serving in the Army Medical Department's acquisition career fields, achieving the designator of 8X is a significant professional growth milestone. The Army 8X is an additional skill identifier entered into the officer's permanent record, showing they have successfully completed acquisition skills training for an AMEDD acquisition officer.
"This was the first PPSC meeting," said Army Col. Ryan Bailey, Army 8X medical acquisition consultant. "This was an opportunity to pull folks in and ask questions, talk about what is going on in the acquisition community, and strategically in the Army and the DHA."
As Bailey is currently attending the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy in Washington, DC, he was unable to attend the PPSC seminar. However, in a prerecorded video, Bailey welcomed the attendees to this first-ever meeting, acknowledging the senior leaders and officers speaking on a multitude of topics across medical acquisition that affects the AMEDD, the joint Services community and the Army. Later in the meeting, he surprised attendees with a live video conference call during the panel discussion, and Bailey encouraged the group to meet and engage with peers at the PPSC and throughout the MHSRS week.
Dawn Rosarius, principal assistant for acquisition for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, USAMMDA's higher headquarters, opened up the meeting with a look at the past 20 years of conflicts, and the future 20 years - highlighting injuries, challenges and solutions.
"No matter what these conflicts are, the value of the acquisition workforce remains," said Rosarius. "Everything that we do – that you do to bring products to the Warfighter – is essential."
Rosarius highlighted the need for partnerships and teamwork to develop solutions to bring the right products to the Warfighter, at the right time.
"We must do our best to figure out those solutions, and they might not come from us," she said. "They might not all come from our labs - but some of them will."
"We also have to reach out to academia and industry," she continued. "What a better place to do that than [at MHSRS] this week."
One of the key topics discussed during the session was career paths, which included training opportunities.
Army Col. Gina Adam, USAMMDA commander and host of the PPSC on behalf of Bailey, invited senior leaders and officers to share the career path that brought each to their current careers, and to the meeting as PPSC presenters. This discussion quickly led to the topic of training opportunities.
The Program Management-Acquisitions Internship Program was among the training opportunities discussed by the group. Designed to recruit junior officers to the field earlier in their careers, the PM-AIP is a one-year AMEDD Long-Term Health Education training program offered at USAMMDA aimed at helping military professionals begin developing acquisition skills for future positions within the workforce.
In addition to 8X training priorities, the PPSC meeting focused on synchronizing, collaborating and communicating medical acquisition policy and procedural changes, as well as DOD and Army acquisition re-organization efforts.
Among the presenters on hand were staff members from the Army's Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Product Manager for Medical Simulation, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research representing Science & Technology management, DHA, Army Futures Command, and a panel discussion featuring Army acquisition leaders.
As a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, USAMMDA maintains a mission to develop and deliver quality medical capabilities to protect, treat and sustain the health of our nation's Service Members throughout the world.