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U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity

Women's History Month: Medical developer works to bridge the gap during transition, carries legacy of women leaders

Aimee Dacanay
Hailing from a Navy family, Aimee Dacanay has vast experience as a nurse and as a medical developer. She carries a wide smile and engaging humor wherever she goes, helping to guide the Medical Field Systems team through the uncharted waters of transition from the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity to Program Executive Office Soldier. Dacanay proudly carries the legacy of women leaders who have walked the halls of USAMMDA at Fort Detrick, Md. Despite the workload that transformation brings, she remains focused on the mission of protecting Warfighters: "…ensuring what we provide is safe, suitable, and effective, and providing what Warfighters need to keep us all safe [is what] drives me each day." (U.S. Army Photo by Cameron E. Parks)

Women have a rich history in the U.S. military, since before the nation's founding. During Women's History Month, we are highlighting women across the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA) and the contributions they make each day to the Army's medical development and sustainment missions.

During times of transformation in the military, there are connecting links between the past and the future. The people who plan, supervise, and implement change are the ones who ensure knowledge is transferred, legacies carried, and foundational success is passed from one generation to the next while ensuring there is no lapse in mission focus.

Luckily, for the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity and its Medical Field Systems program, Aimee Dacanay is here. The MFS team at Fort Detrick, Maryland, is currently undergoing a transition process from USAMMDA to Program Executive Office Soldier (PEO Soldier). The yearslong transfer will conclude later this year, while the rest of USAMMDA's Project Management Offices will align under the Defense Health Agency. In the midst of transformation, team members like Dacanay continue to focus on the mission: developing technologies, systems, and treatments to meet the needs of America's Warfighters.

"I love being a part of the advanced development and modernization process of medical devices," said Dacanay, who was born at Maryland's Patuxent River Naval Base and moved frequently as a child with her Navy father. "My goal is to ensure the Warfighters have what they need to be successful, heal, and complete their missions. I am incredibly humbled by the work we do each day and by the mission of supporting the Warfighter."

Dacanay, who earned her nursing degree from Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University) in 2003, joined USAMMDA in 2020 as a contractor. She assumed her current role as Army civilian product manager for the Treatment and Evacuation portfolio with MFS in 2021. Despite the ever-present state of change, Dacanay credits the women leaders who have built the legacy she now carries as a member of the MFS team.

"I am constantly inspired by the women who have stepped through the halls at USAMMDA: Warfighters, project managers, senior leaders," said Dacanay. "Knowing they were here, seeing their impact on the Warfighter, and trying to continue their legacy, is what shapes my approach."

Medical development is complex, with stakeholders across the U.S. Army, Department of Defense, and development industry, all with varying interests. Modernizing the medical technology, treatments, devices, and capabilities that joint force medical providers will rely on during future conflicts is a weighty responsibility. Dacanay sees the value of diversity in helping USAMMDA and MFS rise to the challenge.

"We all come from different cultures, backgrounds, experiences, and generations. Each and every one of us provides a perspective that we can use to better the lives of the Warfighter," said Dacanay. "Knowing that I can be a part of this mission, ensuring what we provide is safe, suitable, and effective, and providing what Warfighters need to keep us all safe [is what] drives me each day."

Last Modified Date: 03/20/2024