AHA Honors Two Federal Health Care Leaders

WASHINGTON (April 9, 2019) – The American Hospital Association (AHA) today presented two federal hospital leaders with awards recognizing their outstanding service to the health care field. These awards recognize uniformed and non-uniformed federal health care leaders who have distinguished themselves through singularly significant or innovative achievements and leadership that have contributed substantially to the mission of the federal health system. The awardees were honored at the AHA’s 2019 Annual Meeting.


“Our federal health systems make significant contributions to our field and are advancing care to better serve patients’ needs, in both the federal and private sector,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “It’s our honor to recognize CAPT Valerie Riege and Lt. Col. DeWayne Lazenby for their demonstrated leadership, continued resilience and devoted service to ensure access to care. The women and men of our federal health system are a valuable resource to our nation.”  


Award for Excellence – CAPT Valerie Riege, chief innovation and integration officer, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED), United States Navy, Falls Church, Va.


CAPT Valerie Riege joined the BUMED team in 2017 and her achievements reflect her demonstrated leadership and impact on military health. As the Navy’s Virtual Health Chair, CAPT Riege designed, created and established a formal program management office, collected measurable data, identified operational targets, hired staff, and implemented a Navy Strategic Plan. The execution of her robust strategy led to sustained standardized virtual health capabilities throughout Navy Medicine.


Under CAPT Riege’s leadership, the Community Corpsmen in the Community program treated 2,111 active duty service members, and virtual visits increased by 163 percent (approximately 780,000 virtual visits and telephone consultations). CAPT Riege also led the effort to designate the Navy’s first virtual medical center (Naval Medical Center San Diego), which, as of 2018, resulted in more than 560 patients receiving 1,200 days of critical care coverage using tele-critical care, with positive outcomes. In addition, she successfully led efforts to gain funding ($327 million for fiscal year 2019-2023) to standardize Defense Health Agency virtual health projects and established seven strategic working groups to unify agency efforts. CAPT Riege’s foresight, innovative problem solving, and dedication has led to the evolution of medical treatment within the Army, Navy, Air Force, Defense Health Agency and Veterans Affairs.


Special Achievement Award – Lt. Col. DeWayne Lazenby, M.D., deputy commander and chief of medical staff, United States Air Force 92d Medical Group, Spokane, Wash.


Lt. Col. Lazenby joined the 92d Medical Group in 2017, where he leads a team of 300 members in providing primary care and dental services. Lt. Col. Lazenby led the Department of Defense’s  (DoD) first electronic health record (EHR) implementation site—an $11 billion project, which established standardized multiagency work and coordinated military health care delivery for more than 300 military treatment facilities and 9.4 million beneficiaries globally. Since EHR implementation, Primary Care Medical Home, the DoD’s lead pilot site, has achieved time savings of 7 minutes per encounter time resulting in a 350 percent increase in access to care. In addition, under Lt. Col. Lazenby’s leadership, focus on the Wing’s readiness rate enabled providers to realize a 138 percent increase in time spent in patient care—ultimately increasing the Wing’s overall readiness rating to top performance levels. Lt. Col. Lazenby has demonstrated leadership and a passion for ensuring access to care.





Arika Trim, (202) 626-2319 atrim@aha.org

Marie Johnson, (202) 626-2351 mjohnson@aha.org


About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the website at www.aha.org.

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