TRiOPS: Where the Commissioned Corps and Department of Defense Meet



No system of the size and complexity of the Military Health System (MHS) is without its challenges, but fortunately, the USPHS and its cadre of mental health providers (to include, psychologists, psychiatrists, and licensed clinical social workers) have stepped up to meet the demand for increased efficiency.

Several Commissioned Corps officers currently serve as specialty program directors in many hard-to-fill locations. As directors, USPHS officers address post deployment and/or other military-related psychological health concerns, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and implement and employ a variety of behavioral health treatment programs. The programs are commonly intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), day treatment programs (DTPs), partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) and residential treatment programs (RTPs). Similar to any broad based health initiative, identifying and characterizing programs and evaluating effectiveness is essential for treatment success, especially during the implementation phase. Historically the identification of specialty care programs has posed an ongoing challenge for the DoD; however, with assistance the Tri-Service Integrator of Outpatient Programming Systems, or “TriOPS,” this initiative thus far has identified more than 20 different programs to treat a host of mental health disorders.

Formed in 2011, and led by USPHS CDR Jerry O’Toole, TriOPS identifies and characterizes the scope, nature, and effectiveness of specialty care programs throughout the MHS. Since that time, TriOPS has become the trusted source of knowledge, standards, and program effectiveness to ensure clinical care is consistent with well-defined goals. TriOPS will continue to see progress through the implementation of a collaborative network facilitating the sharing of information on program capacity, effectiveness, and best practices that could ultimately inform DoD policy.

The agreement between the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) increases behavioral health services available to military service members, their family members, and veterans. It does this, not just in the number of behavioral health providers available to the applicable population, but also in the level of effectiveness for behavioral health programming throughout MHS.

Page Last Modified on 3/24/2014