On January 4, 2023, LTG Telita Crosland ’89, one of only six woman three-stars in the Army, became the fourth director of the Defense Health Agency (DHA), which was mandated by Congress in 2017 to directly manage all military hospitals and clinics around the world and care for approximately 9.6 million active-duty service members, military retirees and their families worldwide. According to Crosland, West Point prepared her well to lead a team successfully in such a demanding mission.
“From your first days at West Point, the way you win is by being part of a like-minded group working toward a common goal, and this is a lesson I apply to my position as DHA director,” Crosland says. “The Academy’s disciplined and thoughtful approach to leader development helped me build confidence and faith in myself, which has contributed to who I am as a senior leader today.”
She also notes that the academic program at West Point taught her not to quit when she hit the first wall, a lesson that helped her obtain her medical degree at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, selecting family medicine as her specialty. “I learned that when you are faced with not being as successful as you thought you were, you need to pick yourself up, drive on, and thrive,” she says.
Before becoming DHA director, Crosland served as the Army’s deputy surgeon general and as the deputy commander of the Army’s medical command. She holds a doctorate of medicine, a master’s of public health, and a master’s of science in national resource strategy. Crosland is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and a recipient of the Army Surgeon General’s “A” proficiency designator. Her awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Joint Service Achievement Medal.