On June 11, 1998, Dr. H. James T. Sears was named as executive director of the Department of Defense's TRICARE Management Activity (TMA).
Secretary of Defense William Cohen said, "Dr. Sears' extensive experience in the military's direct medical care system, plus his leadership and expertise in the private-sector, make him the perfect choice to lead this vital new organization."
Sears, a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral, has more than 30 years' experience in a variety of health care-related organizational settings. Most recently he served as director of Medical Management and director of Operations for the CHAMPUS/TRICARE Division of Aetna Health Plans, one of Defense's first managed-care-support contractors. He was also the Navy's deputy surgeon general, and was commander of the Naval Medical Command, in Washington, D.C.
A graduate of Wesleyan University and Albany Medical College of Union University, Sears is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and is a diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners.
The TMA is a newly created organization that oversees the Defense Department's managed health care program for uniformed Services members and their families. It is responsible for improving and enhancing the implementation of TRICARE worldwide, and for ensuring the availability and affordability of high-quality, accessible health care to DoD beneficiaries worldwide. The Secretary of Defense directed the creation of the TMA in February 1998, as part of the Defense Reform Initiative.