Lovell FHCC Annual Report 2015 - Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center
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Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center

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Lovell FHCC Annual Report 2015

Seeing the Future of Federal Health Care

Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center
Annual Report 2015

We provide the very best, patient-centered care to our Veterans, military patients and military family members.


  • Leadership Commentary
  • Who We Are
  • By the Numbers
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Lean
  • Talent Management
  • Innovation
  • Locations

Message from the Director and the Commanding Officer and Deputy Director

Stephen R. Holt, MD, MPH, MSNRS, Director
Robert G. Buckley, MD, MPH, Captain, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy

The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center reached an important milestone in 2015, commemorating our five-year anniversary October 1. It was a day to look back on how far we had come from the same day in 2010, when the nation’s first federal health care center was established, integrating health care services of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense in North Chicago, Ill., adjacent to Naval Station Great Lakes.

That day in 2010 was filled with excitement about our promise kept – or pledge – of Readying Warriors and Caring for Heroes, a reflection of our sacred mission to care for our nation’s Veterans, and service members and their dependents, in Northeast Illinois and Southeast Wisconsin.

October 1, 2015 was no less exciting and filled with new promise as we celebrated our many accomplishments at the same time we looked to the future of federal health care, a future of continuing to provide comprehensive whole-health, patient-centered care, driven by each person we treat and what he or she wants out of life.

We believe our patients benefit the most from this integration. Nothing brings us greater pride than seeing a civilian nurse mentoring a Navy hospital corpsman, or a Navy provider caring for a World War II Veteran. As a federal health care center, we offer the very best health care services, technology and innovations available from the VA and the Department of Defense, in this case the honorable U.S. Navy.

This annual report will highlight impressive numbers, such as the tens of thousands of Navy recruits we provide health and dental care for annually, and the ever-expanding high-tech telehealth services we offer that allow our patients to be treated close to home. And some of the projects we’re most proud of are reflected on these pages, such as our ongoing process improvement efforts adhering to Lean health care business principles, our advancements in state-of-the-art dental technology, and our awards for implementing Green practices and being good stewards.

But behind the numbers and highlights remains our professional and expert work force made up of skilled civilian employees and contractors, as well as trained active duty Navy personnel, all who are dedicated to the VA values of I Care – Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence – and the Navy values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Our One Team is integrated at every level, from the “deck plate” to upper level leadership.

Our successes would not be possible without our staff, our hundreds of selfless volunteers, and the ongoing support we receive from our Veteran Services Organizations, community leaders and many area nonprofit groups. We thank you for a successful 2015, a groundbreaking five years, and we look forward to serving you in the years to come.

Who we are

“Readying Warriors, Caring for Heroes"

Lovell Federal Health Care Center is the nation’s only integrated federal health care center (FHCC) between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense. Established October 1, 2010, the facility integrated health care services in the Naval Station Great Lakes area to serve military veterans, and members of the military and military families. The FHCC unites two rich cultures rooted in a defined mission outlined in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2010: Leading the way for federal health care by providing a quality, patient-centered experience, and ensuring the highest level of operational medical readiness.

Our combined staff of active duty Navy personnel, civilian employees and contractors is united in our sacred promise kept: Readying Warriors (Navy sailors) and Caring for Heroes (veterans).
Our first strategic plan for the years 2012-2015 identified four strategic objectives: Patient-Centered Care, Lean, Talent Management and Innovation. FHCC’s accomplishments, achievements and activities in 2015 are outlined in this annual report based on these objectives.

FY15 By the Numbers

Total Operating Budget $502,782,027

FHCC Staff 2,980

Veteran Staff 26%

Non-Veteran Staff 42%

Active Duty Staff 32%

966,826 Outpatient Encounters

Physicians = 158

Nurses = 392

Recruit Patients Processed 49,521

Immunizations 275,000

Pharmacy Prescriptions 1,045,668

Telehealth Encounters 4,989

Operating Beds:
-88 hospital beds
-134 nursing home care beds
-125 Domiciliary beds
-18 Psychosocial Residential Rehabilitation

868 Volunteers

47,454 Volunteer Hours

>$ 1 Million Donations

Patient-Centered Care

Patient-Centered Care s an innovative approach to the planning, delivery and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among patients, families and providers. It puts the patient at the center of a circle of whole-life care. It asks the patient the question, “What do you want out of life?” and provides him or her with a multi-disciplinary team to help achieve those goals, whether he wants to dance at his child’s wedding or she wants to run a 5K for charity.

No Veteran Dies Alone

None of the 66 patients who passed away at Lovell FHCC in fiscal year 2015 died alone thanks to the FHCC’s “No Veteran Dies Alone” (NVDA) program.

The program is coordinated by Lovell FHCC’s hospice and palliative care staff and is manned by compassionate volunteers. Volunteers make themselves available to sit with patients during their time of need. They listen, they provide comfort, they read to patients, and they provide a human touch when family members and loved ones cannot be there.

“It’s an act of true selflessness to comfort a patient as they take their final breath,” said FHCC Director Dr. Stephen Holt.

After a patient dies, a call goes out to all Lovell FHCC staff members on duty, inviting them to participate in a Final Salute. Volunteers and active duty and civilian employees, together line the hallways and living spaces outside the patient’s room to respectively salute as he or she makes her final journey. In accordance with family wishes, facility chaplains frequently lead short ceremonies in the room or at the hearse.

The NVDA initiative and Final Salute are just two facets of the far-reaching services provided to patients during their last days. Caring and professional hospice and palliative care professionals are there for patients and their families while patients are in hospice care and long after.

Bereavement services are provided for 13 months to families of patients who die in the Intensive Care Unit and on the Acute Care floor, as well as families of Community Living Center residents who pass away. Each family receives a hospice and palliative care binder with burial and survival benefit information and resources.

In addition to individual candle-lighting ceremonies at the FHCC to remember patients, the facility holds an annual memorial ceremony to honor patients who died at the FHCC during that year. Loved ones join staff members and volunteers to remember the patients and share stories about their lives.

Navy Readiness; Taking Care of Recruits

No matter what else is going on around the Lovell Federal Health Care Center, and regardless of the season, USS Red Rover staff members can expect long lines of Navy recruits in the hallways and on the “green mat” in Building 1523, bright and early nearly every work day for medical and dental exams and immunizations.

USS Red Rover staff saw approximately 50,000 recruits in 2015. The recruits are assigned to divisions, and the medical and dental “in-processing” is done over five “P-days” – their introduction to life in the U.S. Navy.

The complete work-up during P-days includes dental exams and X-rays, hearing tests, blood tests, gynecological exams for the women, mental health screening, and optometry exams. Then, if a recruit needs glasses, USS Red Rover personnel make the glasses on site, same day.

Anywhere from 700-900 recruits a day come through USS Red Rover, and staff members administer about 2,700 shots a day.

Throughout boot camp and beyond, as the recruits transition into student status at Naval Station Great Lakes, Lovell FHCC medical professionals continue to provide health care for each and every one. Many of them will have follow-on appointments for dental treatment and procedures at USS Osborne, unofficially known as the Navy’s largest dental operation.
A few blocks away from USS Osborne at Recruit Training Command, FHCC staff at USS Tranquillity care for sailors who need routine and urgent medical care on weekends, as well as work days. Also at USS Tranquillity, thousands of sailors annually receive special medical exams for duty on nuclear submarines and in naval aviation, to name a few specialties. And sailors who need Sports Medicine and Rehabilitative Therapy (SMART) are treated at USS Tranquillity.

These three East campus clinics are the epi-center of Lovell FHCC’s Readying Warriors mission.

By the Numbers: USS Red Rover
- 36,599 Dental exams
- 193,975 Dental radiographs
- 275,500 Immunizations (including flu)
- 38,087 Hearing Exams
- 15,031 Pairs of Glasses
- 16,000 SMART patients


Lean is an organizational philosophy of process improvements to optimize quality, efficiency and safety, achieving internal and external stakeholder satisfaction.

FHCC Continues Lean Journey

Lovell FHCC has been on a Lean journey since 2012, and continued it into Fiscal Year 2015 by implementing proven health care process improvement principles throughout the facility.

Work groups have incorporated regular Lean huddles into their standard operating procedures, which allow every employee a voice in process improvements. Staff members are educated on Lean methodologies as part of New Employee Orientation, and all leaders and staff members are encouraged to attend regular Friday “Report-Outs,” where Lean teams report on progress made on each Lean project according to established timelines.

Lean projects are ongoing every day at the FHCC to improve inpatient and outpatient flow and care by redesigning storage and patient care spaces, taking steps to reduce patient cancellations and speed patient discharges, streamlining medication procedures, improving bed management and making changes that result in fewer acute care readmissions, to name just a few.

Lean efforts are categorized by Value Streams and achieved through events including Rapid Improvement Events (RIEs), Problem-Solving Events (PSEs), Sort-Simplify-Scrub-Standardize-Sustain (5S) Events and Process and Preparation (2Ps) Events.

Disparate groups of employees come together – each assigned a role – for intensive days of brainstorming, experimenting, planning, rehearsing and executing events that result in measurable and sustainable improvements.

“Sometimes at the beginning of a Lean event, team members who don’t know each other, much less have worked together, look around and wonder how the group will come together and succeed in making a real change for the better,” said Lean Six Sigma Supervisor Rebecca Strini. “But by the end of the week, or the first Report Out, they meld as a group and come up with an action plan that leads to immediate improvements as well as significant and lasting measurable results.”

By the Numbers: Lean
1 Process and Preparation Event (2P)
5 Value Streams
9 Rapid Improvement Events (RIEs)
3 Problem Solving Events (PSEs)
2 Sort-Simplify-Scrub-Standardize-Sustain (5S) Events

Pneumonia, Congestive Heart Failure Focus of Rapid Improvement Event (RIE)

The mission was to reduce acute patients’ average length of stay as well as decrease the number of 30-day readmissions for congestive heart failure (CHF) and pneumonia after the same acute patients were discharged.

The Lean Six Sigma (LSS) team was made up of doctors, nurses, and other clinicians. All were dedicated to providing the best patient-centered care, which translates into keeping patients healthy and at home instead of in the hospital.

In LSS terms, the working group was dubbed the “Reduce 30-Day Readmissions for CHF & Pneumonia” Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) team. It was comprised of three experienced team members (those who participated in a previous Lean event), and the rest – including the team lead – had no experience.

“The lack of familiarity did not impede the team’s rapid attainment of high-functioning team skills,” said LSS Facilitator Carol Gilchrist.

“In four hours, with the TPOC (Transitional Plan of Care) and VSA (Value Stream Analysis) missions in mind, this team managed the first three steps of the DMAIC process, prepared a plan for testing their theories, and divided into sub-groups to work on the resulting projects.”

The team’s goal was “to optimize patient care and transitions to decrease inpatient admissions/readmissions for chronic diseases, such as CHF and Pneumonia.”

The baseline data, from August 2013 to July 2014, revealed the patient readmission average per year was 16 CHF patients and 37 pneumonia patients. The team also worked with Medical/Surgical and Primary Care staff members who voluntarily were quizzed on their knowledge of standard care for CHF, pneumonia and Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD). Their initial average score was 76 percent.

The team met for seven months to follow the LSS steps – discuss the Plans, Do the work, Check the progress/results and Act on the findings, Gilchrist said. In November, they presented their report.

“Leadership was amazed and excited by what the team had accomplished and sustained over the previous year,” Gilchrist said.

There was a significant improvement in the average readmissions for congestive heart failure, to less than 10 – a 39 percent reduction. The readmission rate for pneumonia was 31 for the year, an 84 percent reduction, Gilchrist said, and staff quiz scores went from an average of C+ to a B+ average.

The results included “Best Practice” standards for work, new procedures for treatment of patients with CHF, better methods of communication, and improved training for clinical staff.

Additionally, the team developed a patient “Heart Failure” brochure for use in the hospital and at home, which includes instructions for self-care, a place to note what to ask clinical staff, and documentation for patients to share at follow-up doctor appointments.

“This outstanding team truly exhibited patient-centered care, talent management (training best practice), and a strong dedication to continuity/safe transition of care,” Gilchrist said.

Talent Management

Talent Management is our pledge to recruit and retain highly qualified, engaged staff, promote through recognition and reward, develop through succession planning and strategically deploy staff to achieve an optimal organizational structure.

DePaul Nursing Students Learn at FHCC

Since the fall of 2013, one affiliation program at Lovell FHCC, in particular, has thrived and grown.

DePaul University School of Nursing students started out by training on the Medical/Surgical floor at Lovell FHCC, and in inpatient mental health. At the beginning of fiscal year 2015, the program expanded to include Critical Care and the Emergency Department, and 65 DePaul nursing students participated.

Groups of five to six nursing students are assigned a DePaul clinical instructor to guide their experience at Lovell FHCC, said Mark Bisbee.

“One of the main reasons I have been so excited about DePaul nursing students being here is the ‘spill-over’ teaching that occurs from our FHCC bed-side staff nurses,” Bisbee said. “The students are unlicensed, so they are eager to learn directly from our nursing staff.”

Bisbee said the affiliation has given Lovell FHCC nurses professional development opportunities. “I have heard from our nurses who admit to not having a lot of experience of teaching other nurses,” he said. “But this relationship has brought on that growth from within… the added learning environment for our nurses is something I’m most happy about.”

The nursing students work with patient assignments as early at 7 a.m., and some work as late as 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. They learn alongside their DePaul clinical instructor and work with FHCC medical professionals to learn daily routines, tasks, and policies and procedures. Each student group works for eight hours at a time, except for Critical Care, where they work 12-hour shifts.

DePaul nursing student Kristin Rakstang jumped at the opportunity to train at Lovell FHCC. “My Dad is a veteran, and I volunteer with No Veterans Dies Alone,” she said. “This is the population I want to serve, hands down.”
RN Lori Thuente, assistant director of DePaul’s Rosalind Franklin University site, said, “It has been an excellent learning opportunity from our vantage point. Our students have learned a tremendous amount from both staff and the patients. Learning how to care for our veterans is a vital component to their education, and we are so pleased to be able to partner with Lovell FHCC.”

Rosalind Franklin University/The Chicago Medical School, which is located next to Lovell FHCC in North Chicago, is the major sponsor of students, residents and trainees. Other universities, in addition to DePaul, include Northwestern, Rush, University of Illinois at Chicago, Concordia, St. Louis University, Southern Illinois, Marquette University, College of Lake County and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences – Recruit Medicine, and others.

Differing levels of agreements delineate curriculum and training objectives, and processes for evaluation and feedback.

The types of rotations include Nursing, Audiology/Speech Pathology, Psychiatry, Urology, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Bio-Medical Engineering, Dental, Dietitian, Geriatrics, Imaging, Optometry, Pharmacy, Nurse Anesthetist, Medical Laboratory, Podiatry and Physician Assistant.

By the Numbers: Academic Affiliations
Lovell FHCC has 130 academic affiliation agreements with various colleges and universities, and nine more agreements pending. More than 1,000 students in medical professions benefited from the affiliations during the 2014-2015 academic year and received some of their training and work experience at Lovell FHCC caring for our veterans, military members and military dependents.
130 Current Affiliations
9 Pending Affiliations
1,030 Students
More than 50 Universities Represented


Lovell FHCC has nurtured future leaders through its Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability and Development (LEAD) program for the past eight years.

LEAD is the first tier of the VA leadership development program, offered to employees in civilian wage grades 5-11 (or wage-grade equivalent), and equivalent enlisted military ranks (E5 and E6). It is a competitive program that focuses on helping high-performing employees hone their all-employee competency skills such as communication, interpersonal effectiveness, critical thinking, organizational stewardship, Veteran and customer focus, personal mastery and technical skills.

“It’s developing yourself and fitting yourself into the organization,” said Training Specialist Christine Misovie, LEAD facilitator.

LEAD started at the FHCC (then North Chicago Veterans Affairs Medical Center) in 2008. One class runs per fiscal year. Prospective students must show the potential to advance to leadership positions with broader responsibility in the organization.

In addition to monthly classroom sessions and individual mentoring sessions with facility leaders, program participants may attend facility-level clinical and administrative committee meetings. The class curriculum includes guest speakers, group teamwork assignments and face-to-face simulated interactions.

Many FHCC LEAD graduates have gone on to jobs with more responsibility, and LEAD continues to improve, Misovie said.

“I really like how far the LEAD program has come,” she said. “Every year, the program improves. Last year, we visited the Community Living Center to educate Veterans on what the LEAD program is, and we continue to push forward to educate and guide FHCC staff in the right direction.”

LEAD graduates are eligible to apply for the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 12 Leadership Development Program.


Innovation puts us on the forefront of technology, research, medical best practices and integrated health care delivery.

Green Efforts Recognized

Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) accomplished a great deal in 2015 regarding energy and environmental sustainability.

Lovell FHCC and its staff were honored with several awards, such as Greenhealth Partner for Change recognition; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Federal Green Challenge - Education and Outreach award, and Young Energy Professional of the Year -
Region III award.

FHCC was awarded the 2015 “Greenhealth Partner for Change” Award by Practice Greenhealth. The Lovell FHCC excelled in energy reduction efforts, innovative approaches to education and training, and electric vehicle utilization.

The FHCC’s interdisciplinary team, called the Green Environmental Management System (GEMS) Committee, was largely credited for these energy and environmental improvements.

The FHCC also received the EPA’s Federal Green Challenge award for education and outreach.

The EPA recognized the FHCC’s energy and environmental sustainability programming and exceptional education and outreach efforts.

GEMS Program Manager Joe Bozeman received the Young Energy Professional of the Year: Region III award from the Association of Energy Engineers. He was awarded this for overall sustainability programming and unique outreach efforts.

Those outreach efforts stretched as far as Qingdao, China, where Bozeman spoke about local, regional, and global greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies at BIT’s 4th Low Carbon Earth Summit.

Telehealth: Bringing Care Closer to Home

There were approximately 5,000 telehealth patient encounters in fiscal year 2015, ranging from newer services such as gynecology (fertility and prenatal counseling), pharmacy, oncology, cardiology and teleretinal imaging, to long-standing services such as consults for procedures, weight-management and nutrition classes, PTSD and other support groups, diabetes management, smoking cessation programs and teleaudiology.

As technology advances and patient willingness to embrace telehealth options increases, the breadth of the FHCC’s services also grows. For example, telepharmacy services include patient education, therapeutic monitoring of medications, movement disorder assessment, laboratory monitoring of oncology patients, and symptom management for patients receiving chemotherapy.

Diabetes patients can walk into a Lovell FHCC Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) and have their eyes examined using teleretinal imaging cameras that store and forward the images to the North Chicago facility.

Telehealth success depends, in part, on getting the word out to patients as well as providers about what telehealth is, and what the possibilities are, to improve patient-centered care.

For the first time, the VA’s Telehealth Education Delivered (TED) van visited the Lovell FHCC in May, 2015, to showcase TeleHealth technology and equipment for staff, patients, volunteers and stakeholders. TED is a truck outfitted with telehealth equipment to provide education on telehealth patient-care solutions.

Bernice Arcibal, Lovell FHCC’s telehealth coordinator, said TED helped reach out to staff and patients to promote the telehealth capabilities already in use the FHCC.

“Patient centered care is what we’re promoting, and easy access to care,” Arcibal said. “Rather than coming to a clinic here that probably has a long wait, patients are seen (in the CBOCs) a lot sooner.”

Arcibal said patients who participate in telehealth services, on the whole, rate their overall satisfaction in telehealth as a five, the highest score.

FHCC Marks Five years

October 1, 2010, marked the official dedication of the new Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) in North Chicago, Ill. Hundreds attended the ceremony, which was held outside the entrance of the new 209,000-square-foot ambulatory care center. Lovell FHCC fully integrates Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs medical services in the North Chicago and Great Lakes area and combines manpower and resources of the former Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes and former North Chicago VA Medical Center.

Planning began more than a decade before the integration. After integration, the FHCC continued to grow, renovating and opening new clinics and adding services.

Facility staff members, volunteers, patients and supporters gathered again October 1, 2015, to celebrate the FHCC’s five-year anniversary, acknowledge its accomplishments and toast to its future.

Today, visitors entering the main entrance of the FHCC see a striking mural. The “Steeds of Apollo” myth (depicted in the mural) was the inspiration for the design of the Apollo 13 mission flight patch. The description reads – “Ex Luna, Scientia,” or “From the moon, knowledge.” The Apollo astronauts, led by our namesake (Ret.) Navy Capt. James A. Lovell, embarked on a dangerous, unchartered expedition for the purpose of gaining better understanding of the unknown to benefit all mankind.

Just like the Apollo missions forged a new path for science, so too is Lovell FHCC. As the only FHCC, we are creating the play book for military and veteran health care. FHCC has undertaken a bold journey to deliver the best health care to warriors and heroes.

Our patients benefit the most from this integration. Nothing brings us greater pride than seeing a civilian nurse mentoring a Navy hospital corpsman, or a corpsman caring for a World War II veteran. Walk into our Emergency Department, inpatient units, or clinics and see uniformed providers working alongside civilian counterparts, caring for a sailor’s child in one room and a Vietnam veteran in the next.

None of these successes would be possible without amazing staff and dedicated volunteers. We have learned from all and turned integration challenges into opportunities, to build a blueprint for federal health care. We look forward to the next five years and beyond!

Caregiver Support Center Opens

On Sept. 1, 2011, Lovell FHCC was one of the first VA facilities to open a Caregiver Support Center, a comfortable and quiet place inside the main hospital where loved ones accompanying veteran and military patients go for resources, as well as respite from the institutional setting. Volunteers staff the tastefully decorated space, which has faux fireplace, computer, donated beverages and refreshments, and comfortable seating including a massage chair.

Master-at-Arms Sailors Graduate from VA Police Academy

In 2012, for the first time, two Navy Master-at-Arms (MAs) sailors graduated from the VA’s Law Enforcement Training Center (LETC), marking one of Lovell FHCC’s first integration achievements. Graduation from LETC meant the MAs could serve in their full capacity as Military Police (MPs) on VA property, therefore fulfilling their mission to provide for the safety of military, as well as civilian personnel as well as patients, visitors and volunteers at Lovell FHCC.

Green House® Homes Open

Lovell FHCC cut the ribbon on its first Green House Home Oct. 1, 2012, and was the second VA medical facility to do so. The homes represent a cultural transformation in long-term nursing care for Veteran patients. Each beautifully decorated home houses up to 10 residents, who each have their own bedroom and bathroom. Common areas include a spacious kitchen that residents may use, a dining area with a table large enough for all residents to eat together, recreation room, living room, enclosed porch, patios and other outdoor spaces to include places for residents to garden. Residents are the center of their care and have the freedom to choose their activities, set their schedules and provide input on menus with the help of Shahbazim (universal workers) on duty all hours to cook, do light cleaning and help with resident activities.

First-of-its-kind Pain Clinic Opens

After a successful pilot in 2011, Lovell FHCC opened a Pain Clinic for veterans in Primary Care – a comprehensive and interdisciplinary pain-management program unique to federal health care. Some veteran patients can barely walk into the clinic the first day because they have so much pain. After the five-month program, however, they “graduate” into a brighter future where most can manage their pain after understanding what triggers it and learning self-management skills including relaxation techniques, healthier eating habits, exercise and pacing skills, and other coping mechanisms. A team of professionals, including dietitians, psychologists, physical therapists, nurses, doctors, neurologists work together to treat the “whole” patient, covering many issues in one visit.

Navy and Stroger Partner

Stroger Hospital and Lovell FHCC in 2014 began a program that embeds active duty FHCC Navy medical personnel in Stroger Hospital’s Trauma and Burn Unit. The program, called the Cook County Trauma Experience (CCTE), allows Navy surgeons, nurses and hospital corpsmen to work alongside Cook County trauma surgeons and nurses at Stroger. Navy medical personnel complete one- to two-month rotations in the trauma and burn units. The training helps them improve and enhance their medical skills, thus preparing them for military deployments.

New Spaces for CBOCs

In August, 2013 FHCC opened an expanded Kenosha Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) to better serve a growing patient population in Southeast Wisconsin. The approximately 8,000-square-foot space features two sound booths for audiology services and computer rooms for expanded telehealth services, as well as more exam rooms.

In 2015, McHenry patients benefited from the long-awaited opening of a new CBOC in a 9,000-square-foot building featuring improved patient flow, as well as expanded clinic areas for services such as telehealth classes and consultations, teleaudiology, teleretinal imaging for diabetes patients and telecardiology. The clinic serves more than 3,500 Veterans a year and will continue to offer primary care, women’s health services, social work and mental health services and phlebotomy.

Integrated Immunization Clinic

The sign above the door of the first floor clinic in the Ambulatory Care Center at Lovell FHCC clearly reads “Immunization,” but for a time, veterans who wanted flu and other shots were directed elsewhere. As of Nov., 2013, veterans are welcome to walk in to receive flu shots and most immunizations. This offering is part of the ongoing integration of services at Lovell FHCC for active duty military, their dependents, as well as veterans. Prior to that, veterans had to make appointments to see their primary care provider for all vaccinations, and the clinic was available on a walk-in basis only to active duty members and their families.

Corpsmen Integrate on Wards

Sightings of uniformed Navy nursing professionals in the medical-surgical inpatient unit and elsewhere have become the “norm” at Lovell FHCC. Corpsmen have been integrated into areas previously staffed solely by VA civilians, with excellent results. Today, VA medical professionals and corpsmen learn from each other as they work side-by-side to care for FHCC patients. Corpsmen are enlisted medical specialists who serve with the Navy and Marine Corps in a wide variety of capacities and locations, including hospitals and clinics and aboard ships. Corpsmen, especially Independent Duty Corpsmen, may be the only clinicians treating sailors and Marines in combat and forward-deployed locations.

FHCC Opens Walk-in Center for Homeless Veterans

There is no “wrong door” at Lovell FHCC for veterans to knock on when they fear they may become homeless, or if they already are homeless. In the spirit of a pledge from the VA to eradicate homelessness among the nation’s veterans, Lovell FHCC opened a new Walk-in Center for Homeless Veterans in November, 2013.

The clinic is open daily on the main North Chicago campus, and is staffed by a social worker who sees veterans and answers questions, assists with resources and provides guidance about the care that is available to them, including emergency housing and grants.

Military and Civilian Volunteers Make it Happen at FHCC

Throughout the past five years, military and civilian volunteers alike have made all things possible at FHCC, from running bingo and hosting parties to escorting patients on outings, and greeting and directing visitors at our front doors. Volunteers are the friendly faces caregivers see in the caregiver support center. Volunteers are the people who comfort veterans during their last days as part of the No Veteran Dies Alone Program. Close to 1,000 volunteers, counting military members and civilians, are active at the FHCC at any given time, helping the FHCC meet its sacred mission of Readying Warriors and Caring for Heroes.

Lovell FHCC Leadership


Stephen R. Holt, M.D. is the Director of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center and is responsible for the strategic leadership and operations.

He reads an integrated VA/Department of Defense team of approximately 3,000 employees, serving veterans, active duty military and military dependents. Lovell FHCC is responsible for the medical readiness of more than 40,000 Navy recruits who pass through Naval Station Great Lakes annually.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Holt was the VISN 7 Chief Medical Officer, responsible for oversight of the delivery of quality medical care to more than 400,000 veterans at 10 hospitals in eight health care systems, covering the states of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Before that, Dr. Holt served as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the VA North Texas Health Care System in Dallas, Texas, for five years.

Dr. Holt is a veteran of the Air Force, where he spent 21 years as a Medical Officer (MD1) in field and central command locations. During his service, he also served as the 1st Air Force Surgeon General at Tyndall Air Force Base, and Deputy Director of the Modernization Directorate in the Office of the Air Force Surgeon General. Dr. Holt retired at the rank of Colonel.

Deputy Director and Commanding Officer

Captain Robert Buckley is Commanding Officer/Deputy Director of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, supporting the director with leadership and administrative functions.

He maintains Uniformed Code of Military Justice authority and is responsible for day-to-day operations at the federal health care center.

Captain Buckley earned a B.S. of Arts in Chemistry, with honors, from California State University, Fullerton in 1983. He entered the Navy, attended Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, graduating With Distinction/Alpha Omega Alpha in 1987. He served as Medical Department Head aboard the U.S.S. Cleveland and completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at Cook County Hospital, graduating in 1993. From 1993-97, he served as Core Faculty Member and Research Director in the Department of Emergency Medicine, Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD). He has a Master’s in Public Health from San Diego State University.

Captain Buckley served as Chairman of Emergency Medicine at NMCSD in 2005 and Acting Director for Medical Services in 2007. As Director for Branch Clinics at NMCSD 2008-2009, he was responsible for the care of 75,000 enrollees. He served as first Navy Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer to open the 120-bed Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. His last position was Force Surgeon for Commander of Naval Forces, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Fifth Fleet Surgeon, Bahrain.

Lovell FHCC Locations

Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center
3001 Green Bay Road
North Chicago, IL 60064
847-688-1900 | 800-393-0865

Evanston Community Based Outpatient Clinic
1942 Dempster Street
Evanston, IL 60202
Phone: 847-869-6315

Kenosha Community Based Outpatient Clinic
8207 22nd Avenue
Kenosha, WI 53140
Phone: 262-653-9286

McHenry Community Based Outpatient Clinic
3715 Municipal Drive
McHenry, IL 60050
Phone: 815-759-2306

USS Osborne Dental Clinic
3440 Ohio Street
Great Lakes, IL 60088
Phone: 847-688-2100

USS Red Rover
2715 Kansas St
Great Lakes, IL 60088
Phone: 847-688-5568

USS Tranquillity
3420 Illinois St.
Great Lakes, IL 60088
Phone: 847-688-6755

Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Medical/Dental Clinic
2470 Sampson Street
Great Lakes, IL 60088
Phone: 847-688-2469

Occupational Health Medicine Department
2470 Sampson Street
Great Lakes, IL 60088
Phone: 847-688-6712

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Lovell FHCC

Lovell FHCC