A Message from Leadership...
Captain Thomas J. Nelson, MC, USN, Deputy Director, Commanding Officer
It’s flu season! Like COVID-19, influenza is a highly contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe illness and at times be deadly. Prior to this year, the world last experienced a pandemic in 1918, when more than 500 million people became infected with influenza and at least 50 million died from it globally.
One-hundred and two years later, it’s still vital to do all you can to prevent yourself and those around you from catching and spreading the flu. The best way is by getting a flu shot annually, recommended by the U.S. Center for Disease Control for everyone ages six months and older.
Beginning Oct. 5, Lovell FHCC’s VA patients can get their flu shots at our main hospital and clinics. Flu shots will be available at the FHCC for DoD patients in November.
With few exceptions, all FHCC staff members are now required to get flu shots, a positive step for minimizing spread of the virus throughout the community. While Navy personnel were already required to get annual flu vaccinations, this is a new mandate for VA employees that is aligned with common practices of private sector hospitals.
All Lovell patients and staff are eligible to get their flu shots at the FHCC. More information is at:
However, there are many options for getting the vaccinations outside of our facility, as well. DoD and VA patients can use their benefits to get flu shots at pharmacies close to home. DoD beneficiaries can locate the closest pharmacies offering flu shots by clicking on https://www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/IsItCovered/FluVaccine. Similarly, veterans may click on https://www.publichealth.va.gov/flu/index.asp to find the closest participating pharmacy to your home. FHCC staff members who are not veterans can generally get flu shots through their primary care providers and through local pharmacies, in accordance with their respective health insurance plans.
Beyond flu shots, there are other important ways to protect yourself and others from the flu and many of them mirror COVID-19 precautions, including:
• Washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs.
• When sick, staying home from work or school to prevent spreading your illness.
• Wearing a face mask
• Staying at least 6 feet away from others
If you get the flu, your health care provider may provide antiviral drugs that can be used to treat the illness. Unfortunately, there are no COVID-19 vaccines or treatments approved by the FDA, at this time. For more comparisons between the flu and COVID-19, see https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm#Flu-and-COVID-19.
While there are no “foolproof” prescriptions for good health, there are evidence-based tools and practices that can lower our risks of serious medical complications. That’s more important than ever, amidst the pandemic. Let’s do all that we can as a community to avoid unnecessary risks to our good health and well-being!
CAPT Tom Nelson, MD, MC, USN
Deputy Director/ Commanding Officer
Let's Get Social
FHCC has a presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Please see the links below to visit our social media sites. Below are the posts that received the highest engagement for the month.
Top Posts from August
Curbside Pharmacy Pick-Up
Lovell FHCC is pleased to announce Curbside Pharmacy Pick-Up service for new and urgent prescriptions. Now, picking up a prescription only requires checking in near the facility entrance (while in your vehicle) and driving to the pharmacy pick-up point. To find out if your prescription qualifies, call 224-610-7600. To read more click here.
FHCC Primary Care Respiratory Clinic Wins Spirit of Lovell Award
The Spirit of Lovell award recognizes a team that has embodied the mission of Lovell FHCC through their exemplary work during the fiscal quarter. The Primary Care Respiratory Clinic is composed of doctors, nurses, and corpsmen all working together to meet the high demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. Great job, Respiratory Clinic team!
Read the full story and view the pictures here.
Navy Nurses During the 1918 Spanish Flu
Established in 1908, the Navy Nurse Corps played a large role in combating the 1918 Spanish Flu, especially here in North Chicago. To read how the Navy Nurse Corps tirelessly provided care in 1918, similarly to how they tirelessly provide care in 2020, click here.
FHCC MOVE! Cooking Demonstrations
The FHCC MOVE! clinic produced its first Facebook live video on August 31, and has quickly turned these videos into a monthly recurring segment on the FHCC Facebook page. The first video showed viewers how to prepare and cook a BBQ Chicken Foil Pack recipe. See the full cooking demonstration here.
FHCC Patients Turn to Virtual Appointments and Whole Health Options During COVID-19 Pandemic
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the way everyday tasks were accomplished had to be re-imagined. Activities like grocery shopping, exercising and trips to the doctor's office for a routine appointment all had to have a little extra thought put into them. One result, many patients turned to the Whole Health program, which offers many virtual options. These options help bring wellness to patients' doorsteps.
Nick, an Army Veteran and a Lovell FHCC patient, started utilizing yoga as part of his whole health plan, “When you’re in pain and you don’t know where to turn, it’s almost as bad as being in a combat zone… you’re worried about how you’re going to make it to the next day,” said Nick. Through the Whole Health program, Nick learned about a wide variety of FHCC services to help him manage his pain in new and different ways, while still in a COVID-19 safe environment.
September is National Yoga Month and the perfect time to explore some of the Whole Health options that Lovell FHCC has to offer – even during the pandemic. Yoga is for people of all abilities and can help improve flexibility, strength, and balance. It’s also one of many ways to focus on your well-being as part of your personal health plan. Take a few minutes to quiet your mind and try out this virtual, seated yoga routine: https://youtu.be/b2gF0nTAY0o
Beyond Whole Health options, many types of routine care can be conducted through virtual platforms, also known as “Telehealth” or “TeleMedicine.” If you live far from Lovell FHCC, have health conditions that make travelling difficult, want to save time and gas money, do not require a hands-on physical examination, or want to limit your exposure to sick people, you may opt to convert your face-to-face appointment to a virtual visit. Call your provider’s office to discuss converting your visit to a video appointment.
The VA Video Connect platform enables you to have a virtual video visit with your VA provider. If you are interested in learning about VA Video Connect, the hyperlink below contains veteran self-test video instructions as well as VVC troubleshooting tips:
If you need more information, you may email the FHCC Telehealth team at FHCCLovellTelehealthStaff@va.gov.
If you would like more information on TRICARE Telemedicine, that can be found here:
Lovell Orthopedic Surgeon Recieves 2020 Hughston Award
By Seaman Apprentice Minh-Thy Chu
Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Bernhardson, an orthopedic surgeon and recipient of the 2020 Hughston Award. Photo by Seaman Apprentice Minh-Thy Chu.
U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Bernhardson, an orthopedic surgeon at Lovell FHCC, never expected the research he started with his team would result in an award and national accolades.
While in the busy process of reporting to Lovell FHCC in June, he got the news of his paper receiving the honorable Hughston Award from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine for 2020. This huge achievement came as an unexpected honor to Bernhardson and his co-authors.
“I was quite shocked that our paper was selected considering the previous winners of the Hughston Award,” said the active duty Naval officer.
Bernhardson’s research paper titled A Prospective Analysis of Patients with Anterior Versus Posterior Shoulder Instability: A Matched Cohort Examination and Surgical Outcome Analysis of 200 Patients, was featured in an issue of the “American Journal of Sports Medicine.” The Hughston Award is given annually for the most outstanding paper appearing in the AJSM by that point in the year.
Berhardson describes Jack C. Hughston, the founder of AJSM and namesake for the award, as the “father of sports medicine.”
Bernhardson has had his own experiences with sports medicine, having plenty of hands-on opportunities during a fellowship working with the US Ski team. Providing medical care for active duty tactical athletes with high fitness demands also augmented his sports medicine knowledge. Shoulder instability was commonly treated amongst these patients due to their intense physical training.
Berhardson decided to research the differences between anterior and posterior shoulder instability with the goal of providing providers and patients a new resource. Although the difference between the injuries are known to be separate entities, the paper provides a clear understanding of the symptoms side-by-side, which can lead to the most effective treatment. There were vast differences found in the study, just one of them being the primary symptom of patients with anterior instability was a general lack of shoulder stability, whereas patients with posterior instability reported mostly symptoms of pain.
“This is so we can better counsel our patients as well as for people in the community to understand,” Bernhardson said.
To read the full story on Cmdr. Bernhardson's achievement, click here.