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Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center

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Leadership Team

Dr. Robert Buckley, Director

Dr. Robert Buckley | 224-610-3002


Dr. Robert Buckley was appointed as the Director of Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (Lovell FHCC) on Oct. 15, 2018. He is responsible for strategic leadership and operations. He leads an integrated VA/Department of Defense team of approximately 3,500 employees, serving veterans, active duty military and military dependents. Lovell FHCC is responsible for the medical readiness of more than 40,000 Navy recruits annually. Dr. Robert Buckley recently served as the Chief of Staff of the Jesse Brown Veterans Health Care System. He entered the VA in 2016 after a career in the US Navy, where he held the rank of Navy Captain, serving his last assignment as Deputy Director and Commanding Officer of Lovell FHCC. Dr. Buckley attended Northwestern University Medical School, with Distinction/Alpha Omega Alpha in 1987 and later completing a residency in Emergency Medicine at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. He went on to serve as Residency Program Director and Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Naval Medical Center San Diego, improving quality, satisfaction, overall scholarly activity, and was twice awarded top teaching awards. He had multiple deployments afloat and ashore in the Middle East to include serving as Officer-in-Charge of a US Marine Corps Shock Trauma Platoon during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Director of Clinical Services of US Navy Expeditionary Medical Facility Kuwait and as Force/Fleet Surgeon (CMO) in Bahrain for all US Naval Forces throughout the Middle East and in Afghanistan. He has extensive leadership experience to include serving as Chief of Staff (CMO/COO) the $1.3 billion, tri-service Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in the National Capital Area, which successfully opened and gained full accreditation in 2011 under his leadership. He has multiple peer-reviewed publications, presentations, DoD and VHA awards and commendations, and was thrice awarded the Legion of Merit.

Captain Chad McKenzie, Deputy Director, Lovell FHCC & Commanding Officer, NMRTC Great Lakes

Captain Chad McKenzie

Deputy Director, Lovell FHCC & Commanding Officer, NMRTC Great Lakes

Captain Chad McKenzie was appointed Deputy Director of Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (Lovell FHCC) and the Commanding Officer for Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Great Lakes, July 15, 2022. Captain Chad McKenzie is a native of Bellefontaine, Ohio. He attended the University of Toledo, graduating in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy and was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps. McKenzie’s first assignment was the National Naval Medical Center where he served in various pharmacy clinical practice and logistics roles. In 1999, McKenzie reported to U.S. Naval Hospital Keflavik, Iceland as the Pharmacy Department Head and subsequently served in both pharmacy and hospital leadership roles at a variety of overseas and stateside naval medical facilities. McKenzie gained operational leadership experience in 2010 while deployed as the Pharmacy Mentor to the Afghan National Army under NATO Training Mission Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2015 McKenzie was assigned to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery where he served as both Assistant Deputy Chief of BUMED for Information Management and technology, and Director of Communications and Change Management for Information Management and Technology. From June 2017 through June 2018, McKenzie served as the Officer in Charge, Branch Health Clinic Diego Garcia where he led the delivery of primary care and emergency medical services in support of U.S. and British military forces operating in and around the British Indian Ocean Territory. McKenzie most recently served as the Executive Officer, Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River, Maryland. In June 2020, he took command of U.S. Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Naples, Italy and simultaneously filled a Defense Health Agency role as MTF Director of U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, Italy, the largest naval hospital in Europe. Captain McKenzie holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree through Idaho State University, Executive Master of Business Administration from the Naval Postgraduate School, a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College and is board-certified in pharmacotherapy by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties. He is the recipient of the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, four Meritorious Service Medals, and five Navy Commendation medals in addition to unit, service, and campaign awards.

Dr. Jeffrey Oken, Chief Medical Executive

Dr. Jeffrey Oken

Chief Medical Executive

Dr. Jeffrey Oken is the Chief Medical Executive for Lovell FHCC, responsible for the direction and coordination of all clinical functions and management at the medical center. He previously served as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital. Dr. Oken started his VA career in 2018 as a Physiatrist and Deputy Chief of Staff at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital after working in the private sector as an Executive Leader at Northwestern Medicine/Marianjoy and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. He has overseen the Office of Community Care, including transitions and expansions after the Mission Act implemented on June 6, 2019. He is the internal and external Mission Act Executive Sponsor, Executive sponsor of EHRM/Cerner, and Executive Sponsor to the Referral Coordination Initiative, which oversees the consult process, ensuring that Veterans are offered all available choices when considering their care options, whether face-to-face, via VA Video Connect, over the telephone, or through a community partner. He was Acting Chief of Staff at Hines for 16 months guiding the clinical care through the most difficult times of the Covid Pandemic. He received his Doctor of Medicine through University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, completed his internship in Internal medicine at Northwestern University, and residency at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine with subspecialty certification in Pain medicine as well as Spinal Cord medicine.

Captain Salee Jane P. Oboza, Executive Officer

Captain Salee Jane P. Oboza

Executive Officer

Born in Manila, Philippines, CAPT Oboza immigrated to the United States with her family in 1982 and grew up in Rockford, Illinois. She completed her Bachelors of Science in Nursing in conjunction with fulfilling midshipmen requirements as a NROTC student in Northwestern University and graduated with honors in May 1997. Since her commissioning, she has served as staff nurse, division officer and department head in Naval Hospital Great Lakes and Naval Hospital Yokosuka on inpatient and outpatient clinical settings. CAPT Oboza enjoyed three years of instructor duty in Naval Hospital Corps School in Great Lakes prior to her selection for Duty Under Instruction at Rush University Chicago. She graduated with honors in 2010 with a Masters of Science in Nursing and received her American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC) board certification as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She reported for her utilization tour in 2010 to Naval Hospital Okinawa and served as the Inpatient Mental Health Unit Department Head then became the first inpatient hospitalist as a nurse practitioner for the inpatient psychiatric unit. CAPT Oboza transferred to Naval Medical Center San Diego in 2012 and led as the Division Officer and Department Head for the 26-bed Inpatient Mental Health Unit. She deployed to the Warrior Transition Program in Sembach, Germany from January to October 2014 in support of Contingency Operations. As the Department Head of the Care Team charged with the delivery of Combat Operational Stress Control for redeployers, she received a Meritorious Service Medal for exemplary work and her servant leadership. Prior to departing NMCSD in 2016 for 3d Marine Division, she relished the unique opportunity of being an embedded mental health asset to Submarine Group Eleven and went on a brief underway period embarked on the submarine USS Alexandria. She worked with Marines and Sailors in an operational billet as an Operational Stress Control and Readiness (OSCAR) embedded mental health provider with 3d Marine Division and earned her Fleet Marine Force Warfare Officer qualification. Prior to reporting as the Executive Officer to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Great Lakes, CAPT Oboza served as the Director for Quality Management at Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Okinawa, Japan. CAPT Oboza’s personal decorations include Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), and various service awards. Captain Oboza was named the Executive Officer of Lovell FHCC on July 29, 2022.

Command Master Chief Veronica L. Brittenum, Command Master Chief

Command Master Chief Veronica L. Brittenum

Command Master Chief

Command Master Chief Brittenum was appointed Command Master Chief on April 19, 2021, serving as the senior enlisted leader of Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Great Lakes, the command for all Navy personnel working at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center’s main hospital and clinics. Master Chief Brittenum is a native of Memphis, Tennessee where she graduated from Whitehaven High School in 1986. She enlisted in the United States Navy and reported to Recruit Training Command, Orlando, Florida in March of 1993. Immediately upon completion of basic training, she attended Hospital Corpsman “A” School in Great Lakes, Illinois. Her first assignment was at Naval Hospital Millington in Millington, Tennessee. Her shore assignments include National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tennessee, and Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois where she served as a Recruit Division Commander and earned the Distinguished Leadership Award and her Master Training Specialist certification. She also served as the Senior Enlisted Leader for Naval Branch Health Clinic Belle Chasse, New Orleans, Louisiana. Her sea tours include Fleet Surgical Team One, San Diego, California where she completed two deployments in the Western Pacific and earned her Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist and Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist qualifications. In June 2011, she returned to San Diego where she had the distinction of being the first crew member, Plank Owner, and Health Services Department Leading Chief Petty Officer onboard USS SOMERSET (LPD 25). A member of Class 169 (Green), she attended the Senior Enlisted Academy Resident Course where she graduated as the Honor Graduate and received the City of Newport Academic Excellence Award and the Surface Navy Association Military Heritage Award. She is also a graduate of the Command Master Chief course, class 184. In April 2018, Master Chief Brittenum reported aboard Strike Fighter Squadron ONE THREE SEVEN, Lemoore, California and assumed the duties as Command Master Chief. She is currently assigned as the Command Master Chief of Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Great lakes, IL. Her personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (six awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards), and various campaign, personal, and unit citations.

Captain Jeremy Pyles, Acting Associate Director for Facility Support

Captain Jeremy Pyles

Acting Associate Director for Facility Support

CAPT Jeremy S. Pyles was born in Bradenton, Florida, and enlisted in the Navy in 1995. After basic training, Hospital Corps School, and Advanced Laboratory Technician School he was assigned to Naval Branch Health Clinic (NBHC), Key West, FL (1997-2000). While in Key West, he received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Saint Leo University and was commissioned an Ensign under the Medical Service Corps In-service Procurement Program. Upon completion of Officer Indoctrination School, CAPT Pyles reported to U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka. At Naval Hospital Yokosuka he served as the Assistant Department Head, Information Management/Information Technology (2000-2002) and Department Head, TRICARE Operations (2002-2003). During his tour in Yokosuka, he completed his Master of Science in Management from Troy University. He then transferred to Naval Recruiting District New Orleans, LA (2003-2006) and served as the Medical Programs Officer for the states of Louisiana and Arkansas. CAPT Pyles was then selected and served as the Executive Assistant to the Naval Medical Inspector General, Bethesda, MD (2006-2009). In 2009, he reported back to NBHC Key West, this time as the Administrative Officer, and shortly thereafter deployed as an Individual Augmentee in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Following eight weeks of pre-deployment training at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, LA he completed a 12-month deployment as a member of a Medical Embedded Training Team responsible for providing mentorship and guidance to the Afghan National Police Surgeon General’s staff in Kabul, Afghanistan. Upon redeployment, he completed his tour at NBHC Key West in June 2011 and served two consecutive assignments as the Director for Administration for 3d Dental Battalion/U.S. Naval Dental Center Okinawa (2011-2014) and Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH (2014-2017). He then completed a tour as the Officer-in-Charge for Naval Branch Health Clinic, Albany, GA (2017-2020). On August 25, 2020, he was appointed as the Director for Administration/Associate Director for Resources at the Captain James. A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, and currently serves in that roll. Personal decorations includes; Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with one star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with one star, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with three stars, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Good Conduct, National Defense, Fleet Marine Force, and Various other service and unit awards.

CAPT Kevin Burns, Associate Director Nursing Practice/Senior VA Nurse Executive

CAPT Kevin Burns

Associate Director Nursing Practice/Senior VA Nurse Executive

CAPT Kevin Burns is the Associate Director Nursing Practice/Senior VA Nurse Executive responsible for nursing care delivery, strategic planning and for overseeing the hospital’s Critical Care Unit and Inpatient Acute Medical/Surgical wards.

Ms. Yolanda Martinez , Acting Associate Director Resources

Ms. Yolanda Martinez

Acting Associate Director Resources

Ms. Yolanda Martinez was appointed the Acting Associate Director or Resource Management in June of 2022. Previously, Ms. Martinez was appointed the Assistant Director/Chief Finance Officer of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC), in January 2021. In this role she has direct full-line authority and responsibility for Fiscal Management, Patient Administration, General Practice Management, Education and Training, Healthcare Business and Human Resources Services. Prior to becoming the Assistant Director at the FHCC, Ms. Martinez served as the Finance Officer at the Edward G. Hines VA Hospital for 14 years. Ms. Martinez began her federal career with the General Services Administration (GSA) in various administrative roles. She went on to work for the Treasury Franchise Fund FedSource (a customer-driven, voluntary interagency mechanism for managing and funding administrative support services) as the Deputy Chief Operating Officer/Chief Finance Officer. Ms. Martinez has a strong background in Government Finance. Ms. Martinez earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at DePaul University, Chicago, IL.

Ms. Kathleen Kennedy, Assistant Director, Plans and Operations

Ms. Kathleen Kennedy

Assistant Director, Plans and Operations

Ms. Kathleen Kennedy was appointed Assistant Director, Plans and Operations, of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC), in February 2020. In this role she has direct full-line authority and responsibility for Strategic Planning, Voluntary Service, Communications, Emergency Management, Patient Advocate/Customer Service, Staff Experience and Pastoral Services. Ms. Kennedy also has oversight and provides operational support to the Veteran Canteen Service. Ms. Kennedy has managed the implementation of the Defense Medical Logistics Standard Supply system at the FHCC since May 2018 and continues these responsibilities of supply chain modernization in her new role. Ms. Kennedy serves as the primary liaison for the FHCC Advisory Board, managing communications and strategic initiatives with stakeholders from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 12, the Department of the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, and the Defense Health Agency. Ms. Kennedy is a member of the Shared Resources Working Group, representing the field for VHA. Ms. Kennedy is certified in Change Management through the National Center for Organizational Development (NCOD) Prosci model. Prior to becoming the Assistant Director at the FHCC, Ms. Kennedy served as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Undersecretary for Healthcare Operations and Management. She served two years as the Executive Assistant to the Network Director in VISN 12 and has completed two rotations at VA Central Office. Ms. Kennedy earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Nazareth College, Rochester, NY and a Master’s in Health Care Administration from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Ms. Kennedy began her career in the VA as an administrative fellow at the FHCC. Ms. Kennedy received a commendation from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in 2017 for her leadership in the initiative to provide emergency mental health care services to Veterans with an Other Than Honorable discharge.