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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 Gregory T. Thier, Deputy Director & Commanding Officer

Captain Gregory T. Thier

Deputy Director & Commanding Officer

CAPT Thier was appointed as the Deputy Director and Commanding Officer at CAPT James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (Lovell FHCC) on June 29, 2018. As the deputy director, CAPT Thier supports the director with all leadership and administration functions within the health care center. He maintains Uniformed Code of Military Justice authority and is responsible for the day-to-day operations at Lovell FHCC. Prior to coming to the Lovell FHCC, CAPT Thier served as the executive officer of Naval Hospital Lemoore, California. CAPT Thier’s career has taken him to both sides of the American continent as well as two overseas assignments and multiple deployments. As a board-certified family practice physician, he was the department head of the Navy’s largest overseas Family Practice clinic at Naval Hospital, Guam. CAPT Thier’s deployments include Kuwait and Qatar in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom as part of the Expeditionary Medical Facility Kuwait. He also deployed and worked with the Expeditionary Medical Facility Djibouti on the Horn of Africa supporting troops engaged in anti-terrorism operations. CAPT Thier has served as a senior flight surgeon and was the director of public health at Naval Hospital Rota in Rota, Spain. He also has served as a director of mental health and director of medical services. He worked at the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery as the Policy and Practice Officer in the Medical Corps Chief’s office. CAPT Gregory Thier received an undergraduate degree in Biology/Pre-Med in 1992. He entered active duty in June 1992 while matriculating at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) medical school in Bethesda, Maryland.

Command Master Chief Jonathan Crisafulli, Command Master Chief

Command Master Chief Jonathan Crisafulli

Command Master Chief

CMDCM Jon Crisafulli reported as the Command Master Chief of the CAPT James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in March 2018. A native of Somerville, Massachusetts, he enlisted in the Navy in April 1994 and completed training in the Cryptologic Technician Technical (CTT) rating. His shore assignments include Naval Technical Training Center, Corry Station, Pensacola, Florida; Naval Security Group Detachment Denver, Colorado; Naval Security Group Activity, Rota, Spain; Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Space Field Activity (SSFA), Chantilly, Virginia. His operational assignments include USS HUE CITY (CG 66), Mayport, Florida; USS PORT ROYAL (CG 73), San Diego, California; Command Master Chief of USS RENTZ (FFG 46), San Diego, California; Command Master Chief of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron SEVEN ONE (HSM-71), Coronado, California; Command Master Chief of Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) and USS JOHN P MURTHA (LPD 26), San Diego, California. Master Chief Crisafulli has completed multiple deployments to the FIFTH Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR) as well as deployments to the THIRD, FOURTH and SIXTH Fleet AOR’s. He is a graduate of the Senior Enlisted Academy (Class 148) and the Command Master Chief Capstone Course (Class 71). He has earned his Enlisted Surface, Aviation and Information Warfare qualifications along with his Master Training Specialist (MTS) designation. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal (four awards), and various unit and campaign awards.

Dr. Piyush Vyas, Associate Director for Clinical Support Services

Dr. Piyush Vyas

Associate Director for Clinical Support Services

Dr. Vyas is the Associate Director Clinical Support Services for the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, IL. He is responsible for support services including Rehabilitation, Radiology, Pathology/Laboratory, Audiology/Speech Pathology, Pharmacy, Pastoral Care and Optometry. Dr. Vyas is a board certified radiologist with 40 years of experience in radiology and ten years of leadership experience at North Chicago VA Medical Center and Lovell FHCC as Chief of the Imaging Section. Dr. Vyas completed his premedical and medical degrees at the M.S. University of Baroda, graduating in 1968. He completed his internship and radiology residency at Cook County Hospital in 1974 and worked in private practice for thirty years at St. Therese and Victory Memorial Hospitals, where he served in a variety of leadership positions including President of Medical Staff and Chairman of the Executive committee before accepting the position of Chief of Imaging at North Chicago VA in 2004. Throughout his time at the FHCC and formerly at the North Chicago VA, Dr. Vyas has actively participated in the Executive, Peer Review, Operation and Invasive Procedure, and Credentialing Committees and has chaired the Radiation Safety and MRI Safety committees. Dr. Vyas currently serves as the Vice Chairman of Radiology at Chicago Medical School, where he has been a faculty member since 2006. He oversees the fourth year radiology elective in radiology in which capacity he oversees up to 40 hours of radiology teaching per month in addition to giving weekly lectures to medical students. Dr. Vyas has been an active participant in the local medical community, currently serving as Vice President of the Lake County Medical Society. He has been a delegate for the Illinois State Medical Society for the past 20 years and currently chairs the Governmental Affairs Council. He also serves as a delegate for the American Medical Association.

Captain Kevin Otte, Interim Associate Director of Dental Services

Captain Kevin Otte

Interim Associate Director of Dental Services

CAPT Otte is the Interim Associate Director for Dental Services at Lovell FHCC. He is responsible for all dental operations at the Lovell FHCC and Naval Station Great Lakes.

Ms. Judy T. Finley, Associate Director for Facility Support

Ms. Judy T. Finley

Associate Director for Facility Support

Ms. Judy Finley was appointed as the Associate Director for Facility Support of Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (Lovell FHCC) on December 7, 2017. As the Associate Director for Facility Support, Ms. Finley is responsible for the direction of administrative functions including Patient Administration, Facility Management, Logistics, Prosthetics, Police, Safety, Managed Care, Communications and Public Affairs, Education and Training, and Nutrition and Food Services. Prior to this position, Ms. Finley was the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network which includes eight VA health care systems in Arizona, New Mexico and Southern California. She also served as the Associate Director at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Ms. Finley’s experience includes 13 years as a Clinical Data Analyst and 10 years in Quality and Utilization Management. She served as the Chief Nursing Officer in the southeast VA Network which covers Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina and the Quality Management Officer in the Heart of Texas Health Care Network which covers most of Texas. She has worked in several details during her career to include acting as a Chief Financial Officer, Quality Management Officer, Assistant Director, and Director. Before joining the Department of Veterans Affairs in July 1985, Ms. Finley was the Diagnosis-Related Group Coordinator and Medicare Skilled Care Specialist at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee and the Shelby County Health Care Center in Memphis, Tennessee as a Staff Development and Infection Control Nurse. Ms. Finley holds an Associate Degree in Nursing from Hinds Jr. College, Raymond, Mississippi, a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Union University, Jackson, Tennessee.

CDR Cynthia Sikorski, Associate Director for Fleet Medicine

CDR Cynthia Sikorski

Associate Director for Fleet Medicine

CDR Sikorski is the Associate Director for Fleet Medicine for Lovell FHCC. She was appointed August 7, 2017. Prior to her appointment, CDR Sikorski served as the Preventive Medicine Officer at Lovell FHCC. She is responsible for the strategic leadership and overall operations of the Fleet Medicine Directorate, which encompasses three medical clinics located on the Naval Station and Recruit Training Command. The clinics provide primary outpatient care, military medical screenings and evaluations for the active duty military population, over 40,000 U.S. Navy Recruits that enter Naval Service each year. CDR Cynthia Sikorski entered naval service through the health professions scholarship program. She deployed to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany to care for wounded warriors in support of Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. In Norfolk, Virginia, she served as lead medical epidemiologist and successfully directed several disease outbreak investigations before deploying to Afghanistan in 2012 where she worked as a Preventive Medicine Mentor for a NATO Training Mission. She helped build public health infrastructure and bio-surveillance capacities for the Afghanistan National Security Forces and established the first ever combined Infectious Disease and Preventive Medicine Residency for Afghan National Army physicians. CDR Sikorski later served as the Senior Medical Officer at Navy Personnel Command and the Navy’s manager for the Limited Duty program. She helped to establish the Deployability Assessment Branch, which focused on sailor readiness. CDR Sikorski completed her medical degree at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and her residency in Internal Medicine at Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia. In 2009, she completed her Master of Public Health degree and a second residency in Preventive Medicine at the Uniformed Service University School of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.

Ms. Nikki Spangle, Acting Associate Director for Geriatrics, Extended Care and Mental Health

Ms. Nikki Spangle

Acting Associate Director for Geriatrics, Extended Care and Mental Health

Ms. Nikki Spangle was appointed as the Acting Associate Director for Geriatrics, Extended Care and Mental Health May 22, 2019. As the Acting Associate Director for GEC/MH, Ms. Spangle is responsible to provide overall clinical management, administrative oversight, and supervision to the following divisions: Mental Health Special Programs; Acute Mental Health Inpatient, Mental Health Outpatient/Consultation Services; Community Living Center (CLC) (which includes four Green House Homes); Home and Community Based Care; and Geriatric Medicine. Ms. Spangle’s permanent position is Department Head for GEC. Previously, she served as the Associate Chief Nurse for GEC from 2013 to 2018. Ms. Spangle began her career at the North Chicago VA Medical Center in January 2008, as a CLC Nurse Manager. Prior to her VA/FHCC career, she worked in community nursing homes as a Certified Nursing Assistant and Registered Nurse. Ms. Spangle holds an Associate Degree in Nursing (College of Lake County), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Olivet Nazarene University), Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Business Administration, and Certificate in Health Care Management (University of Phoenix). She is a graduate of the VHA Mentor Program (2012) and VHA Virtual Aspiring Leadership Program (vALP) (2017). She recently joined the Herzing University Team as an Adjunct Faculty - Nursing Instructor. Her goals include assisting the future development of nurses and promoting succession planning. She is a member of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International; American Nurses Association; Wisconsin Nurses Association; Nu Phi Chapter, Inc., Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc.; Racine-Kenosha Black Nurses Association and American Organization of Nurse Leaders.

Dr. Frank Maldonado, Chief Medical Executive

Dr. Frank Maldonado

Chief Medical Executive

Dr. Maldonado is the Chief Medical Executive for Lovell FHCC. Prior to this appointment, he was previously the Chief of Medicine at Lovell FHCC, beginning in 2001. As Chief Medical Executive, he is responsible for the direction and coordination of all clinical functions and management at the Medical Center. He currently serves as Assistant Dean for the FHCC, at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science/the Chicago Medical School (RFUMS/CMS) and holds an academic appointment as Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine. Prior to coming to Capt. James A. Lovell FHCC, he worked at the National Health Service Corps., Internal Medicine, Community Health of South Dade, Homestead, Florida. Dr. Maldonado also served as an Associate Intensivist, Division of Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Providence Hospital, Washington, DC. Dr. Maldonado is very involved with the American College of Chest Physicians and the Association of Professor of Medicine. He has completed many research publications and abstracts. He is a recipient of the Henry Christian Award for Excellence in research, DuPont Pharmaceuticals/ACCP Young Investigator Award and the Max Harry Weil, MD Clinical Educator Award. He is also the recipient of the Vice Presidential Hammer Award for Reinventing Government for the Primary Care Program in 1994 and again in 1997 for the Compensation & Pension Joint Claims Team. Dr. Maldonado received his Medical Degree (MD) from the University of Central del Caribe, Cayey, Puerto Rico in 1982. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC in 1986 and subsequently completed Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowships in Chicago. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. He also works as a full-time Faculty and Rounding Attending in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care Medicine, and Department of Medicine at Lovell FHCC.

Commander David M. You, Associate Director for Primary Care

Commander David M. You

Associate Director for Primary Care

CDR You was appointed as the Associate Director of Primary Care at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, Illinois. on July 24, 2017. In 2009, he was deployed to Afghanistan where he served at NATO Headquarters in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The following year he transferred to Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) for his Gastroenterology Fellowship. At the completion of his training in 2013, he assumed duties as the Associate Program Director for the Gastroenterology Fellowship program at NMCSD and he also served as the Gastroenterology Research Head at NMCSD. He was awarded the Richard Daly Internal Medicine Staff Teacher of the Year in 2014. In July 2014, he transferred to the Captain James A Lovell Federal Health Care Center as the Assistant Director of Specialty Care and staff gastroenterologist. He oversaw 16 surgical and medicine subspecialty sections and the Emergency Room. He concurrently spearheaded the expansion of medical services and improved patient satisfaction for VA ambulatory surgery. During his tenure, as Assistant Director of Specialty Care, access and quality of specialty care medicine was one of the highest in the country. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Augustana College and Doctor of Medicine from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine. He graduated Summa Cum Laude at both schools. He was awarded the Intern of the Year at the National Naval Medical Center (now Walter Reed National Military Medical Center). He was also named Internal Medicine Resident Teacher of the Year.

Captain Melissa Barnett, Associate Director Inpatient Services, Navy Nurse Executive

Captain Melissa Barnett

Associate Director Inpatient Services, Navy Nurse Executive

CAPT Melissa Barnett is the Associate Director Inpatient Services and the Navy Nurse Executive, appointed July 31, 2018. CAPT Barnett is responsible for nursing care delivery, strategic planning and for overseeing the hospital’s Critical Care Unit and Inpatient Acute Medical/Surgical wards. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Captain Barnett was commissioned into the Navy in 1995 and started her career at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Florida where she worked in a variety of roles prior to attending the Navy’s Perioperative Nurse training program. Her next tours included Naval Medical Center San Diego; Naval Hospital, Naples Italy; Naval Hospital Pensacola, Florida and Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune. Barnett served in such roles as Charge Nurse, Assistant Department Head, Department Head, Assistant Director for Surgical Services and Director for Surgical Services. In 2003, she led the transfer of surgical services for Naval Hospital, Naples Italy from Agnano to the newly constructed hospital in Gricignano, where she supported a doubled surgical caseload without any patient care compromise. Barnett served as the Officer In Charge for the Naval Branch Health Clinic in Millington TN prior to assuming her current role. In 2011, CAPT Barnett served as an Individual Augmentee to Expeditionary Medical Facility Kuwait. A member of the last Navy medical team, she provided surgical treatment to active duty members forward deployed and ensured 100 percent turnover of controlled substances to the U.S. Army 325th CSH, as the Chair, Controlled Substances Inventory Board. Barnett is a Certified Nurse in the Operating Room (CNOR) and a member of the Association of periOperative Nurses. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Masters of Arts in Health Services Management and a Masters of Business Administration. Her awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4), and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Ms. Teresa Edgren, Acting Associate Director Nursing Practice/Senior VA Nurse Executive

Ms. Teresa Edgren

Acting Associate Director Nursing Practice/Senior VA Nurse Executive

Ms. Teresa Edgren is the Acting Associate Director of Nursing Practice for the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center. She is responsible for the operation and evaluation for all nursing practice, SPS, Patient Centered Care, the Magnet Journey and safe patient handling within the health care center. Ms. Edgren is the organization’s executive level nursing leader with full responsibility for the direction of nursing care delivery.

Commander Jared McKendall, Associate Director Resources

Commander Jared McKendall

Associate Director Resources

CDR Jared McKendall was appointed as the Associate Director of Resources and the Director for Administration for the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center on September 18, 2017. Prior to coming to Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, CDR McKendall was assigned to Naval Branch Health Clinic Groton where he successfully served as the Administrative Officer, responsible for Managed Care, Materials Management, Patient Administration, Human Resources, Facilities, Emergency Management, and Operations Management. His naval career began at Naval Hospital Great Lakes in 2003. He served as Deputy Comptroller. After 20 months, he was selected to become the Comptroller at Naval Medical Research Unit Two in Jakarta, Indonesia in support of a variety of tropical medicine research areas including Avian Influenza and Dengue Fever. In 2007, CDR McKendall arrived in San Diego, CA as the Medical Regulating Control Officer. He served as the Lead Medical Administrator for human itarian civic assistance mission and coordinated several critical medical evacuations. In 2009, he was assigned to Naval Hospital Sigonella, IT where he served as Department Head, Human Resources and the Legal Officer. In 2011 he served as Assistant Director, Medical Programs - Limited Duty and Disability Retirements (PERS-82), and later as Director, Disability Separations and Retirements. CDR McKendall graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He earned a Master of Healthcare Administration from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine while concurrently completing a hospital management residency at West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero, Louisiana.

Commander Josephine Nguyen, Acting Associate Director for Specialty Care

Commander Josephine Nguyen

Acting Associate Director for Specialty Care

As the Acting Associate Director for Specialty Care, CDR Nguyen is responsible for the strategic leadership and overall operations of 18 surgical and medicine subspecialty sections and Special Medical Examinations. CDR Nguyen completed her undergraduate studies at the U.S. Naval Academy, where she graduated second in her class. Dr. Nguyen graduated from Stanford School of Medicine, completed her Dermatology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, and holds a Master’s Degree in the Science of Healthcare Delivery from Dartmouth University. Most recently, she completed a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship serving as the sole physician advisor to the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress. From 2005-2007, CDR Nguyen served as a flight surgeon with the forward deployed Carrier Air Wing Five, in Japan. In 2012, she served as the Director for Medical Student Accessions for the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, and developed a comprehensive, fair selection process for Navy Medical Health Professions Scholarship students. From 2014-2016, CDR Nguyen served as sole dermatologist at Naval Hospital Bremerton in Washington state, and she was the most productive dermatologist in all of Navy Medicine for 2015. She also initiated a tele-dermatology program that recaptured $500K in care within one year. From October 2017 to March 2018, CDR Nguyen served as the Assistant Director for Specialty Care at Lovell FHCC and significantly increased access in three of the busiest clinics in the hospital. She is the Chair of the Dermatology Regulatory Policy Committee for the American Academy of Dermatology; Vice-President of the Association of Military Dermatologists; and a Delegate of the American Medical Association, representing 76,000 female physicians across the United States.