Psychology Internship Program, Local Information - Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center
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Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center

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Psychology Internship Program, Local Information

The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC), a J.C.A.H.O. accredited psychiatric and general medicine federal health care facility, is located in the city of North Chicago (population approximately 36,000), which is about 45 minutes north of downtown Chicago and approximately 50 minutes by freeway south of the greater Milwaukee metropolitan area. Completely contained within the hospital grounds are an indoor swimming pool and gymnasium. In addition, dependents of employees of the Lovell FHCC are eligible for child care at the Paul K. Kennedy Child Care Center (PKKCCC), which is located on the FHCC grounds and is state licensed. The PKKCCC is accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs and is a member of the Chicago Association for Education of Young Children. It provides care for children aged six weeks through pre-kindergarten. More information on the Paul K. Kennedy Child Care Center can be found online at

http://www.lovell.fhcc.va.gov/about/Paul_Kennedy_Child_Care_Center.asp.

The FHCC's location combines many of the advantages of big city living while maintaining its ready access to rural agricultural areas, camping facilities and the numerous lakes and rivers of Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, for those who enjoy outdoor sports and activities. North Chicago is directly adjacent to the communities of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff and Waukegan and is surrounded on three sides by the Great Lakes Navy Base, all of which are located on the shores of Lake Michigan. North Chicago, while maintaining some of its rural heritage, is a small community with a light industry economic base and a predominantly blue-collar population. It offers, within easy commuting distance by car or train, all of the diverse cultural and recreational opportunities of both the Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan areas. Lake Michigan offers significant outdoor-recreational opportunities and, in addition, provides a moderating effect on the climate, cooling during the summer and warming during the winter.

The various communities in and around the North Chicago area offer a wide range of living accommodations including apartments, townhouses, condominiums, small and large single family homes and, within a 45 minute driving radius, opportunities exist to lease one and two bedroom lake cottages. Cost of housing is significantly less than in the central Chicago metropolitan area and runs the full price range. The cost of living is, similarly, lower than in typical major metropolitan areas. Public transportation to Chicago and Milwaukee is available via train and bus; the local public transportation agency has a bus line directly to the FHCC grounds.

The Captain James A. Lovell FHCC is within walking distance of the Chicago Northwestern commuter train running between Kenosha, WI and the Chicago Loop. The FHCC is also within commuting distance of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, both Northwestern University campuses, Loyola University, University of Illinois at Chicago (Circle Campus) and within easy driving distance of numerous other private and community colleges, business and professional schools.

The Medical Center

The Medical Center first opened in 1926 with five buildings and a bed capacity of 355. During subsequent years, the Medical Center expanded to a bed capacity of over 2,400 with 58 buildings occupying a 125-acre site. In the early 1990’s health care practices shifted towards increased outpatient treatment and the bed capacity was reduced to about 1200 beds. This trend continued throughout the decade. On October 1, 2010, the North Chicago VA Medical Center and Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes were integrated into the Captain James A. Lovell FHCC. Currently the authorized combined inpatient and residential program bed capacity at our facility is approximately 337. The numbers of available patient beds allocated to specific services is as follows: Acute Operating Hospital, 72 beds; Community Living Center (CLC), 140 beds; Homeless Veteran Rehabilitation Program (HVRP), 60 beds; Stress Disorders Treatment Unit (SDTU), 26 beds; Substance Abuse Program, 39 beds; and Department of Defense Hospital, 30 beds including observation.