FHCC to phase in face-to-face appointments starting June 29 - Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center
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Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center

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FHCC to phase in face-to-face appointments starting June 29

June 26, 2020

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NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. - The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) is ready to initiate its re-entry plan, aligned with the reopening of services in Illinois and Wisconsin that were postponed due to the coronavirus. The facility, the nation’s first fully integrated health care center serving veterans alongside service members and their families, begins resuming select services June 29. 

Lovell FHCC will be expanding face-to-face primary care and all specialty care at the main campus and its community based outpatient clinic in McHenry. Its community based outpatient clinics in Evanston and Kenosha will continue to provide care over the phone and through virtual tools and will begin to restore face-to-face appointments for across-the-board services soon. 

“The safety and satisfaction of our patients, staff and volunteers remains our highest priority,” said Lovell FHCC Director Dr. Robert Buckley. “Lovell FHCC’s safe re-entry plan will allow us to gradually reintroduce on-site health care services for Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense patients at Lovell’s main hospital and clinics. The FHCC will incorporate guidance from other agencies, to include local, state, and federal governments, as we gradually move towards full operations. We strive to be a high reliability organization and as such, safety guides all of our decision making.”

To limit patient traffic and maintain social distancing, all outpatient care will be provided by appointment only, except at the facility’s emergency department, mental health outpatient clinic and the COVID-19 respiratory clinics. While the hospital is beginning to increase volume of scheduled procedures, patients are reminded that walk-in appointments currently are not available at other clinics. Lovell FHCC will continue to maximize personalized virtual care options like telehealth, phone consults and wellness checks, which have been valuable links to patients during this challenging time.
All patients, staff and visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and have their temperatures taken in their vehicles as they arrive at Lovell FHCC’s gates. Patients are strongly encouraged to attend appointments alone, but may bring one companion if necessary, for medical or safety reasons. In order to safeguard the FHCC’s most vulnerable patients, a no-visitors’ policy will remain in effect for patients in the facility’s inpatient units and residential treatment programs and for its nursing home residents. The only exceptions will be for patients in late- stage hospice situations.

Face coverings are still mandatory for entry to Lovell FHCC and its community based outpatient clinics. Patients may pick up masks for use during their visits to the main hospital at the Quarterdeck desk just inside the entrance to the Ambulatory Care Clinic, Building 133EF, or at the volunteer desk by the VCS Canteen Store. As a reminder, parking is available for patients in the parking garage.

Lovell FHCC has three community based outpatient clinics that serve VA patients. The clinic in McHenry, like the main hospital, remains open for patients with appointments only. The clinics in Evanston and Kenosha continue to support patients over the phone and through virtual tools.

The FHCC’s branch medical clinics on Naval Station Great Lakes continue to operate according to the readiness standards for the active duty personnel they serve. Face-to-face and telephone appointments are available for enrolled personnel at Fisher and USS Tranquillity clinics.

Patients who would like to schedule on-site appointments should first call their health care providers for guidance. Additionally, advice from nurses is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for VA patients at 224-610-2920, and for DoD patients at 800-874-2273. For more information about Lovell FHCC, visit https://www.lovell.fhcc.va.gov/ or https://www.facebook.com/lovellfhcc/.