A man in Navy uniform sits at a table wth a woman

Cardiology: Hospital Corpsman Second Class Edmarcbrian Else gives volunteer Monica Ply an educational demonstration about heart health.

The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) is a first-of-its-kind partnership between the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD), integrating all medical care into a fully-integrated federal health care facility with a single combined VA and Navy mission.

Located in North Chicago, Illinois, the Lovell FHCC was established in October 2010. The arrangement incorporates facilities, services and resources from the North Chicago VA Medical Center (VAMC) and the Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes (NHCGL). A combined mission of the health care center means active duty military, their family members, military retirees and Veterans are all cared for at the facility.

The health care center ensures that nearly 40,000 Navy recruits who transition through Naval Station Great Lakes each year are medically ready. The site cares for nearly 67,000 eligible military and retiree beneficiaries each year, and brings Veterans throughout Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin first-rate care.

A group of people listen to a nurse talking at a desk.

Lovell FHCC volunteer Maria Axotis, right, talks about the Caregiver Support Center with visitors. Pam Rosentreter, caregiver support program coordinator, far left, answers questions about services available to caregivers.

Lovell FHCC hosted its second annual Open House on June 11, highlighting all the services and programs available at the facility. Visitors toured clinical areas, including primary and specialty care clinics, acute care units and geriatric long-care facilities, including a tour of the Community Living Center and Green House Homes.

Guests at the Open House also learned about the wide range of mental health services available, including PTSD treatment, military sexual trauma treatment, and vocational rehabilitation. They were also able to hear more about their eligibility for VA care, learn about the Veterans Choice Program and talk to staff about health care options, such as telehealth and home-based primary care.

Many of the visitors had never been to a VA medical center prior to the Open House and were impressed with the many services offered at Lovell FHCC. While most people were generally interested in VA health care, several guests had specific questions about VA long-term and geriatric care, services many guests did not realize were offered by VA.

People stand around a health fare table.

Anna Abraham, Lovell FHCC hospice & palliative care coordinator, talks about hospice services for Veterans with a visitor.

Some community leaders attended, including the mayor of a nearby town and staff from local congressional offices. The event also welcomed guests from Veteran Service Organizations, along with young Veterans and families interested in geriatric care for their loved ones.

Lovell FHCC staff enjoyed touring the Open House as well, learning more about the many services offered by the hospital. Many staff made comments about appreciating the opportunity to learn more about their own clinics and programs.

Some clinics had educational and entertaining demonstrations for visitors. Audiology service offered seminars on improving memory and effective communications, while cardiology service provided blood pressure screenings and a lecture on heart health.

Overall the event was a great success. Several guests registered for VA health care at the event. All attendees left the Open House with a greater understanding of services and programs available at Lovell FHCC.

This post was written by Stephanie McCrobie, PAO of Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center.

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