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The Launch April 2021 Edition

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Lovell FHCC Monthly Newsletter - April 2021

A Message from Leadership ...

Robert G. Buckley, MD, MPH, FACEP, Director 

FHCC Director

I’d like to start this month’s column with a simple message: If you have not received the vaccine for the coronavirus yet, there is nothing more important for you to do than get vaccinated as soon as possible. The SAVE LIVES Act, signed by the president March 24, has greatly expanded eligibility for the vaccine and has allowed us to offer shots to any individual who cares for, or lives with, a veteran, or anyone who has ever served in the military, even if it was just one day.

The threat that COVID-19 poses is not gone. COVID-19 positive cases, and hospitalizations, remain high in some areas of the county. Even if you are young and/or you don’t have any chronic health conditions, you should get vaccinated because the effects of COVID-19 are unpredictable. Symptoms can be severe and long-lasting.. In extreme cases, it can cause death.

In addition to protecting your own health, by getting the vaccine you are also protecting those around you. Ultimately, the goal is to achieve “community immunity", which occurs when a large part of a population is immune to a disease, making it much harder for that disease to spread.

To learn more about COVID-19 and vaccinations, we recommend reviewing information from the CDC. If you are ready to help stop the spread of this deadly virus, schedule your vaccine appointment with us at Lovell FHCC. Enrolled VA and Dept. of Defense patients should call our scheduling line at 224-610-3899 (between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.) to schedule weekday and weekend vaccination appointments. If you are newly eligible to receive the vaccine under the SAVE LIVES Act, call our registration team at 224-610-3747.

We must act now to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our neighbors by getting vaccinated.  

Let's Get Social

FHCC has a presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Please see the links below to visit our social media sites. Below are the posts that received the highest engagement for the month.

Top Posts from April

Vietnam Veteran Ceremony

Vietnam Remembrance  

We thank ALL of our veterans for their service, and we're appreciative of the national 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War that began in 2008, as it provides a belated opportunity to thank veterans who may not have experienced grateful homecomings a half century ago.

If you missed our live ceremony, the recording can be watched on our Facebook page.

White Ribbon Pledge

White Ribbon Pledge  

Dr. William Cotter represented Lovell FHCC by taking the White Ribbon Pledge in a video conference with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs this April.

White Ribbon VA is a movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls and to promote gender equity, healthy relationships, and a new vision of masculinity.

Take the pledge by visiting our Facebook page

Chief Petty Officer Birthday


On April 1, 2021 the Chief Petty Officer Mess at NMRTC Great Lakes celebrated the 128th Birthday of the United States Navy Chief Petty Officer. The celebration began with raising of the colors in front of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal health Care Center.

View all the photos of the celebration on our Facebook page.

Lab Professionals Week


April 19-23 was Medical Laboratory Professionals week! The lab team here works mainly behind the scenes, but is crucial to delivering quality care. The Lovell FHCC lab team, consisting of lab workers and corpsman assigned to Navy Medical Readiness and Training Command, have processed more than 40,000 COVID-19 tests in house.

Visit the FHCC Facebook page for more pictures of our Lovell Lab team.

We Love Our FHCC Volunteers!


Top right: Daily front desk volunteers Phil Covington – left, Craig Reuse – middle, Ron Thomas- right; Top right: Rosalind-Franklin students who volunteered in our COVID-19 call center. Bottom left: Virginia and Victoria Bishop, mother and daughter, drop off snacks for residents at Christmas time. Bottom right: Deputy Director/Commanding Officer Capt. Nelson on the left and Director Dr. Robert Buckley on the right greet volunteers who "drove-thru" to get their volunteer certificates early last year.

April 18-24 is National Volunteer Week. This year’s themes are “Sharing Kindness Touching Lives” and “Volunteers are Incredible People” (V.I.P.). Both are so true about our volunteers at the Lovell FHCC. Below is a letter from Lovell FHCC Chief of Voluntary Service Kenny List, to these special people who go above an beyond all the time to improve the lives of our patients. Happy Volunteer Week to each and every one of you! Hope to see you soon!

"Due to the pandemic, most of our incredible volunteers have not been able to come here since our Community Living Center and inpatient units have been closed and group activities were cancelled. Volunteers are part of our family. They help keep the FHCC going, and we really miss them.

There have been a few volunteers who have been here during this difficult time to help with our mission of Readying Warriors and Caring for Heroes. Our greeters and Red Coat Ambassadors have been here the entire time assisting outpatients with the electric scooters they need for their medical appointments. This became even more important when the vaccination clinic began. They provided greeter coverage seven days a week and helped direct veterans during the mass vaccination times. The students from Rosalind Franklin University volunteered to assist in the Call Center answering questions, which became an invaluable service.

Even though volunteers could not interact with residents and other inpatients directly, they still found ways to get involved and make a difference. Many groups brought snacks, gift cards for food delivery and underwear for residents who could not leave their units. Other groups brought things to be distributed during the holidays. Holiday traditions like Operation Christmas Cheer, the Gift Tree from the United Protestant Church of Grayslake and the American Legion Auxiliary Gift Shop still let our veterans know they were not forgotten.

With the help of T-Mobile and iPads purchased from donated funds, the CLC veterans were able to see and talk to their loved ones even without Wi-Fi. These same iPads are now being used to connect volunteer groups and the CLC veterans on the big screen TVs in all seven of the neighborhoods at the same time for weekly bingos. Residents are very happy. They love their bingo.

We still do not know when things will fully open back up, or when all our volunteers will be able to return to the FHCC. We wanted to highlight some of the ways that our volunteers were able to touch the lives of our veterans during the pandemic and show that our volunteers are very incredible people. We love our volunteers!"

View our volunteer photo album on Facebook

Be Alive. Be Well. Be Whole.

Whole Health

April is Whole Health Month! This year’s theme is “Be Alive. Be Well. Be Whole.” A big part of that is deciding what matters to you. Clarifying your values and expressing your preferences are the foundation of Whole Health and should be incorporated into all medical appointments.

Whole Health Month is the perfect time to download the Live Whole health app. VA’s Live Whole Health app is a free, easy to use tool created for veterans, military personnel and others who are ready to take the next step in their Whole Health journey. Whole Health centers care around what matters to you, not what is the matter with you. With this app, you can fill out your personal health inventory, set goals, and learn more about Whole Health.

Download the app today: #LiveWholeHealthMonth21

Get started living Whole Health by checking out Whole Health resources and interactive tools that can take you to the next step in your whole health journey. Get started here: or contact our FHCC Whole Health Coordinator Cindy Gunnarson at 224-610-7609.


Sent to Email Address on behalf of US Department of Veterans Affairs
Veterans Health Administration · 810 Vermont Avenue, NW · Washington, DC 20420 · 877-222-VETS (877-222-8387)