Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Lovell FHCC staff steps up to create formidable COVID-19 team

Image of Military health personnel preparing to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Sheeba Varughese (left), IV room manager at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, and Navy Hospital Corpsman First Class Robert Viloria set up for administration of the COVID-19 vaccine at the McHenry (Illinois) Community Based Outpatient Clinic. (Photo by: Navy Seaman Apprentice Minh-Thy Chu, Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health)

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccination effort at the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center has brought out the best in staff, many who volunteered to create a formidable team dedicated to one thing - getting shots in the arms of every staff member and as many of the FHCC's veteran, military, and military dependent patients as possible.

From the late December day the first Moderna vaccines were delivered with fanfare to the North Chicago, Illinois facility, it became apparent that what would typically be done through the Immunizations Clinic was too big of an operation for the limited clinical staff.

"We knew we had to stand up a group of people to basically volunteer to be vaccinators," said FHCC Assistant Director of Plans and Operations Kathleen Kennedy.

FHCC Gastroenterology Nurse Manager April Shaw was given the task of managing staff volunteers who would be running the staff vaccination clinic. This team dedicated six weeks to COVID-19 vaccinations for staff in the Family Practice Clinic. By the end of the seventh week, 73% of staff was vaccinated, including Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense employees.

Chief of Pharmacy, Laurie Noschese, and Regional Immunizations Program Manager, Randy Tolbert, were tasked to deploy staff vaccines. They got support from the team of volunteers including nurses, pharmacy employees, and medical support assistants.

At first, some Navy staff at Lovell FHCC were unable to access the online appointment booking tool developed at another VA facility for staff to schedule their vaccinations. Once the clinic had enough doses on hand, walk-in appointments were opened for all staff, which mitigated the issue.

As the clinic became busier, more administrative staff volunteered to manage the flow of the clinic, checking people in, handing out paperwork, and scheduling second dose appointments. This allowed clinical staff to focus on their medical roles – vaccinating and observing those who had received the vaccine. Volunteers also helped schedule appointments over the phone. According to Kennedy, there was never a shortage of volunteers to help the vaccination effort.

"COVID-19 operations have the ability to unify everyone as a team," she said. "It's something we all live through at work and at home. People really understand the significance of what they're doing."

At one point during staff vaccinations, a roving team of vaccinators and other volunteers brought the COVID-19 vaccine to Lovell FHCC Branch Clinics at Recruit Training Command and Naval Station Great Lakes, allowing staff members the convenience of getting vaccinated near their work sites, rather than at the main hospital. The ability to offer this option displayed the flexibility of the vaccination team, Kennedy added.

Since the vaccine was made available to FHCC Community Living Center residents first and then to outpatients in mid-January, the team has made similar trips to vaccinate staff and patients at Lovell FHCC's Community Based Outpatient Clinics, which don't have the capacity to operate their own COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

The start of outpatient vaccinations drastically increased the clinic's operations, from an average of 100 daily immunizations to about 250 a day. With this change, the clinic began relying more on administrative volunteers to keep the area organized and facility management staff to ensure the area was safe.

Active duty corpsmen assigned to Navy Medical Readiness and Training Command Great Lakes were another group of Lovell FHCC employees who volunteered to man the greatly expanded vaccination effort. During the mass push of Moderna vaccine doses, Navy corpsmen and VA employees were not only running the clinic but transporting patients through the hospital tramways to overcome accessibility limitations.

"It's a great opportunity for corpsmen to use the clinical skills they may not be able to use on a daily basis, depending on where they're placed in the organization," Kennedy said.

Since established in 2010 as the nation's first fully integrated federal health care center in support of both the Department of Defense and the VA, Lovell FHCC's mission is best captured through the motto, “Readying Warriors, Caring for Heroes."

One year after the coronavirus pandemic was declared, Lovell FHCC staff is still adapting to the changes in responding to the novel disease.

"The (COVID-19 vaccination) team is so focused on the patients and getting us out of this pandemic," Kennedy said. "No matter what is thrown at them, when asked if they can do it, the answer is going to be yes."

You also may be interested in...

Get to Know the Vaccines

Infographic
9/17/2021
Get to Know the Vaccines

A graphic showing the types of vaccines, how they work, and safety monitoring of the vaccines. Includes the MHS and TRICARE logos on the bottom right, and includes graphics of scientists, doctors, and patients.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines

Get to know the COVID19 Vaccines

Infographic
9/17/2021
Get to know the COVID19 Vaccines

Get to know the vaccines - they do not contain the live virus, they do not interact with our DNA, and have been tested rigorously

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines

Get to know the COVID19 Vaccines

Publication
9/17/2021

Get to know the vaccines – they do not contain the live virus, they do not interact with our DNA, and have been tested rigorously.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines

Get to Know the Vaccines

Publication
9/17/2021

A graphic showing the types of vaccines, how they work, and safety monitoring of the vaccines. Includes the MHS and TRICARE logos on the bottom right, and includes graphics of scientists, doctors, and patients.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines

Got Your 6

Video
9/16/2021
Got Your 6

‘Got Your 6’ is TRICARE’s COVID vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, on days that end in ‘6.’ It includes the latest information about DOD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability. Got a question about ‘Got Your 6’? Send an email to dha.ncr.comm.mbx.dha-internal-communications@mail.mil

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

After the ventilator COVID survivor advocates for vaccine

Article Around MHS
9/15/2021
Tim Harris is sedated while on a ventilator

Tim Harris, a mobilization and planning specialist, U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence, is sedated while on a ventilator at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, June 27, 2020.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Army Medicine Europe Provides Additional COVID Vaccinations for Immune Compromised

Article Around MHS
9/13/2021
Franz Dietrich, a German local national assigned to Training Support Activity Europe, receives a COVID-19 vaccination at the 7th Army Training Command's (7ATC) Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany, May 4, 2021. The U.S. Army Health Clinics at Grafenwoehr and Vilseck conducted a "One Community" COVID-19 vaccine drive May 3-7 to provide thousands of appointments to the 7ATC community of Soldiers, spouses, Department of the Army civilians, veterans and local nationals employed by the U.S. Army. (U.S. Army photo by Markus Rauchenberger)

Army medical treatment facilities in Europe are now offering an additional dose of COVID vaccine for immune compromised beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

The COVID-19 Pandemic: How Health Care Workers are Coping

Article
9/13/2021
a nurse helping a COVID-19 patient

For health care providers, experiencing the pandemic inside a hospital has brought

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Podcasts

Increased COVID Restrictions on the Pentagon Reservation

Article
9/8/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and positive test cases in the National Capital Region, the Pentagon Reservation will move to Health Protection Condition Bravo Plus (Bravo+)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

As Fitness Tests Resume, Troops Seek Post-COVID Exercise Routines

Article
8/31/2021
Military personnel physically training

Keeping fit during pandemic proves hard for some.

Recommended Content:

Total Body Preventive Health and Total Force Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Coronavirus

Digital health innovation emerges during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
8/31/2021
The Defense Health Agency’s Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic. (Graphic courtesy of DHA Connected Health)

The DHA's Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise, and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Booster Shots

Infographic
8/27/2021
COVID-19 Booster Shots

If you have an immune system that is moderately to severely compromised, the CDC recommends you may receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). This would be at least 4 weeks after your second dose.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Secretary of Defense Mandates COVID-19 Vaccinations for Service Members

Article
8/26/2021
An Army medic administers the COVID-19 vaccine to another soldier.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III yesterday issued a memorandum directing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for service members.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DOD Intends to Mandate Pfizer Vaccine, Pentagon Official Says

Article
8/25/2021
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby holds a press briefing, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Kirby said the health of DOD's military and civilian employees, families and communities is a top priority.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

CSM Gragg Vaccine Statement

Video
8/24/2021
CSM Gragg Vaccine Statement

CSM Gragg shares his personal story dealing with COVID and the loss associated with it and urges all to take precautions.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 76 - 90 Page 6 of 39
Refine your search
Last Updated: August 30, 2021

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.