Skip to main content

Military Health System

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:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | 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...

Military Medical Units Support Civilian Hospitals Strained By COVID-19 Surge

Article
2/14/2022
Air Force Staff Sgt. Bradley Gorman, a medical technician assigned to a military medical team deployed to Yuma, Arizona performs a nasal swab at the Yuma Regional Medical Center’s COVID testing drive-thru in Yuma, Jan. 17, 2022.

Thousands of service members have been supporting civilian hospitals with testing, vaccinations and treatment of seriously ill patients.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

COVID-19 therapeutics support DOD pandemic response

Article Around MHS
2/11/2022
Military personnel getting COVID-29 doses ready

The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency is helping to protect the operational force by distributing several new therapeutic options that help to lessen the symptoms of mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 and keep Soldiers, their families and beneficiaries out of the hospital.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

COVID-19 Health Action Response for Marines continues to study long-term effects of COVID-19 on Marines

Article Around MHS
2/10/2022
Medical military personnel talking to a patient

A team composed of U.S. Navy medical personnel and civilian technicians based out of the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, assembled during the initial outbreak of COVID-19 to study the short and long-term effects that the virus has on Marines. 

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Does CSM Gragg Have COVID-19?

Video
2/9/2022
Does CSM Gragg Have COVID-19?

CSM Gragg demonstrates how to use a COVID-19 at home rapid test.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | At-Home COVID-19 Tests | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Getting up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccine

Article Around MHS
2/8/2022
Military personnel giving the COVID-19 vaccine

The U.S. Guard Coast is that we have vaccines to help prevent serious illness if you contract COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Make Guidance for DOD Facilities

Infographic
2/3/2022
Make Guidance for DOD Facilities

Mask Guidance for Department of Defense Facilities.

Recommended Content:

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

VAXFacts TRICARE coverage Vaccine

Infographic
2/3/2022
VAXFacts TRICARE coverage Vaccine

Will TRICARE cover the COVID-19 Vaccine? Yes. TRICARE offers the vaccine itself at no cost, but there may be a cost based on your plan for an office visit or if you require follow-on care.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts

Additional Dose of mRNA

Infographic
2/3/2022
Additional Dose of mRNA

Should I get an additional dose of the mRNA Vccine?

Recommended Content:

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

Compromised Immune System

Infographic
2/3/2022
Compromised Immune System

Do you have a compromised immune system? The CDC recommends you get an additional primary dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

Recommended Content:

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

VaxFacts: Should I get a booster?

Infographic
2/3/2022
VaxFacts: Should I get a booster?

Should I get a COVID-19 Booster Shot?

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts

Preteens Teens Can Get Boosted Too

Infographic
2/3/2022
Preteens Teens Can Get Boosted Too

Preteens and Teens can get boosted, too! The CDC recommends a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for preteens/teens ages 12 and older, 5 months after their second shot.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Vaccines for Children

DOD COVID-19 Practice Management Guide Version 8

Technical Document
1/31/2022

This Practice Management Guide does not supersede DOD Policy. It is based upon the best information available at the time of publication. It is designed to provide information and assist decision making. It is not intended to define a standard of care and should not be construed as one. Neither should it be interpreted as prescribing an exclusive course of management. It was developed by experts in this field. Variations in practice will inevitably and appropriately occur when clinicians take into account the needs of individual patients, available resources, and limitations unique to an institution or type of practice. Every healthcare professional making use of this guideline is responsible for evaluating the appropriateness of applying it in the setting of any particular clinical situation. The Practice Management Guide is not intended to represent TRICARE policy. Further, inclusion of recommendations for specific testing and/or therapeutic interventions within this guide does not guarantee coverage of civilian sector care. Additional information on current TRICARE benefits may be found at www.tricare.mil or by contacting your regional TRICARE Managed Care Support Contractor.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors

Formulary Search Tool Buckslip: Color

Publication
1/27/2022

A color copy of buck slips on the TRICARE Formulary Search Tool. Educates beneficiaries what the search tool is and what information can be found. Includes a QR code, and features a link to esrx.com/tform. ESI and TRICARE logos are on the bottom right.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Pharmacy Operations Toolkit

Formulary Search Tool Buckslip: Black and White

Publication
1/27/2022

A set of three, black & white buck slips on the TRICARE Formulary Search Tool. Educates beneficiaries what the search tool is and what information can be found. Includes a QR code, and features a link to esrx.com/tform. ESI and TRICARE logos are on the bottom right.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Pharmacy Operations Toolkit

Oregon National Guard surging to support hospitals again

Article Around MHS
1/27/2022
Oregon Army National Guard touring a hospital

Hundreds of Oregon National Guard members are increasing support of hospitals throughout the state in their second hospital relief mission during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Readiness Capabilities
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 46 - 60 Page 4 of 32
Refine your search
Last Updated: September 27, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery