Durbin: Great Work At Lovell Should Be Applied To Other Healthcare Facilities Serving Servicemembers And Veterans

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – During a hearing today on the Defense Health Program Budget, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, pointed to the success of Lovell Federal Health Care Facility in North Chicago, Illinois as a model for healthcare facilities elsewhere. During the hearing, Durbin acknowledged the challenges confronting Department of Defense healthcare facilities and commended the work being done at Lovell to streamline services for servicemembers and veterans. During today’s hearing, Durbin – the author of legislation that would support the future of research at federal agencies including the Department of Defense Health Program and the Veterans Medical & Prosthetics Research Program – also highlighted the importance of increasing the resources available for biomedical research through the Department of Defense.

“I want to highlight the tremendous success of the Lovell Federal Health Care Facility in my home state of Illinois,” Durbin said. “It is a joint venture between the Department of Defense and the VA which has spent the last five years piloting new and more effective ways to delivery health care services to service members and veterans, as well as break down barriers between the two department’s bureaucracies. There is a lot of great work at Lovell that we should begin to apply elsewhere.”


Since 1999, Durbin has played a major role in the development and implementation of the Lovell Federal Health Care Center, which serves as an integrated healthcare facility for both servicemembers and veterans in the North Chicago region.

After the VA announced plans in 1999 to close the North Chicago VA Medical Center, Durbin brought together members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation to request an investigation into the possibility of having the Navy and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) enter into a joint agreement for use of the facility. Durbin later passed language requiring the Navy to expand the use of the hospital and to work with the VA to finalize site selection for the joint ambulatory care center and construction design. In 2008, Durbin introduced legislation finalizing the merger of the North Chicago Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes. The legislative language was adopted as part of the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act and gave authority to the Navy and the VA to jointly operate the facility in North Chicago.


Video of Durbin’s opening remarks is available here.