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    Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Great Lakes to change command June 30 in virtual ceremony at Lovell Federal Health Care Center



    Story by Jayna Legg 

    Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center

    NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. – The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center will hold a virtual change of command ceremony at the North Chicago hospital at 1 p.m., June 30, 2020.

    Navy Medical Corps Capt. Thomas J. Nelson will assume command of Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Great Lakes, relieving Navy Medical Corps Capt. Gregory T. Thier. Capt. Nelson also takes on the role of Deputy Director of Lovell FHCC, the nation’s first and only fully integrated federal health care center. Lovell FHCC supports both the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs by providing medical care to active duty service members, including Navy recruits; military dependents and veterans.

    Capt. Thier, a board-certified family practice physician, assumed command of Lovell FHCC two years ago. His next position will be Force Surgeon, Naval Surface Force Pacific, headquartered in San Diego.

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, Capt. Thier led the team that established an off-site quarantine program for Navy recruits for the two weeks before they start boot camp at Recruit Training Command, Naval Station Great Lakes. The program has successfully controlled cases of COVID-19 at RTC.

    Capt. Thier also led Lovell FHCC through a highly successful Medical Inspector General inspection, and he was instrumental in the establishment of Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Great Lakes in 2019. At that time, the resources of Lovell FHCC that provide medical care and support for Department of Defense beneficiaries were aligned under the management oversight of the Defense Health Agency.

    While DHA is responsible for health care delivery and business operations, Navy Medicine retains principal responsibility for operational readiness of the Navy and Marine Corps. To complement the transition, Navy Medicine established the co-located NMRTC at the FHCC. The change of command will be the first for NMRTC Great Lakes.

    Capt. Nelson, the new Commanding Officer, comes to the FHCC from U.S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa, where he was the Executive Officer. Capt. Nelson, a Navy trauma surgeon, has served in a variety of clinical posts and leadership positions during his 23-year career. After tours at sea on USS Juneau and USS John C. Stennis, he made combat deployments to Iraq, the Horn of Africa and Afghanistan as a trauma surgeon.

    During his career, Capt. Nelson has provided surgical care at sea and in austere field hospitals around the world. In addition, he served for five years as teaching faculty at Naval Medical Center San Diego’s Department of General Surgery and holds an appointment as an assistant professor of surgery from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD.

    The change of command ceremony will be broadcasted via Facebook Live on the Lovell FHCC Facebook page, beginning at 1 p.m., June 30. Lovell FHCC staff, volunteers, patients and other stakeholders and guests of the two commanders are invited to visit at the time of the ceremony and click on the Live box, and/or go to, where they will have the option of setting up a reminder message. The video also will be available on Facebook to view after the event. Viewers do not have to be Facebook users to watch the public event.

    About Lovell FHCC: The Lovell FHCC is the nation’s only fully integrated Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense medical facility. Lovell FHCC serves veterans alongside active duty military personnel, and their families, at its main hospital in North Chicago, Ill. Lovell FHCC also operates outpatient clinics in McHenry and Evanston, Ill. and Kenosha, Wis., and has four Naval Station Great Lakes-based military clinics.



    Date Taken: 06.25.2020
    Date Posted: 06.25.2020 15:41
    Story ID: 372844
    Location: NORTH CHICAGO, IL, US 

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