A new ambulatory care facility is a major part of the federal health center.

The first-ever federal health care center that partners the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense in a single, fully integrated federal health care facility opened last month near North Chicago, Ill.

The new James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) incorporates facilities and services from both the North Chicago VA Medical Center and the Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes, which is part of Naval Station Great Lakes. The center is named after the famed Apollo 13 astronaut and retired Naval officer.

Unlike other veteran or military medical centers, the Lovell FHCC will provide care for veterans, active-duty military members and recruits and their families, and military retirees. The third and last phase of the project was the completion of the $130 million, 209,000-square-foot ambulatory care center next to the North Chicago VA Medical Center, renovation of 45,000 square feet of existing space and a new parking garage.

The new center is unique within the military in other ways. It has a single source of funding that is the result of combining the 2011 budgets of the Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes and North Chicago VA Medical Center. The projected 2011 budget is about $371 million.

The partnership also is distinctive because there is one governance structure led by Patrick L. Sullivan, director, VA senior executive service member, and U.S. Naval Capt. David Beardsley, deputy director, says Jonathan Friedman, public affairs officer for the Lovell FHCC.

The health care center now comprises 48 buildings on its west campus in North Chicago; five medical facilities on its east campus at Great Lakes, Ill.; and three community-based outpatient clinics.