The purpose is to conduct a study to evaluate whether the integrated Department of Defense/Department of Veterans Affairs (DoD/VA) James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) located in North Chicago is more beneficial to DoD and VA than their independent facilities in serving the needs of their eligible populations. A panel that is comprised of independent, neutral, nongovernmental subject matter experts shall be convened to do the following, but is not limited to:
* Stakeholders include all groups affected directly and indirectly by the merger, such as the leadership of the merging units and their line of command/authority, the employees, active duty and civilian, eligible beneficiaries, local citizens, and labor unions.
The committee held five face-to-face meetings between February 2011 and March 2012, supplemented by conference calls and email exchanges. Two of the meetings were held in North Chicago, where the committee received presentations from the staff of the FHCC and area stakeholders affected by the integration effort. Stakeholders include leaders of the Navy Recruit Training Command, the affiliated medical school (Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science), unions, patients, and veterans organizations. The presenters and their affiliations are listed in the Acknowledgments. The committee also toured the FHCC facilities for half a day, including naval branch clinics located on the naval base.
In the process of its deliberations, the committee created a framework (see Table 1-1) to guide its evaluation of the Lovell FHCC merger that