Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.


The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

Cook County to slash health services

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman Staff writer

Longer lines, fewer services and shuttered clinics are coming to the area’s primary public health system, county leaders said Tuesday.

With Cook County Board President Todd Stroger sitting beside him in silent endorsement, interim county health bureau chief Robert Simon said he will close more than half of the county’s 26 standalone and school health clinics, lay off doctors and cut “nonessential” services at the county’s three hospitals.

It’s the start of a restructuring process that will take more than a year, said Simon, who has run Stroger Hospital’s emergency room for almost two decades.

“No one, including the president, wants to have a 17 percent reduction in this rapid of a time,” Simon said. “We have to preserve essential services to the poor as much as possible within the budget that is allotted.”

Minutes later, 10 or 17 commissioners on the county board gathered to voice their support for Stroger’s plan to cut 17 percent across the board in the 2007 budget, including the health bureau. They all said they were willing to force spending cuts on offices that don’t do it themselves.

“It’s a cut that’s long overdue,” said finance committee chairman Commissioner John Daley (D-Chicago). “There’s no doubt people will lose their jobs, there’s no doubt that clinics will have to close.”

Stroger said he hadn’t yet signed off an a specific plan to cut the health bureau but said clinic closings will be included.

“It’s going to be very painful. How can you cut into any health care system and not feel some pain?” Stroger said. “You can’t figure out anything until you start doing something. We can’t sit on the sidelines.”

Simon said Stroger told him he had a free hand to ignore political considerations and cut whatever was needed to protect essential services while cutting spending by $140 million.

“The reality of the clinics is that 85 to 90 percent of all the patients in the community clinics are seen in 10 to 12 sites,” Simon said. “We have developed a plan where probably about 10 clinics that are high volume ... are going to be open.”

The county will try to transfer some of the doctors to the busier clinics and expand those clinics’ hours if possible, Simon said.

None of the county’s three hospitals will close, though some departments will be eliminated. Simon said he would be able to name which clinics and departments next week after further study.

“There’s going to be longer lines until we restructure,” Simon said. “We’re going to make mistakes. There may be some people that we let go, some areas that we close that we have to then figure out how to reopen.”

Employees will start getting pink slips by the end of this month, Simon said, because they must be laid off before the 2007 budget is approved, no later than Feb. 28.

Stroger has asked all county departments to cut expenditures 17 percent for 2007 so that the county can close a $502 million budget gap without raising taxes.

Privately, top county officials have said some county offices likely will get away with less, especially if they’ve cut in previous years or are under court scrutiny, such as the county jail and juvenile detention center.

Recent Headlines

Top prosecutor Kim Foxx apologizes as 18 convictions linked to corrupt cop vacated
Monday, September 24, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-patronage Shakman pact requiring federal oversight of Cook County hiring, firing to end
Friday, August 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

1st District upholds merit board in firing of deputy
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Neighborhood program helps Cook County residents buy homes
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Judge upholds Cook County firearm, ammunition taxes
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: E-filing should make Cook County courts more accessible. It doesn't
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County tax incentive could pave way for Wingstop, Dunkin' Donuts on Elgin's Summit Street
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials aren’t sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.