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Stroger plans summit meeting on budget cuts

Thursday, March 01, 2007
Chicago Tribune
by Tribune staff report

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger said Thursday that he would call a summit of city, state and federal officials to discuss health care and other issues in light of county budget cuts approved last week.

Stroger made the announcement after meeting privately Thursday morning with Rev. Jesse Jackson to talk about Jackson's worries that service cutbacks will hurt the poor and those lacking health insurance.
Jackson threatened to file a civil-rights lawsuit if Stroger follows through on all of the cuts, which include health clinic closings and 1,700 layoffs.

Stroger said his administration has discussed the service cuts with the Chicago and Illinois Health Departments. Stroger said addressing health care on a regional basis rather than county by county is a top priority.

"I think everyone realizes that this isn't just a Cook County problem," Stroger said.

Also Thursday, Rush University Medical Center said its College of Nursing will continue operating health clinics at Orr and Crane High Schools.

Because the county will no longer provide support services there, they were counted among the dozen clinics slated to be closed in the budget. The change brings the number of clinic closings to 10 under the approved budget.



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