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:  

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


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

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

County panel backs restoring clinic-referral program

Thursday, May 24, 2007
Chicago Tribune
by Mickey Ciokajlo

A Cook County committee Wednesday advanced a measure directing health officials to restore a program that lets community clinics refer patients to the county for specialty care such as diabetic exams and cardiology screenings.

The referral system was suspended last month as part of the cash-strapped county's massive financial restructuring. The move is expected to save $15 million to $20 million a year.
But representatives of some clinics that were sending their patients to the special unit at Stroger Hospital said suspension would end up costing the county more money because their patients will eventually land in county emergency rooms where care is more expensive.

"This decision will not be a cost saver. This decision will cost more," said Babs Waldman, medical director of CommunityHealth, a Chicago-based free clinic. "So if we're in the business of trying to save money, this is not the decision to make."

Randall Mark, director of policy analysis for the county's Bureau of Health Services, said county officials have been talking to private hospitals about taking some of the patients referred by the clinics."Indigent and poor patients and medically underserved populations need to continue to receive care, and we call on our partners to work with us to share resources and responsibilities to make this possible," Mark said.

The county is also encouraging the community clinics to direct their patients to the county's ambulatory screening clinic, which has doubled the number of its exam rooms.

Dwayne Mitchell, chief operating officer of Chicago Family Health Center, which referred nearly 2,000 patients to the county last year, said the efficient Internet-based system reduced the number of unnecessary referrals. He called its suspension "a tremendous disservice."

Commissioner Joan Murphy (D-Crestwood) said the county needs to restart the system. "Something has to be done," Murphy said.

Commissioner Jerry Butler (D-Chicago), who voted against the resolution, said it was unfortunate county officials stopped the referral system on short notice but they had little choice.

"I just can't tell somebody to put the ... system back when there's no money to keep it going," Butler said.

Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

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