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.

  Eighteen of the 20 largest banks in the world and more than 50 foreign banks have offices in Cook County.

County to end long-term hospital care

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman Staff writer

Cook County is getting out of the long-term health care business. Commissioners voted to ship remaining long-term and intermediate care patients from Oak Forest Hospital to two nearby nursing homes.
After more than an hour of debate, the county's health and hospitals committee voted 9 to 3 on Monday to approve contracts with a private nursing home contractor. The deal is expected to win full approval at the next meeting.
The contract sends about 60 Oak Forest patients, mostly undocumented immigrants who are not eligible for Medicaid or other government programs, to two nursing homes in Bridgeview and Chicago's Morgan Park community.
Health Bureau Chief Robert Simon said the three-year, $19 million deal with operators New York Boys LLC will save the county $10.1 million a year.
Simon said he was confident the patients will be well cared for.
"If I wasn't, as a physician, it would be unethical for me to recommend it," Simon said. "The patients we've already transferred say they're happy there."
Some commissioners said they worry that agreeing to pay for the private care of patients who could live for decades might eventually cost the county more than it saves.
"As time goes by and costs go up, we'll be paying more for these patients," said Joan Murphy (D-Crestwood), before voting against the deal. "These contracts will not stay the same."
Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston) called the deal a "foolish act" that gave Cook County a new legal responsibility to patients.
"Once we agree to be paying for them, we create an entitlement," Larry said. "This is a lack of management and implementation of the budget."
The deal allows Simon to completely close both Oak Forest's long-term care unit, which houses patients for years, and the intermediate "skilled nursing" unit where patients stay if they need several weeks of chronic care.
Patients who have insurance or qualify for federal assistance are being referred to other nursing homes of their choice, officials said, and will not cost the county anything. About 70 of the 220 long-term care patients have left voluntarily.
The original plan approved during 2007 budget cuts involved keeping some of the skilled-nursing beds open at Oak Forest, but Simon said federal Medicaid rules made that impossible.
Closing down both units and laying off about 500 people allows the hospital to close down some buildings and focus on the critical units that remain open -- acute care, rehabilitation and the emergency room, officials said.
Simon said the county's new procedure of referring patients with long-term needs to nursing homes is similar to what many private hospitals do. But the closure has prompted fierce protests from unions and some patient advocates.
Simon said he's concerned the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board may not sign off on the closure.
"The board has become a major, major obstacle," Simon said. "It took them a month just to respond to our one letter."

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.