Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
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.

   
  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.
   
     
     
     



Women falling through holes in safety net
HEALTH CARE | Breast screening exams suspended as Stroger Hospital faces backlog of unread mammograms

Sunday, August 12, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
by CAROL MARIN

It is one of life's leveling moments: There you awkwardly sit in a wrinkled, blue cotton hospital gown you had trouble tying, waiting for your name to be called so you can untie, strip and be squeezed into the vice-like grip of a mammogram machine.
It was early Wednesday morning last week, and I was the only woman in the waiting area of Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Lynn Sage Clinic until Jenny Vega burst into the room. I'm calling her that, though it's not her real name, to protect her privacy.
Jenny was about 42, a big-boned woman with wild, wavy hair and a breathlessness about her as she collapsed into the chair next to me.
"You been here before?" she asked.
Yes, I said, I come here every year.
"Whoa, really? It's my first time and I'm scared," she confided. "I've never had a drink in my life, but I'm getting cirrhosis of the liver because of having hepatitis C."
Heroin user? Infected by dirty needles?
"Yep," said Jenny. "When they cut my methadone treatments way back, I said to hell with it, I'll go cold turkey. I'm not on anything now."
Why the mammogram?
''They sent me here for tests," she said, not making it clear who "they" were.
Just then, a medical staffer called Jenny into one of the examining rooms. I never got to ask if she has insurance, but I'd bet anything she doesn't.
If I'm right about that, then Jenny's examination at an excellent, respectful place like the Lynn Sage Clinic is a hopeful sign that pieces of our frayed public health safety net still exist. Vouchers for poor women, financial assistance from community groups and federal funding funneled through the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program fill some critical gaps.
The looming gap, however -- the biggest hole in the safety net -- is still at Cook County's Stroger Hospital. Because of backlogs of thousands of unread screening and diagnostic mammograms, much of that service to poor women has been suspended until the hospital can bring that backlog down.
''The program will relaunch in October,'' said Cook County spokesman Sean Howard, who added that President Todd Stroger is also setting up a nonprofit foundation to fund a fleet of mammogram screening vans for community outreach.
''The two vans we have are in deplorable condition and must be replaced," Howard said.
In the meantime, the county is referring women to other clinics and hospitals.
But it isn't working.
Here's why, according to Jude Andrews, executive director of Y-ME Illinois: When a woman arrives at Stroger Hospital, she is told to go home and wait by the phone to receive a referral to another health-care provider. In poor and transient populations, that in itself is an iffy way to proceed.
If and when she gets that call, when the woman arrives at the assigned clinic, she learns they need her records and X-ray films from past mammograms, requiring a trip back to Stroger, a $22 fee, and another wait to see if they can even locate her file. Then another trip to pick it up.
Provided she has the time and carfare for all those journeys, maybe she'll finally get her mammogram.
''Most women have stopped going to Stroger,'' Andrews said. ''We don't know how many women have been rerouted.''
''Y-ME,'' she said, ''has left a lot of messages on [county hospital] answering machines but hasn't been called back. . . . There's a real transparency issue here.''
Other advocacy groups such as Gilda's Club and the Sisters Network, she said, complain they've hit the same information stonewall.
Howard said he would look into that and called back Friday morning to say that they were addressing the problem ''as we speak.''
Meanwhile, back at the Lynn Sage Clinic last week, as my name was called to go in, Jenny was coming out. She looked relieved.
''It wasn't so bad!'' she said of her first mammogram. ''Good luck to you, Carol.''
Good luck to you, too, Jenny.


Recent Headlines

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas on unclaimed property tax exemptions: ” Most seniors didn’t know that they could get it.”
Friday, July 19, 2019
WGN Chicago

Top Forest Preserve cop quits after burying ticket of county pol’s pal who asked ‘Do you know who I am?’
Friday, July 19, 2019
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: ‘Do you know who I am?’ Not yet, but we sure know your type
Friday, July 19, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo says he got a friend’s parking ticket voided
Friday, July 19, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago-Area Cooling Centers Offer Residents Chance to Beat the Heat
Thursday, July 18, 2019
NBC 5 Chicago

Editorial: ‘Do you know who I am?’ Not yet, but the people of Cook County deserve to find out.
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Top Forest Preserve cop quits after burying ticket of county pol’s pal who asked ‘Do you know who I am?
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago’s top cop ‘must stop misleading the public’ about violence, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says in heated letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Chicago Tribune

‘Do you know who I am?’ Investigators say Cook County commissioner pressed cops to scrap ally’s $250 parking ticket
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

IG: Cook County needs revamp on sexual harassment outside of work following allegations against Preckwinkle ex-chief of staff
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Higher Assessments Hit North Suburban Commercial Property Owners
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Evanston Patch

How did an inmate get a loaded gun into Cook County Jail?
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Check exemptions, file an appeal: What you can do to fight your Cook County property tax bill
Thursday, July 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

’A lack of mental health services has plagued Chicago for decades’: Holy Cross Hospital expanding to fill that void on the Southwest Side
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Construction Begins on New Cook County Health Center
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Daily Herald

How To Appeal Your Cook County Property Tax Assessment
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
CBS Chicago

County Commission Hopes to Increase 2020 Census Participation
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
WTTW News

Cook County Property Tax Bills: Where Does Your Money Go?
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
CBS Chicago

Seniors Receive Inflated Property Tax Bills By Mistake
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
WBBM Radio

Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts’ property tax appeal under investigation after Tribune finds assessment problem
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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