Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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 Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



Outgoing Cook Co. health chief praised despite falling revenue

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Daily Herald
by Rob Olmstead

Cook County commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday praising outgoing Bureau of Health chief Bob Simon, even as they accepted a report on hospital financials that indicate revenues continued to plummet under his stewardship.

Supporters said the continuing decline in patient revenues was not Simon's fault but the reality of an increasing percentage of indigent patients coming to Cook County Hospitals.

Simon, who took the reins temporarily during the last two budget cycles, was brought in by President Todd Stroger to slash the bureau's budget in the first year, only to mostly restore it in the second.

"Dr. Simon, you are part of my friends and family," said Stroger in praising the outgoing leader.

Hospital employees "were saying (when Simon arrived) 'Dr. Simon came in and, boy, did we hate him,' " noted Stroger. "But as time went on, most of them are like, 'Thank God Dr. Simon came.'"

Stroger and others credited Simon with overseeing a major administrative overhaul of the hospital system that, while not immediately improving financials, will have long-term benefits down the road, they predicted.

But for now, county revenue reports showed that in the first four months of 2007, the Bureau of Health took in $81,831,000 in patient fees, while in the same period this year it collected only $67,952,447 .

Sean Howard, a spokesman for the Bureau of Health pointed out that part of the inability to collect more patient fees stems from an increase in indigent patients.

Stroger said the only thing the fee drop proves is that "Rome wasn't built in a day."

He noted Simon's long-term work in bringing health care to war-torn countries under the most violent of circumstances.

"I don't think most people know that you've been shot twice," Stroger said.

Howard also pointed out that an administration plan to bring in a bill collections company that works on a commission basis was stymied for months by commissioners who could not agree on which company to hire.

The board finally hired such a company Tuesday. That is in addition to the four firms it has already retained to improve the rate of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates.

Simon thanked the board, and pointed out that it was instrumental in cutting health care costs by instituting observation wards 12 years ago, a phenomenon copied by other hospitals.

As for his critics, Simon recalled a situation he encountered during one of his travels in a war-torn country where he wanted to establish a clinic in a cave to protect it from air raids, but two local tribal leaders each wanted the clinic closer to their home base.

As he deliberated what to do, his translator said something to him that has stuck with him ever since, Simon recalled.

"He said, 'Doctor, the man who is loved by everybody is nobody,' " Simon recalled.

Several commissioners left the room rather than join the love fest, including Chicago Democrats Forrest Claypool and Michael Quigley. Another Democrat, Larry Suffredin of Evanston, remained but declined to pose with other commissioners and Simon for a farewell photo.

Suffredin was the key ninth vote in February that allowed President Todd Stroger to raise sales taxes $426 million annually. As one of his conditions, however, he demanded that the hospital system be turned over to a board of independent administrators and that Simon be removed as bureau chair.

The county has not yet reaped those new sales taxes this year, and won't until the last two months of the year because of statutory and state deadlines for raising taxes that were missed.

But in the first four months of this year, sales tax receipts were doing well, in part because bad retail sales were offset by a windfall increase in gas taxes due to the rising price of gasoline, County Comptroller Joseph Fratto explained to the board.



Recent Headlines

City Club of Chicago: Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi
Friday, February 22, 2019
WGN Radio Chicago

Cook County Board approves $1.5 million settlement in 2013 jail beating case
Friday, February 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County paid more than $1.23 million in worker’s comp benefits in January
Friday, February 22, 2019
Chicago City Wire

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart: “This has been a bipartisan disaster.”
Thursday, February 21, 2019
WGN Chicago

EDITORIAL: Don’t bungle MWRD’s plan for an independent inspector general
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart Pivots To Podcasting To Fight Opioid Abuse
Thursday, February 21, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County board votes to permanently dismantle gang database
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

It's time to modernize the assessor's office
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Body found in vehicle at Cook County Forest Preserve near Hoffman Estates
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Daily Herald

Local legislators tout efforts to help those facing mental health issues
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Pioneer Press

It's time to modernize the assessor's office
Monday, February 18, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

EDITORIAL: We could have taken Gary Martin’s gun away
Monday, February 18, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Hours before Aurora mass shooting, former mayors met in Chicago to discuss strategies to reduce gun violence
Friday, February 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Supreme Court sets civil, criminal fee schedule
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Seniors: Are your Cook County property taxes delinquent? Your home could be at risk
Thursday, February 14, 2019
WLS Abc 7 Chicago

Editorial: Look out, taxpayers: When governments have more pensioners than employees
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of accused criminals on electronic monitoring are missing
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit over property tax assessments survives challenge
Monday, February 11, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

EXPERIENCE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE FOREST PRESERVES THROUGHOUT WINTER
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

all news items

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