Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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.

   
  Cook County was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.
   
     
     
     



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

Re: Property Taxes IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER SUFFREDIN
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

What's at stake in latest census numbers
Monday, April 22, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Legislation aims to make water rates across Illinois more affordable and equitable
Monday, April 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown worker who allegedly lied to federal grand jury set for trial
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Time is running out for an affordable housing fix
Friday, April 19, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Assessorís Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Women Prisoners in Cook County Jail Curate Global Film Festival
Thursday, April 18, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZís Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Vote for your favorite presidential candidate. The Illinois Democratic County Chairís Association wants to know who you want to be the Democratic nominees for President and Vice President. Vote here.
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
WTTW News

all news items

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