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Nominees for health board are well-regarded pros

Thursday, May 29, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times

The initial nine nominees chosen by President John Stroger to serve on the interim board of directors for the Cook County Bureau of Health Services would have constituted a balanced, knowledgeable and independent group.

Although it is unfortunate that Norm Bobins withdrew, and that the County Board buckled under political pressure -- rejecting the well-qualified Danny Cantrell and Barbara Hillman -- the commissioners still confirmed six nominees who have consistently demonstrated a strong dedication to public service throughout their careers.

To question the integrity of the six confirmed nominees -- Andrea Zopp, Heather O'Donnell, David Carvalho, Jorge Ramirez, Quin Golden and Benn Greenspan -- and to characterize the group as a "punch line" for Stroger is simply wrongheaded. These well-regarded professionals have accepted one of the most challenging and time-consuming volunteer activities in Cook County. Such commitment should be welcomed rather than derided.

On top of that, your comparison between conservative businessman Warren Batts and Leon Despres is laughable. Despres can, of course, speak for himself, but those of us who have known and worked with him for decades can't imagine he has much in common with Batts, an adamant foe of public services who openly opposes Medicare and Social Security. Little in Batts' public record has shown much concern for the poor, the sick or the taxpayer.

Quentin Young, chairman, Health and Medicine Policy Research Group;

William McNary, co-director, Citizen Action/Illinois

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