Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

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 is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

Critics of cuts at Oak Forest Hospital speak out

Sunday, January 25, 2009
by Jason Freeman

When the Cook County Health and Hospital System board was created last year in an effort to depoliticize the operation of the county's financially strained health care system, Frank Borgers, a research and legislative analyst for the National Nurses Organizing Committee, was optimistic.

"The nurses, along with a lot of community folks, fought to create this board with the goal of saving the health care system and with the assumption that it would be based on public input," he said.

But Borgers said the nine-member board's recent decision to end inpatient surgeries at Oak Forest Hospital and move them to Stroger Hospital has made him reconsider that optimism.

"There was no community involvement," he said. "There was no discussion. They just took a vote, and that was it."

Borgers joined dozens of residents and health care advocates Saturday in voicing concerns over the board's decision during a community town hall meeting at Victory Christian International Ministries in Markham called "A Change We Can Believe In - A Change That Is Needed."

The meeting was sponsored by the Southland Ministerial Health Network, the Healthcare Consortium of Illinois and the Crossroad Coalition and featured guest speakers from those organizations as well as from the hospital board.

During the open-floor discussion afterward, many residents seemed frustrated that they will have to go to Chicago in order to receive inpatient surgery. Others, such as Emilie Junge, a regional coordinator for the Doctors Council SEIU, were angry that Oak Forest Hospital doctors weren't included in the decision-making process.

"The decision was made all of a sudden with no notice and with no opportunity for the doctors to have some input," she said. "Our view is that we should be seen as partners in the process of restructuring a system."

David Small, the board's interim chief executive officer, apologized during his speech but said the board is working on a new process that will include everyone in future decisions.

"Management and the board will have a conversation about concepts for change and redesign, and before there's final decision-making that starts us on our way to implement that, we'll go out and engage the community and others who are stakeholders," he said. "We'll discuss those concepts and get feedback and bring that back to the board so that everything is fully considered before final decisions are made."

Borgers, though, said it's a case of too little, too late.

"Offering an apology after the fact doesn't cut it," he said. "We believe that nurses, doctors and the community need to have a voice at the table, but they don't right now."

Authorities said Oak Forest Hospital will still offer outpatient surgeries that don't require full anesthesia. Surgeries requiring full anesthesia, but not an overnight hospital stay, will be done mostly at Provident Hospital in Chicago, they said.

Jason Freeman can be reached at or (708) 802-8808.

Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019

System News
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.