Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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:  

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.


The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.

Cuts in store for Oak Forest Hospital under county proposal

Thursday, October 15, 2009
by Maura Possley

Cook County may eliminate inpatient care at Oak Forest Hospital and make way for expansion of its rehabilitation services and outpatient care.

The scenario for the safety-net hospital is included in a draft of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System's long-term plan expected to be finalized next month.

The draft calls for making Oak Forest a "community hub," providing primarily speciality outpatient care - services such as primary care, gynecology or dermatology, said Dr. Homer Abiad, president of the Oak Forest medical staff.

But if a patient needed to be admitted to a hospital, they'd have to head north to the county-run Stroger Hospital on Chicago's West Side or go to other area hospitals with which the county will establish new partnerships.

"Obviously, the number of inpatients isn't anywhere (near) where Stroger sees, but it's still a significant amount, and where those patients would go to receive inpatient care is unclear," Abiad said. "Certainly we have a hard time conceiving that they would all either go to Stroger for inpatient care or they would all be absorbed by the community hospitals."

That's because Southland hospitals are already grappling with increased numbers of uninsured patients because of the rise in unemployment during a recession.

But the county planned to contract for the services inpatients need or in other cases send these patients - most of whom are uninsured - to hospitals needing to provide more charity care, hospital system spokesman Lucio Guerrero said. Talks had already begun with University of Chicago Hospitals and Rush University Medical Center, and more were planned.

"We can't provide everything to everybody, so we collaborate to create access," Guerrero said. "We had to find ways to better utilize (Oak Forest Hospital) to make it more of a provider to the area. It's finding ways to be creative with resources."

Oak Forest has about 60 patients; five are long-term care, 15 are receiving rehabilitation and the remainder are general inpatients.

Already this year, Oak Forest has seen its inpatient surgeries moved to Stroger. Two years ago, the majority of its long-term care program was also axed. All the while, community advocates have decried the lack of health care access here.

But the county system meanwhile is facing a budgetary nightmare. The hospital board is under pressure to cut tens of millions from its budget, which at $882 million this year makes up the bulk of Cook County's overall budget.

This strategic plan brought to the nine-member panel, which was created in 2008 to depoliticize the operation of the county's massive and cash-strapped health system, is part of a mission to streamline services.

The board planned to finalize the plan next month after a series of public hearings. The plan must then go before the Cook County Board.

"That's the main issue for our patients, getting them to Stroger. It's just such a distance," Abiad said. "Obviously we're hoping the people in the community will make their voices heard."


• South Suburban College, 15800 S. State St., South Holland - 6 p.m. Monday

Recent Headlines

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-patronage Shakman pact requiring federal oversight of Cook County hiring, firing to end
Friday, August 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

1st District upholds merit board in firing of deputy
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Neighborhood program helps Cook County residents buy homes
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Judge upholds Cook County firearm, ammunition taxes
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: E-filing should make Cook County courts more accessible. It doesn't
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County tax incentive could pave way for Wingstop, Dunkin' Donuts on Elgin's Summit Street
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials arenít sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to

Thousands of Cook County homeowners to receive property tax refunds
Monday, August 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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