Suffredin- Changing County Government  

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.

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

U.S. appeals judges: Go fight over lawsuits with Dorothy Brown in state court
Sunday, November 13, 2918
Chicago Sun-Times

She's been waiting 15 months for her rape kit to be processed. A new proposal to track evidence aims to change that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle to unveil policy roadmap for Cook County for next five years
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

COMMENTARY: Here's how the Shakman case curbed Cook County patronage
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Appeals court backs Dorothy Brown in lawsuit over public access to electronic records, says judge overstepped authority
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

What’s Next As Voters Overwhelmingly Support Higher Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Time
Monday, November 12, 2018
Journal and Topics Online

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's security chief fired after review spurred by watchdog report
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

An earlier opening day: 2019 Cook County forest preserves permits go on sale Nov. 15
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County opening 2019 picnic permit sales Nov. 15
Monday, November 05, 2018
Special to

The Cook County Land Bank looks to go commercial
Monday, November 05, 2018
RE Journal

Nov. 15 is new opening date for Cook County forest preserves permits
Monday, November 05, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County Gun Dealer, Minimum Wage Referendums On Ballot
Monday, November 05, 2018

The Abandoned WWI Monument One Chicago Man Is Determined To Save
Friday, November 02, 2018
Chicago Patch

Cook County freed from federal oversight
Thursday, November 01, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

First-of-its-kind trauma recovery center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018

Northbrook opts in to Cook County paid sick leave ordinance, more uncertainty for employers, lawyer says
Monday, October 29, 2018
Cook County Record

First-of-its-kind Advocate Trauma Recovery Center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
WLS Channel 7

Cook County sheriff, CVS team up on safe prescription painkiller disposal
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

HOPE Court, created to keep probationers out of prison, shut down amid problems
Friday, October 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Can Kaegi really reform the assessor's office?
Friday, October 26, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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