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:  

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.

Don't back down

Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Chicago Tribune
by Chicago Tribune editorial staff

A few weeks ago, the independent panel that runs the Cook County health system unveiled a bold plan to shut down the severely underused inpatient units at Provident and Oak Forest hospitals and consolidate care at the underused Stroger Hospital.

Provident and Oak Forest wouldn't close. They would become treatment "hubs," providing day surgery and other outpatient services.

That makes sense both financially and as a matter of public health. It will save a boatload of money and people will be better off getting treated at thriving health facilities where doctors and nurses are gaining experience every day. These three hospitals are staffed for an inpatient load that just doesn't exist.Cook County health system CEO William Foley said a couple of weeks ago that he hoped for the panel's quick approval of that consolidation plan.

"Chances are very high to get this done," he said.

Today, though, the fast track doesn't look so fast. Foley and health panel Chairman Warren Batts aren't sure how quickly they can push the Provident and Oak Forest recommendations through the panel. They say this will take more time. That some issues have come up. That, as Batts puts it, "the devil is in the details."

Meanwhile, political pressure is rapidly building against Batts & Co.

They're taking heat from unions for the planned layoffs of hundreds of workers and the slashing of open positions. County Board President Todd Stroger has condemned the planned layoffs as an "underhanded scheme to slash services."

We get the feeling that a desperately needed reform -- creating an efficient public health care system -- is at risk of being smothered.

That can't be allowed to happen.

Remember, some months back the Batts panel calculated that Cook County could cut one-third of its health system employees and still rank near the upper end of the staffing spectrum compared with similar hospital systems.

And remember, a few days ago Stroger was bragging at his annual budget address that he was cutting the number of Cook County employees -- he counted reductions in the health system. Note to Stroger: You can't have it both ways.

We're sure some pols who love patronage rue the day that the health system was turned over to Batts' independent panel. They'd love to thwart the plans to create an efficient health system, save the unneeded patronage jobs and then let the panel expire in 2011.

Foley and Batts have the ideas and the smarts to carry out this extraordinary restructuring of health care, something that could serve as a national model for government reform.

They have been refreshingly candid about this dysfunctional system, which has been disastrously mismanaged by generations of Cook County pols. They have moved aggressively to bring change.

But this kind of change -- putting people ahead of the pols -- doesn't happen easily. Not in Cook County. Not in Illinois.

Don't back down. Let's get it done.

Recent Headlines

Top prosecutor Kim Foxx apologizes as 18 convictions linked to corrupt cop vacated
Monday, September 24, 2018
Chicago Tribune

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

all news items

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