Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
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.
   
     
     
     



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

System News
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

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
WBEZ News

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 suffredin.org

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 suffredin.org

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

Women Jail Guards Say Sheriff’s Department Tolerated Sexual Harassment By Cook County Inmates
Monday, May 06, 2019
WBEZ Chicago public Radio

all news items

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