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.

   
  Eighteen of the 20 largest banks in the world and more than 50 foreign banks have offices in Cook County.
   
     
     
     



County not ready to abandon plan for Oak Forest Hospital

Friday, March 25, 2011
SouthtownStar
by Lauren FitzPatrick and Mike Nolan

Lee Mayberry has done his part to protest changes at Oak Forest Hospital.

The legally blind man who once worked at Oak Forest, then became a loyal patient even after he got health insurance, showed up Monday at a state public health board meeting to holler for the hospital where, he said, he “can still afford to be sick there.”

“You still get a bill,” Mayberry said. “It is an affordable bill.”

He believes one thing persuaded the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board to snub a county request to turn Oak Forest into an outpatient clinic.

“The truth,” Mayberry said Tuesday from his Lansing home. “This plan is idiotic.”

The truth included a recent report from the review board’s staff that pointed to a dearth of hospital beds among private south suburban hospitals.

Some of those hospitals have said they cannot absorb Oak Forest’s patients.

But Cook County Health and Hospitals System spokesman Lucio Guerrero said the county felt it had a “compelling argument” for dropping inpatient services at Oak Forest and couldn’t understand why the board of review “voted the way it did.

“After 18 months of us doing a strategic plan and research, we were pretty confident we knew what is needed in terms of health care” services, Guerrero said Tuesday. “We think a regional outpatient center is the way to go.”

He reiterated that the majority of hospitals near Oak Forest had indicated there would be no adverse impact on them should inpatient operations close.

And the board’s vote doesn’t mean the county doesn’t have another shot at swaying members to reconsider.

Guerrero thought the county would try to get on the agenda for the board’s May 10 meeting but didn’t know for sure whether the deadline to be on that agenda had passed.

Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, said the department would review any new information submitted, then file a report with the review board.

Arnold said that, historically, the board “has not pushed for a complete denial of an application to discontinue services,” and that the state might seek other conditions from the county in order to approve the proposal.

Guerrero said the county would submit more information to the state to “try to make clear what is going to be done” at Oak Forest. He thought that perhaps there was the impression that the outpatient center would have to be created from scratch.

“We have to do a better job of explaining that many of those (outpatient) services are there now, but at a bare-bones level,” he said.

Feeling the pain

Eliminating inpatient services at Oak Forest would “have an impact on all the hospitals in the area,” but Blue Island’s MetroSouth Medical Center plans to “step up to help those patients during the transition,” said Denise Cameron, MetroSouth’s vice president of business development.

Oak Forest has typically served as the area’s “safety net” hospital, absorbing a large number of non-paying customers. Should MetroSouth suddenly see a big surge of patients who lack insurance or are unable to pay, it would “definitely put a strain on us” financially, Cameron said.

“One can only do so much charity care,” she said.

Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn anticipates its ambulance traffic would rise should Oak Forest cease inpatient services.

“If they totally shut down their services there, the overcrowding we routinely experience in the emergency department is going to get worse,” said Dr. Chintan Mistry, a seasoned ER doctor who heads the emergency department at Christ and Hope Children’s Hospital.

“Like every other major teaching center, we are often times filled to the brim.”

It’s the hospitals closest to Oak Forest that will be impacted most, he said, such as Ingalls Hospital in Harvey.

Ingalls can’t take all of Oak Forest’s 30 to 40 daily inpatients, said Joe Moser, a vice president of development at Ingalls Health System, who talked to Cook County officials about their plan.

“Some days, we don’t even have a bed available,” he said.



Recent Headlines

Prisoner escapes from Chicago police custody en route to Cook County Jail
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

County clerk’s office needs federal oversight
Monday, September 16, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

City Club of Chicago: Toni Preckwinkle – Advancing Racial Equity in Cook County
Monday, September 16, 2019
WGN Radio

Choosing Cook County judges, Justice Ginsburg reminds us, should not be a popularity contest
Monday, September 16, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Kim Foxx interested, wary of working with Trump White House on criminal justice reform
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Is Clerk Karen Yarbrough ‘best official’ in county — or is patronage hiring flap only ‘tip of the iceberg’?
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A secret vote will choose Cook County’s next judicial chief. A $270 million budget, thousands of employees, and the future of a huge court system are at stake.
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Evans Faces Challenge Thursday For Position As Cook County Chief Judge
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
WBEZ News

Cook County Health's John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital Receives $5M Federal Grant to Support Cancer Research
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Daily Herald

Cook County Forest Preserves Might Pitch Property Tax Hike To Voters
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
WBEZ News

Column: Ethically, Todd Ricketts owes Cook County six more years of property taxes on his Wilmette house. He should pay up.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Watchdog accuses County Clerk Karen Yarbrough of running ‘illegal patronage’ operation, wants court oversight
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Prosecutors Decline To File Charges In About 1 In Every 5 Murder Cases
Thursday, September 05, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County Maps Story of Opioid Epidemic with New Website
Thursday, September 05, 2019
WBEZ News

Slow refund checks for Water Tower residents—including the county treasurer—lead to proposed fee
Wednesday, September 04, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Criminal history vs. compassion? County debate over role of rap sheets in rental decisions
Wednesday, September 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County’s new law barring landlords from turning away tenants with certain criminal backgrounds faces controversy
Wednesday, September 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: Upholding Cook County’s assault weapons ban
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Hospital rehab awarded $3 million in state tax credits
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Curbed Chicago

Cook County Finance Committee to approve $3 million settlement in medical malpractice case
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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