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

Cook County Circuit Court resuming limited in-person operations Monday
Monday, July 06, 2020

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Monday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Monday, July 06, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Lightfoot, senior advocates strike deal on Covid-19 housing protection ordinance
Monday, July 06, 2020
The Daily Line

New flood maps tell us we aren’t doing enough to stop rising waters
Sunday, July 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County courts start reopening Monday, with thousands of cases stalled by pandemic. ‘How do you wake the sleeping giant?’
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board considers nonbinding proposal to shift money from ‘failed and racist’ policing, incarceration systems
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Coronavirus pandemic should spur family talk about financial planning, too
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

COVID-19 Cases Are On The Rise In Some Parts Of Illinois. This Worries Experts.
Friday, July 03, 2020
WBEZ News

Cannabis, gambling taxes to boost county amid long-term budget woes
Thursday, July 02, 2020
The Daily Line

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Thursday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Chicago Tribune

'Going To Do The Best We Can': Cook County Adjusts Outreach Strategy For US Census Due To COVID-19
Thursday, July 02, 2020
WBBM Radio

Why local school districts are lining up against Fritz Kaegi
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

How COVID-19 threatens health care in Cook County
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County’s new website shows nearly half of census funds spent on advertising, marketing
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Forest Preserves of Cook County opens more in Phase 4
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Daily Herald

Dart, other county sheriffs demand state prisons start accepting inmates again
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

A COVID-19 surge in your county? New Illinois website offers ways to check.
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois raise minimum wage Wednesday
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
The Daily Line

Illinois ends June with about half the daily COVID-19 deaths and new cases as in peak month of May
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Kim Foxx confirms office will err on side of dismissing cases related to protests, curfew
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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