Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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.
   
     
     
     



County should prove its plan for Oak Forest Hospital

Friday, March 11, 2011
SouthtownStar
by SouthtownStar editorial staff

The issue: A new report sheds doubt on the welfare of the Southland’s poorest residents if the county plan to end inpatient services at Oak Forest Hospital is approved this month.

We say: We just don’t trust the promises of better care. The county should be required to prove its plan for the future of Oak Forest Hospital before it is allowed to change its focus or shut its doors.

We have been loud and insistent about the need for Cook County and Illinois to cut the fat — and even deeper if need be in this dire economic climate.

We are prepared to give our pound of flesh from these south suburbs, too. But the plan to close Oak Forest Hospital leaves this region with a gaping hole and no place to stitch the wound.

Oak Forest Hospital, with its emergency room and 213 beds, served nearly 100,000 indigent and poor patients in 2009.

County officials hope to save about $25 million by hospital mergers and consolidations unveiled last year. Already the cuts are under way. The county announced last month plans to sharply cut the Oak Forest nursing staff by 101.

Meanwhile, they promise better, higher-level care.

“We feel strongly that we’re expanding services, not taking services away,” hospital system CEO William Foley said.

Adding outpatient centers and ending inpatient services should translate to shorter waits for mammograms, colonoscopies and other routine exams, those calling for this plan say.

Urgent care, podiatry, opthamology and outpatient pharmacy services would bring new prevention and treatment to those who now are left without access to this kind of care, the county hospital board argues.

And surely much of this is true — in theory. Such services are sorely lacking for poor patients here, and we agree the need is strong. But despite vague promises that Oak Forest Hospital would become a regional outpatient center able to provide a wide range of services, we’ve seen no evidence that such a plan is close to a reality — or that the end to acute-care services would come without harm.

A new report bolsters this concern.

In a study released Monday, the Illinois Department of Public Health says the plan to turn the hospital into an outpatient center would increase the need in the Southland for more intensive care and more beds for long-term care, adversely affecting Oak Forest Hospital’s current patients. Although the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board must approve the plan before Cook County can move forward, the board is not bound to follow the report’s findings.

We don’t suspect this report will matter in the end. But we think it should.

For too many people this hospital is the final safety net. Already other nearby hospitals say they cannot absorb the slack. If the county has a plan to care for these patients — and to offer more services to better their care — it should show the details now.



Recent Headlines

Cook County offers two tax exemptions for seniors
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Homewood Flossmore Chronicle

Will political infighting delay your Cook County property tax assessment appeals?
Friday, January 18, 2019
Daily Herald

Cook County offers $8.5 million in transportation grants
Friday, January 18, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Pritzker signs ‘long overdue’ gun dealer licensing bill, vows ‘more work to do’
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Opens New Health Center in Arlington Heights
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Daily Herald

A look at other criminal cases where Cook County judges cleared Chicago cops
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

3 Chicago cops found not guilty in Laquan McDonald cover-up conspiracy case
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Old Cook County Hospital on track to become next city landmark
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Free Radioactive Radon Test Kits From Cook County
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Toni Preckwinkle and county watchdog at odds over political travel reimbursements
Friday, January 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

2 Cook County judges — one cleared of gun charge, one reassigned for anger management — to return to bench at criminal court
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

It's been a bad decade for property taxes
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Bond court reform has not put more violent offenders back on the street
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Glenview pushes minimum wage, paid sick leave discussion to next week
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

How Fritz Kaegi Plans to Transform the Cook County Assessor’s Office
Friday, January 04, 2019
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Cook County Health recognizes Cervical Health Awareness Month
Friday, January 04, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

2 neighborhood courthouses close: 'You’re discouraging citizens from going to court'
Friday, January 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Campaign money tied to Ald. Edward Burke’s alleged extortion scheme was intended for County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, sources say
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County, parking operators in dispute over possibly millions in back taxes that could leave consumers pinched
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle pursues back taxes from parking lot operators
Wednesday, January 02, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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