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:  
   
 
 

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.

   
  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Union, commissioner question Cook County’s plan to cut WIC program

Thursday, April 21, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
by Lisa Donovan

Cook County officials plan to shut down a program that provides everything from health screenings for pregnant women to infant formula for new moms across the suburbs — but it wont be closed without a fight.

Stephen Martin, Chief Operating Officer of the Cook County Department of Public Health, has told a range of officials the county will no longer provide services funded by the federal Women, Infants and Children Program.

Commissioner Larry Suffredin, who represents the North Side and suburbs, said Martin told him earlier this week that won’t mean the assistance will dry up for those who rely on the program, which include some of the poorest families in the county.

“If we don’t do it, they’ll give [the WIC money] to other community groups to handle the program,” Suffredin said.

Still, Suffredin says he has questions about what it means to eliminate the program. By one estimate the county’s WIC program, which has offices in the Rolling Meadows, Bridgeview and Markham courthouses and another site in Maywood, has a caseload of 20,000 women and children.

“The issues are, who will provide these services and who will provide the outreach to connect people with these services?’’ Suffredin asked. “Should this have been Dr. Martin’s decision alone? Or should it have gone to the [health] board?”

Officials with the public health department and the board that oversees it could not immediately be reached for comment.

But the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 31, is planning to fight the move.

“With virtually no rationale and no public input, Cook County is preparing to eliminate these vital services,” AFSCME Local 31 Executive Director Henry Bayer wrote in a letter to county commissioners this week.

The AFSCME note, obtained by the Sun-Times, says Martin decided to discontinue the program. He reportedly said during an April 15 tele-conference with union and program officials that a 10 percent cut in federal WIC funding means the county can no longer afford to administer the program completely from outside funds, as required.

But AFSCME officials said they called the Illinois Department of Human Services, which disburses the federal WIC dollars locally, and were told the county simply hadn’t applied for the grant money, according to the union’s letter.

That claim could not immediately be confirmed.

The current WIC grant money runs out in June. About 70 AFSCME employees, including nutritionists and support staff, will lose their jobs if the county discontinues the local WIC program, according to the union and Suffredin.

Bayer said in the letter that cutting the WIC program goes beyond job cuts.

“Ending the program has repercussions beyond just the families it serves,’’ he wrote. “There is a synergistic relationship between Cook County WIC and Cook County health care services — which serves to improve health care outcomes for program participants. Women come to WIC to obtain food benefits, but then are referred into the County health system. In fact, studies show an important benefit of WIC is that it provides a gateway to healthcare for participants. Referrals work the other way as well, and clients getting health are services at the County find it easy to apply for WIC.”


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 aren’t 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 suffredin.org

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 suffredin.org

all news items

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