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.

   
  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



Editorial: Cook County's next top doc

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Chicago Tribune
by Editorial

Dr. Ram Raju arrived in 2011 from New York as the new chief executive of the Cook County health system with two great qualities: He had excellent experience in health care management and no experience in Chicago politics. Both served him and county citizens well. He improved patient care, streamlined the health care delivery system and reduced the financial demands on taxpayers.

He's leaving, unfortunately. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has lured him back to run New York's public health care system. We wish Raju well. He did a good job. Doctors and the county's health facilities have billed patients and insurers more regularly for services.

The county has moved aggressively to snag more Medicaid dollars through Obamacare. Services have been delivered more efficiently. That has provided some relief to taxpayers. The county health system requires a smaller subsidy today than it did when Raju arrived. Two caveats to that. Expenses still run ahead of revenue, so taxpayers still have to pony up. And the county has been expanding its services as Obamacare has arrived.

So the demand for sound crisis management may have lessened a bit, but the demand for a top-notch professional to run the system has not lessened at all. So who's next?

"Raju has turned this into one of the top public hospital jobs in the nation," Cook County Board member Larry Suffredin said. "We're going to have some really talented people interested, better candidates than we've ever had before. We need to make sure that we don't miss any of those people."

That's a challenge for the independent county health board that runs the system. Find the best candidate in the nation, someone who knows how to run a large, complex system and who will not be tempted to dabble in politically driven featherbedding.

The county health system once was a notorious, cushy home for patronage hacks, a stunningly wasteful operation. Power over the system finally was shifted from the county politicians to the independent board. Those board members now have a huge decision.

They need to find a candidate with high credentials, a candidate free of controversy. The next leader should find ways to eliminate taxpayer subsidies. The next leader should make a critical assessment of whether the expansion of the county's network of doctors and medical facilities, done in a bid to compete for Medicaid patients, makes sense in the era of Obamacare.

The next leader needs to understand the sorry history of how politics infiltrated the county health system, and be determined not to let it happen again.



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