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.
   
     
     
     



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

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