Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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.

  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.

Mental health facility to lose beds

Thursday, June 23, 2005
Pioneer Press

The elimination of 50 beds and 47 employees last month from Chicago-Read Mental Health Center was only the beginning of sweeping changes state health officials are planning in the Chicago area.

June 15 marked the official date when Chicago-Read, 4200 N. Oak Park Ave., changed its admissions procedures. Now all patients are referred through a contact center based at Madden Mental Health Center in Maywood. Accompanying shifts in the geographical areas served by Chicagoland's three state mental-health hospitals - which also include the south suburban Tinley Park Mental Health Center - will mean that many Chicago-area residents no longer will be served by the only such facility actually located within city limits.

When the transition is complete, Chicago-area residents, including those from Morton Grove, Skokie and Lincolnwood, who previously would have been admitted to Chicago-Read for emergency stabilization and treatment for acute mental-health episodes instead will be cared for at Madden.

The Illinois Department of Human Services had already begun implementing the changes. Dr. Chris Fichtner, director of the Division of Mental Health, said the new procedures are part of a broad effort by the state to incorporate community hospitals as the first point of contact for people who need immediate inpatient psychiatric services. State facilities increasingly will be reserved for those in need of more intensive treatment, who will be referred by the community hospital where they first seek help.

"It's not to say the other sites are out of commission," Fichtner said. "It's just that we've shifted the burden to Madden."

Fichtner said the consolidation of services is both a response to ongoing trends in this and other states and to limited funds amid steady demand in a flat-budget year. Community hospitals with which the state contracts for inpatient care must apply for public insurance, such as Medicaid, for their patients. If a patient is turned down, the state picks up the bill; if the person is approved, the federal government picks up half of the average $500-a-day cost of treatment.

While Madden will be farther away from home for some area residents, the hospital is more centrally located in terms of the entire metropolitan area, Fichtner said.

Opponents to the state's plans contend the reductions and boundary realignment will dilute and delay treatment for patients at the moment they are most vulnerable.

"Their typical patients are folks who are really in the throes of a severe mental-illness episode," said Anders Lindall, a spokesman for the state-workers union, AFSCME Council 31, adding that those patients frequently are without health insurance, family support or social networks. "They really may be relying on public mental-health centers like Read as their last safety net between them and homelessness, between them and the criminal-justice system."

Treatments for psychological disorders, Lindall insisted, are more effective when patients are treated closer to their homes. "That's a travesty to take someone in a mental-health crisis and tell them, 'We can't serve you because you live in the city of Chicago,' " he said.

In a letter to the editor appearing May 22 in the Chicago Sun-Times, Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, 13th District, opposed the cuts, saying they would place an unfair burden on county taxpayers. "After all, when those who need hospitalization can't find a bed, they usually go without care until they end up in the wrong place: one of our three county hospitals, or worse, Cook County Jail," Suffredin wrote.

Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

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