Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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.

   
  The Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.
   
     
     
     



'I'm a little amped up about this': Cook health board members riled by Preckwinkle's control moves
Changing how the county Health & Hospital System is run could compromise the system's independence and its mission to provide care to all, board members suggest.

Thursday, January 30, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business
by A.D. Quig

Members of the Cook County Health & Hospital System board expressed confusion and unease about whether any of President Toni Preckwinkle's proposed changes in the balance of power between health officials and her administration would fix the issues Preckwinkle says need fixing.

"I'm a little amped up about this," said the health board's finance chairman, Bob Reiter, the president of the Chicago Federation of Labor and a Preckwinkle ally. He said he has "a huge problem" with the section of the ordinance that gives Preckwinkle the power to directly appoint one member to what would be a 12-member board, as well as the chair. "It asserts more control over what was always described as the independent board by the folks downtown."

EARLIER

Preckwinkle looks to claw back some oversight of Cook County Health

Proposed health oversight shift not a ‘power grab,’ Cook County officials say

In addition to board appointment, Preckwinkle proposes that the next CEO would be appointed on the "advice and consent of the County Board" and with collaboration from officials downtown. That future CEO's "salary, termination, term, severance and any contract bonus provisions" would also be subject to review and approval from the board.

The county health board's independence has always been limited; the Cook County Board ultimately approves the health system's budget. Preckwinkle makes all of the health board's appointments, with approval from county commissioners. Her administration negotiates nearly all labor agreements with the hospital's unions and guides purchasing decisions. But board members said the changes would make the board even less independent. In the long run, under a different board president or set of county commissioners, that lack of independence might compromise the system's mission to provide care to all, regardless of ability to pay, board members suggested.

While Preckwinkle "cares about public health and providing care to those who don't have access," a future president might not, Reiter said. The "way we're structured now is what good government looks like."

"I don't see this as a particular sign of bad faith, but I'm very struck by the discrepancy between" County Board concerns with finances and communication and "their approach to solve it," health board member Michael Koetting said, expressing bafflement at some of the proposal's components and adding that cooperation through legislation "never works."

Another health board member, Sidney Thomas, said he had great concerns about moving more human resource operations to the county board. The health system exited federal oversight to eliminate political influence in its hiring practices—known as Shakman decree—in 2018. Thomas said he didn't want to "go back to the way things used to be."

Koetting agreed. "The further HR management gets from the transaction that is the core of the business, the more goofed up it gets."

Hill Hammock, the board's chairman, said the proposed ordinance does nothing to address the elephant in the room: the rising cost of charity care.

"The county is going to, I believe, need to increase its subsidy of us, and it is not realistic to think that by more efficient operation of this system, we are going to become self-sustaining," Hammock said. "I've never had that opinion. We're going to continue and need to have more dependence on the county and more financial dependence on the county. I don't think any of the steps here have anything to say about it, other than we're going to talk more."

Cook County Health & Hospital System has an operating budget of about $2.8 billion and expects to spend roughly $590 million on charity care for fiscal 2020. The health system makes up about half of Cook County's $6.2 billion 2020 budget



Recent Headlines

As shifting deadlines create confusion over census count, Chicago officials warn communities of color: ‘Our future is in jeopardy.’
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Early voting kicks off Thursday in Chicago, suburban Cook County later in October
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Self-described ‘cautious’ county pol tests positive for COVID-19: ‘I’m not a person who would touch doorknobs’
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Itching to vote? More than 57,000 Illinois voters have already weighed in as requests for mail ballots top 2 million
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

State lawmakers urge residents to stay the course after census date changes again
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

‘Left For Dead’ No More: Officials Celebrate Renovation of Former Cook County Hospital Building
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
WTTW News

Forest Preserves mark National Public Lands Day with a family party near the Skokie Lagoons
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Chicago Tribune

1,362 new Illinois coronavirus cases as Chicago adds four more states to travel quarantine list
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

State groups bemoan stop-and-go decisions affecting the census deadline
Monday, September 28, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Coronavirus live blog, Sept. 28, 2020: Will CPS kids go back to schools this fall? Lightfoot says ‘we’re not there yet’
Monday, September 28, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Thousands of suburban students going back to school after starting fully remote
Monday, September 28, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois’ coronavirus-related death toll surpasses 8,600
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Column: Cook County assessment report verifies what many already knew: Our property tax system is unfair
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Daily Southtown

Letter from the Cook County Health Interim CEO
Friday, September 25, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

They’re not otters, but endangered mussels in Illinois play a crucial role as environmental sentinels. ‘They all have a story to tell.’
Friday, September 25, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County spends $292,000 to assess feasibility of repairing Port of Chicago
Friday, September 25, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Will your mailed-in ballot be counted? We did a test-mailing to see.
Friday, September 25, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

After ethics spat, Cook County code on its way to a revamp
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

County Board to renew Preckwinkle emergency powers, lay ground rules to pick new IG
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Daily Line

Officials Urge Residents to Get Flu Shot as State Reports 2,257 New Cases of COVID-19
Thursday, September 24, 2020
WTTW News

all news items

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