Cook County Health Board (CCH) of Directors Meeting
April 29, 2022
Israel Rocha, CEO and Andrea Gibson, Chief Strategy Officer presented a draft FY23-FY25 Strategic Plan for Board consideration and input.
The presentation evoked a great deal of input from the Board concerning its lofty goals given the ongoing shortage of staff as well as having heard the same goals in years past. This was addressed by CEO Rocha who indicated that although it was currently necessary to continue using agency nurses while they continued their ongoing efforts on retention and recruitment outlined in the Strategic Plan. Further, he referenced an announcement made on April 26 by himself, President Preckwinkle, Commissioners Deer and Lowry, and the County Health Foundation of a $1M Provident Scholarship Fund to support students who are from, and committed to caring for, underserved communities. The Fund will administer 60 scholarships this summer as follows:
CEO Rocha announced that the 1 millionth dose of COVID vaccine was administered on April 28th. It was also reported that the Report Contact Tracing effort was scaling down from 300 staff at its peak to a core of 50 trained tracers while the balance of staff have either left or are being absorbed into other duties. Beyond the immediate goal of tracing, the team increased relationships within the communities through networking and education which is being sustained and expanded.
Item to watch for in the Future: During his presentation CEO Rocha referenced establishing a “Mental Health Authority” to build out the behavioral and mental health footprint throughout the county. He was challenged by several of the Commissioners on the term “Authority” and ceded that it might be an office or department as the Board cannot create an authority which implies a taxing body.
Observed By: Peg Moster
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