In 2021 and 2022, LWVCC sponsored guided nature walks at all of the Cook County Forest Preserves' Nature Centers to highlight how the preserves are an integral part of our community and contribute to our quality of life. These walks were planned to bring attention to the upcoming November 8, 2022, referendum. Also, in 2021 a golf cart tour of Brookfield Zoo took place to highlight how Brookfield Zoo is part of Cook County Forest Preserves. In addition, Zoo personnel gave an Ambassador Animal presentation.
ISRAEL ROCHA, JR., CEO of Cook County Health Aug 8th Food For Thought Program
This year's speaker at LWVCC's annual summer education event, Mr. Israel Rocha, Jr., spoke for almost an hour covering the breadth and depth of the Cook County Health System's services, challenges, and opportunities. Over 50 members and guests joined the virtual meeting to meet and hear Mr. Rocha who joined CCH just as COVID-19 pandemic hit the nation. In his two plus years as CEO of the System, Mr. Rocha has firmly re-enforced its vision "to ensure health as a human right" and mission "to establish universal access to the world's best care and health services for all county residents, regardless of ability to pay....".
Points of Interest:
. 42% of the System's patients are uninsured and charity care is expected to cost the system $348 million dollars in 2023.
. CCH has one of the largest intern and residency training programs in the country; and it received national recognition for its cardiology and stroke care.
. CCH serves more than 600,00 individuals directly and then indirectly via its Medicaid Managed Insurance Program.
. There are more than 100,000 emergency/trauma visits annually
. Services at the Cook County Jail include 30,000 intake screenings annually and distribution of nearly 3 million doses of medication
. Its Ruth Rothstein center is one of the busiest HIV treatment centers in the US with more than 40,000 annually
. CCH re-opened the ICU at Provident Hospital and invested in imaging, dialysis and other modernizations at Provident Hospital - whose replacement has been put on hold due to rising costs required a new permit from the state.
. CCH's Managed Care Insurance Program, called "County Care" was recognized by the Illinois Health Department with the highest quality rating in the state
. Its proposed 2023 budget is $3,987 billion dollars vs approved $3,859 in 2022.
. One of its biggest challenges is filling vacancies at a time when health care workers are in short supply across the country.
2022 LWVCC Annual Meeting
May 2, 2022
86 Registrants representing all 14 Cook County Leagues participated in the Annual Meeting. At the Business Meeting, the proposed program, slate, bylaws amendments, and budget were approved. Members also approved a $1 PMP.
Retiring Commissioners lauded the League's efforts in ensuring a transparent Cook County government.
Retiring Cook County Commissioners Deborah Sims (5th District), and Larry Suffredin (13th District) were the guest speakers at the Annual Meeting held May 5th. Commissioner Peter Sylvestri (9th District) provided written comments that were shared verbally because he was unable to attend.
The Commissioners reflected on their decades of service to the Cook County Board. All lauded the League for its vigilance on behalf of citizens. Commissioner Suffredin, in particular, noted that “we have a stealth government” and that currently only the League observers are regularly reporting on Board and Committee meetings Local media no longer send reporters to the county government meetings. Commissioner Sims strongly emphasized the necessity of oversight to ensure that funds are spent wisely.
When asked what the League should focus on, Commissioner Sims urged members to continue to scrutinize the budget process. Commissioner Suffredin said two issues should be focused on: the Forest Preserve referendum and ensuring that public health is adequately preparing for the next crisis.
2022 Annual Reports from LWVCC Committees and Interest Groups Click on the group name below to access the report