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Cook County Health & Hospital System

The Fight to Save Cook County Health Services

Citizen Action/Illinois' campaign to save Cook County Health Services aims to restore availability and access to high quality health care services provided by Cook County Health and Hospital System, including the focus on community, prevention, and early intervention; to assure adequate funding to maintain service levels and expand services as demand increases; to improve efficacy in the governance and provision of services; and to foster accountability and transparency within the health care system, including within the Board of Directors.

Cook County Health and Hospitals System Board

Through the work of the Citizen Action/Illinois and many allies and concerned citizens, an independent Board of Directors has been formed to oversee the operations of the Cook County Bureau of Health Services. The ordinance to create the new Board of Directors removed numerous powers previously within the jurisdiction of the President and the County Board. The Cook County Health and Hospitals System’s Board of Directors has the authority to approve all contracts and to appoint and oversee the Chief of the Bureau; and the Chief has the sole hire/fire power within the county’s health care system.

The Cook County Health and Hospitals System Board unveiled its new strategic plan in the Fall of 2009.  The Emergency Network to Save Cook County Health Services will serve as an engaged stakeholder in helping to evaluate the strategic plan as it is implemented over the coming years. The Network will continue to fight to restore cuts in services at Stroger, Oak Forest, and Provident Hospitals and at outpatient community clinics, advocating for funding commitments from local, state, and federal governments, and ensuring that the Board of Directors adheres to a community-driven focus during their decision-making.


  • Helped establish a temporary trusteeship to oversee the county’s health care system.
  • Worked to secure funding to stabilize the county’s health safety-net and county government.
  • Successfully advocated for the appointment of a permanent Bureau Chief, who shows promise with regards to providing operational oversight and management expertise, experience, and objectivity.