March 2017

Cook County Health & Hospitals System
Letter from the CEO
To our patients, community members, staff and elected officials.

Recently, our country has faced challenges that seem contradictory to the principles on which our nation was founded. Access to health care for millions of Americans hangs in the balance, and countless others' hopes of continuing or pursuing a life in the U.S. are in uncertainty due to changes in immigration policies.
Every day, I hear stories from our staff about patients' fears of being stripped of medical coverage and the heightened concern many have of being unable to receive necessary care at a time when their immigration status is on tenuous footing.

I want to share one message with the people of Cook County. We care for you.

For 180 years, Cook County has provided health care to all in our community and that mission continues to this day.

Regardless of your immigration status, we care for you. Whether you have insurance or not, we care for you. No matter your ability to pay, we care for you. Whatever your religious beliefs, we care for you.

Here at the Cook County Health & Hospitals System, we do not require proof of insurance or documentation papers as a prerequisite of receiving care.

We believe health care is a human right. Here in the United States, a nation of immigrants, all should have the opportunity to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness in health. That tenet is what makes America truly great.

For more than 180 years, our health system has always found a way to serve our patients. Despite any changes to the ACA, we are committed to doing everything we can to help the residents of Cook County stay healthy and well so that you may pursue your individual dreams and contribute to our society. 
We care for you.

Dr. Jay Shannon, CEO, CCHHS
Expanding the Provident Hospital Campus

Exciting news for the city's south side! CCHHS recently purchased land adjacent to Provident Hospital where the health system intends to construct a brand new, state-of-the-art Regional Outpatient Center in the south side community CCHHS has long and proudly served.
This acquisition is part of CCHHS' plan to grow access to quality care for all individuals we serve in the communities where they live. This new center will offer services focused on wellness, primary care and disease prevention, integrated with community services and whole-person and family-centered care. The new health center will allow clinicians to care for patients in a bright, modern facility reflective of the expert care they provide.
The new center will initially provide primary and specialty care services, laboratory and diagnostic services including a full spectrum of radiology services, certain noninvasive cardiology services and more. Future services to be provided include dental, behavioral health, orthopedic and geriatric services.
Now that the property has been acquired, CCHHS can move deliberately through the planning, design, regulatory and construction phases. Stay tuned for more updates!  

Inadequate Access to Nutritious Food May Increase Stroke Risk Factors
Food insecurity - the state of being without reliable access to adequate amounts of affordable, nutritious food - may be linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes for stroke victims, possibly putting them at greater risk for a second stroke, a new study has found.

Researchers at Cook County Health & Hospitals System found that among patients with recent stroke and food insecurity, 84.6 percent had high blood pressure, or hypertension.  Fifty-eight percent of these patients had diabetes, and 16.7 percent had a previous stroke.

Those were higher rates than among stroke survivors not labelled food insecure (67.3 percent had hypertension; 28.8 percent had diabetes; and 21.2 percent had a previous stroke).

Food insecurity is gaining recognition as a risk factor for poorly controlled hypertension and diabetes, both of which can potentially lead to another stroke for stroke survivors.

Dr. Lakshmi Warrior, lead researcher of the study and an Attending Neurologist at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital, said the findings suggest that medical treatment of hypertension and diabetes may not be enough for stroke patients.

"There should be consideration for food insecurity screening in high-risk populations, as food insecurity can complicate the management of diet-related diseases such as hypertension and diabetes," Dr. Warrior said.  "For patients with food insecurity, a multi-disciplinary approach using case and social workers in addition to medical management should be considered."

The research, was in February and was based on data from patients who came to CCHHS' outpatient neurology clinic.  Using a standardized two-question screening tool and reviewing electronic medical records, researchers identified 22.7 percent, or about 1 in 5 patients, as being food insecure.

CCHHS' John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital Stroke Program takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating patients.  All stroke patients are screened by a social worker for food insecurity, depression, substance/tobacco use and need for
transportation. Patients who screen positive for food insecurity are then given information about food resources including local food pantries and how to apply for federal programs such as SNAP.

CCHHS also has a program that connects food-insecure patients with fresh produce through a partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  The depository has FRESH Trucks that are refrigerated vehicles stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables.  To date, CCHHS' partnership with the Food Depository has resulted in 32 visits to 9 CCHHS community health centers, resulting in more than 12,000 people obtaining no-cost healthy and seasonal produce.  

Cook County Health Expanding Access to Mental Health Treatment with $4M Grant
CCHHS has been awarded a $4 million, 4- ye ar grant from
t he Subs tance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA ) to fund a new Assisted Outpatient Treatment program that will sup port individuals with severe mental illness in Coo k Coun ty. The program will enhance and coordinate services available to patients from a number of local and state partners.
"As a society, we haven't historically done a good job of caring for people suffering from severe forms of mental illnesses. Through this grant, we will be able to organize efforts across Cook County to provide this vulnerable population with coordinated treatment and support services so they can lead healthier lives, with less social isolation and lowe r likelihood of relapse," said Dr. Jay Shannon, CEO, CCHHS. 
Assisted Outpatient Treatment is court-ordered behavioral health therapy that facilitates successful stabilization and recovery of patients suffering from mental illness. Candidates for Assisted Outpatient Treatment are adults with a serious mental health disease who without community treatment services could experience personal harm or be unable to survive safely in the community.
A majority of Assisted Outpatient Treatment candidates include individuals receiving inpatient care at Madden Mental Health Center and Chicago-Read Mental Health Center, and who have a history of frequent hospitalizations and/or interactions with the criminal justice system. Candidates may also be referred from Cook County Jail.
More than 4,000 petitions are filed for civil court engagement to aid individuals with severe mental illness in Illinois each year.  Assisted Outpatient Treatment is an effective legal course of action to ensure an individual gets the care he or she needs to live a safe and productive life. This grant will allow local and state partners to strengthen the structures necessary to seamlessly connect a person with comprehensive health care, social and legal services once the court process is finalized.
"The goal of this project is to develop infrastructure in Cook County to ensure continuity of care and adherence to treatment for the most severely mentally ill," said Dr. Michael Colombatto, Director of Ambulatory Behavioral Health, CCHHS.  "We hope to demonstrate that effectively linking people to the resources they need to be successful in treatment can significantly reduce recidivism in inpatient facilities, emergency departments and correctional facilities."   
Mental illness and substance abuse issues continue to have a tremendous impact on our community that is particularly evident in our hospitals and detention facilities. CCHHS' hospitals see approximately 3,000 psychiatric-related emergency department visits each year. Nearly one quarter of the patients CCHHS cares for at Cermak Health Services at the Cook County Jail have a behavioral health condition.
CCHHS plans to leverage the infrastructure established by CountyCare (the system's Medicaid managed care health plan) for its Behavioral Health Consortium to connect patients with coordinated health care services based on their individual needs. The consortium serves as single point of access to reach a large number of providers with specific expertise in mental health care and substance abuse treatment. Patients engaged in Assisted Outpatient Treatment will be assigned an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team through the consortium. Providers in the consortium include Haymarket Center, Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4), Metropolitan Family Services, Human Resources Development Institute (HRDI), Habilitative Systems, Inc (HSI), South Suburban Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and Family Guidance Centers Inc.

Cook County Invites You To Attend Community Conversations on Criminal Justice Reform

The Cook County Health & Hospitals System is proud to be a participant in the Cook County Safety + Justice Challenge Network which is sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Through this Network, Cook County is developing strategies to reduce unnecessary use of jail detention and racial and ethnic disparities while preserving public safety.  The Network is sponsoring a series of round table community conversations that seek your feedback on strategies that include an automated telephone court reminder system; pretrial release strategies; and diversion at the arrest point. Your input is greatly valued in helping Cook County develop effective strategies to safely reduce the use of jail while keeping our communities safe.
You can register to attend any of the roundtables by going to the link below.  The two current roundtable meeting locations and dates are the following:
Thursday, April 6th, 2017, 6PM, Loyola's Lakeshore Community Partner Office 
Saturday, April 8, 2017, 9AM, Lawndale Christian Health Center 
This event is hosted by the Chicago Police Department (CPD), Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS), Circuit Court of Cook County, Office of the Cook County Board President, Office of the Cook County State's Attorney, Office of the Cook County Sheriff, Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Office of the Cook County Public Defender, and Justice Advisory Council. 

CCHHS Goes Red
The Cook County Health & Hospitals System Board of Directors participated in the American Cancer Society Go Red Day to raise awareness about heart disease being the number one killer of women. 

Pictured L to R 
Back Row: Deborah Santana, Secretary to the Board; Ric Estrada, Board Member; Sidney Thomas, Board Member; Dr. Jay Shannon, CEO; M. Hill Hammock, Chairman; Emilie N. Junge, Board Member.

Front Row: Board Members Mary Driscoll, Dr. Virginia Bishop, Ada Mary Gugenheim, Mary Richardson-Lowry.

CCHHS in the News
Upcoming Events

                  Finance Committee Meeting

March 31 -  Board of Directors Meeting