October/November 2016


Cook County Health & Hospitals System
Letter from the CEO
I want to encourage all of our patients, staff and community partners to vote tomorrow on November 8. Voting is one of the most important civil rights available to citizens of the United States and it is a right that should be exercised proudly. 

From allocating tax dollars that support CCHHS and its mission to care for all, to enacting federal health care reform initiatives, elected officials at the local, state and national levels all have an impact on how health care is accessed, delivered and reimbursed.  

The presidential election will most certainly have repercussions for health care providers and our patients. While health care has not been a widely-discussed topic during this election, both presidential candidates have put forth proposals for addressing some of the most pressing health care challenges facing our country. The candidates take very different approaches to health care, and it is up to every voter to decide which candidate's platform on health care and other leading issues fits his or her personal vision for the country.  

But there are more choices to make this Election Day beside who you would like to be our next president. Local and state representatives, judges and community referendums will also be on the ballot. Be sure to do your research before you go to the polling place so you can make informed voting decisions.  
Visit chicagoelections.com or cookcountyclerk.com for more information about registering to vote, early voting and more. Elections offer an exceptional opportunity for each individual to have a say in the future of our community, state and nation. Make sure your voice is heard! 
Dr. Jay Shannon, CEO, CCHHS
Cook County Health to Increase Access to Care for Uninsured Residents
The Cook County Health & Hospitals System (CCHHS), with support from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Commissioners Bridget Gainer, Jes├║s "Chuy" Garcia and Robert Steele, is launching a coordinated health program for uninsured individuals who live in Cook County.  

"The Affordable Care Act has been instrumental in providing new insurance opportunities to more than 20 million Americans. Yet, there are still too many people in our community who remain uninsured.  Such a coordinated health program will improve access to care for uninsured Cook County residents and reinforce Cook County Health & Hospitals System's 180-year-old mission to care for all, regardless of ability to pay," said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

CCHHS has long-offered financial assistance services to patients who do not have the means to pay for care. Last year, CCHHS provided more than $400 million in uncompensated care. CCHHS' current financial assistance program, CareLink, offers discounts on medical care through a sliding scale based on income to individuals who are uninsured or not able to afford their commercial insurance deductibles. The program has nearly 40,000 enrollees.

"Health care is a human right. A person should be able to receive the necessary proactive medical care needed to live a healthy life and not have to only rely on emergency care when acutely ill," said CCHHS CEO, Dr. Jay Shannon. "We see the impact the lack of health coverage has on people every day in our health system. We see it when a patient comes to us with uncontrolled diabetes and requires an amputation, or advanced stages of breast or colon cancer; conditions that could have been identified quickly in a primary care setting and treated early, preventing unnecessary suffering and cost."

In the coming months, CCHHS will develop an operational structure for the coordinated health program as well as a transition plan for current CareLink members and other eligible patients to enter into the new program beginning in early 2017.

Cook County Celebrates World-Renowned Trauma Center, Nation's First, on its 50th Anniversary
Pioneers, angels, lifelong friends -- just a few of the words used by grateful patients and Cook County leaders to describe the 50-year legacy of the Cook County Trauma Unit. A special program was held September 9 at Stroger Hospital to reflect on the extraordinary contributions of one the nation's most distinguished and busiest trauma units. 

Founded in 1966 at Cook County Hospital, the trauma unit was the first comprehensive trauma unit established in the U.S., providing prevention and pre-hospital services, critical care and surgery, rehabilitation and extensive follow-up care.

By the 1970's, Cook County's Trauma Unit became the model for other hospitals and led to the creation of the local and state EMS systems. Over the last five decades, the Trauma Unit has made important contribution s to "resurrection medicine", saving lives tha t may have previously been lost due to car accidents and violent injuries.

"Importantly, the team cares for the whole person, and frank
ly, the whole family.  And while the initial focus is on saving lives, th e ongoing challenge is often mending broken lives, families and spirits that have bee
n torn apart by the unpredictable calamity that trauma can bring," said Dr. Jay Shannon, CEO of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System.

During the early years of the Trauma Unit, Cook County Hospital was seeing more than 1,000 trauma patients each year. Today, Stroger Hospital sees n early six times that amount.

Pictured above: The opening of the Cook County Trauma Center in 1966. Left to right, Dr. Robert Freeark, Mrs. Norma Shoemaker and Dr. Robert Baker.
Construction Set to Begin on CCHHS' New Health Center
Construction is slated to begin on CCHHS' new Central Health Center at Polk St. and Damen Ave. in the coming weeks! The new state-of-the-art health center will open in 2018 and allow CCHHS to expand outpatient specialty care services and replace the aging Fantus Health Center.  
Residents who live and work around the west-side Illinois Medical District are invited to an upcoming meeting hosted by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Commissioner Robert Steele to learn more about how construction may impact the neighborhood.
The meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 29 at Malcom X College, 1900 W Jackson Blvd., Building MX01, Level 1, Conference Hall B- Room 1107 from 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Have You Had Your Mammogram?
Approximately one in eight women will have invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Here in Illinois, nearly 47,000 women and 400 men in Illinois wer e diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 2008 and 2012.
Though breast cancer is the  second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States, getting routine mammograms can increase the  lik elihood of finding cancer at an early stage.

"The best way to save lives is to ensure that women have access to affordable ongoing health care, as well as high quality cancer  treatment if it is ever needed," said Dr. Pamela Ganschow, Director of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital and Co-Chair of Breast Cancer Screening, Prevention and Treatment at Cook County Health and Hospitals System.
CCHHS' Comprehensive Breast Program provides nearly 20,000 screening mammograms and diagnostic tests annually, as well as the full continuum of high quality breast cancer care. 
And last year, CCHHS partnered with the City of Chicago to expand and improve breast health services available to low income women citywide. Through this partnership CCHHS is providing free mammograms to thousands of uninsured Chicago residents at Prieto Health Center and Stroger and Provident Hospitals. 
According to a 2014 survey from the Chicago Department of Public Health, 8,625 uninsured women in Chicago who are the recommended age for mammograms have not had a screening in the last two years.
To make an appointment for a mammogram, please call the CCHHS Patient Support Center at 312-864-0200.

Gala Will Raise Funds for CCHHS' Behavioral Health Services
The Cook County Health Foundation (CCHF) annual gala is set for Tuesday, December 6 at Morgan Manufacturing. Proceeds from this year's gala will benefit CCHHS' growing behavioral health services.

The foundation will present the Ruth M. Rothstein award to Patrick J. Kennedy, former congressman from Rhode Island and founder of the Kennedy Forum, which is devoted to raising awareness and advancing treatment in behavioral health. 

More information can be found on the CCHF website at 
The DAISY Award at CCHHS
CCHHS is launching the DAISY Award program, an international program to recognize and celebrate the compassionate and skillful care given by our nurses.  

CCHHS patients and visitors are encouraged to nominate a nurse who performs extraordinary acts of compassion for a DAISY award. DAISY Award winners will be honored at a ceremony in his or her unit and also receive a certificate, a DAISY Award pin, a hand-carved stone sculpture and Cinnabon┬« cinnamon rolls for their unit. 

Look for the new boxes that have been installed CCHHS sites to pick up and submit a nomination form. Nominations can also be submitted electronically at cookcountyhhs.org/daisy .

CCHHS in the News
Upcoming Events
   *  November 10 - Audit & Compliance, Managed Care Committee Meetings
   *  November 29 - New Central Campus Health Center Community Meeting