Cook County Health & Hospitals System
Letter from the CEO
Cook County is in the midst of a budget crisis. The tax on sugar sweetened beverage was repealed earlier this month, leaving the County with a $200 million budget hole. To fill that gap, the Cook County Health & Hospitals System is being asked to find millions of dollars in cuts that we cannot afford.
I am proud to say that for the last several years, our health system has closed our books with a balanced budget. A notable feat for a system that historically operated with a multi-million dollar deficit.  And we have achieved this financial milestone even while receiving 75% less taxpayer funding from Cook County residents. Today, we receive about $110 million from the County of Cook to help support the health system's operations and services we provide that are not reimbursable, like public health, health care to detainees at the jail, and some charity care for the uninsured. The allocation represents approximately 5% of our operating budget as a health care provider. In all, since 2009, CCHHS' reduced allocation has allowed Cook County to redirect nearly $2.5 billion to other purposes.
Each year we serve approximately 300,000 patients, 140,000 members of our Medicaid managed care health plan, CountyCare, and more than 2 million residents in suburban Cook County through our Department of Public Health. We strive to keep our patients and members in good health through comprehensive primary and preventive care. Not only is this the most cost effective way to provide care, but more importantly, it helps keeps those we serve healthy and productive so they can continue to live a full life and contribute to society. Our two hospitals, Stroger and Provident, provide 45% of all charity care in Cook County- a region with 70 other hospitals-amounting to millions of dollars each year. 

Any reduction in our funding will result in a reduction in services, drastically impacting the care we provide to our patients and hindering our ability to protect the health of those in Cook County, particularly those who are the most vulnerable.

We are in need of your support.
We have fulfilled our mission to care for all in need for more than 180 years and we hope to continue for generations to come.  
I am urging our patients, supporters and partners to speak out on behalf of the health system and the services we provide at the upcoming hearings on the Cook County budget. You can also reach out to your Commissioner directly. Click here for more information.     
Dr. Jay Shannon, CEO, CCHHS
Support Cook County Health
Attention patients and advocates! The Cook County Board of Commissioners is holding public hearings to receive feedback on the 2018 County budget and we need your help. Provide in-person or written testimony about the importance of the health system at one of the following meetings:
  • Monday, October 30 - 6:30 PM - Markham Courthouse
    16501 Kedzie Ave., Markham
  • Tuesday, October 31 - 9:00 AM - Cook County Building, Board Room
    118 N. Clark St. - 5th Floor, Chicago
  • Thursday, November 2 - 6:30 PM - Skokie Courthouse
    5600 Old Orchard Rd., Rm 136, Skokie
  • Monday, November 6 - 6:30 PM - Maywood Courthouse
    1500 Maybrook Dr., Maywood
To register to speak at a meeting, or to submit written testimony, visit   www.cookcountyil.gov/calendar. Click the meeting you plan to attend and then click on "to comment on an item at this meeting" toward the bottom of the page. The file number is 17-5572.
The funding CCHHS receives from Cook County helps us provide critical services to our patients and community.
Thank you for your support! 
Family Health Network Members Join CountyCare
Effective November 1, 2017, more than 160,000 Family Health Network (FHN) members, and members of FHN's subsidiary Community Care Alliance of Illinois (CCAI), will transition to CountyCare. As a result, CountyCare will have a combined membership of 300,000 individuals in Cook County. Both CountyCare and FHN have a long history of caring for the Medicaid population and share the same provider-led care philosophy.
There are no two plans more philosophically aligned as CountyCare and FHN.  The restructuring of the state Medicaid program earlier this year provided the impetus for us to work together to ensure the best outcome for the individuals we have long and proudly served.

CountyCare and FHN are committed to a smooth transition for our members and providers.   
  • For Members:  FHN members will have access to the same set of no-cost covered services with CountyCare as they did previously with FHN. FHN members will receive their CountyCare cards in the mail along with a welcome packet in early November.  
  • For Providers: FHN is assigning its existing provider contracts to CountyCare to promote continuity of care. CountyCare will accept existing FHN contracts until providers can be transitioned to new CountyCare contracts.
  Additional details and transition resources can be found at countycare.com .
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer for women in the United States, second only to skin cancer.  And it's the second leading cause of cancer death in American women.
African-American women in Chicago are 50 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women, and breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for Hispanic women, according to the American Cancer Society.   
Women can reduce their chance of dying from breast cancer by getting regular mammograms. 
"Many women with breast cancer don't have symptoms until the disease becomes more advanced.  But if you can find a tumor early in the breast, it's easier to treat it successfully," 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 & Hospitals System.  "That's why getting mammograms on a regular basis is so critical."
Dr. Ganschow said women should discuss with their primary care provider what age is the right age for them to start getting mammograms and how often they should do it. 
Men are also at risk for breast cancer. Nearly 2,500 men are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer every year.
Cook County Health & Hospitals System's (CCHHS) Comprehensive Breast Program provides more than 10,000 mammograms annually and offers the full continuum of high quality breast cancer care from screenings to diagnostic and treatment services.

Most insurers, including CountyCare, cover mammograms at no cost to the patient. CCHHS' Provident Hospital allows patients to make next-day appointments for mammograms.

To make an appointment for a mammogram at Provident or one of CCHHS' other facilities, please call the CCHHS Patient Support Center at 312-864-0200.
Time To Get Your Flu Shot
Getting the flu can be a lot more serious than just missing a few days of school or work. 
Seasonal flu, or influenza, is a contagious respiratory virus that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.
The best way to protect against flu is to get an annual flu vaccine, said Dr. David Schwartz, Chair of Infectious Diseases at Cook County Health & Hospitals System. 
"Flu can be particularly dangerous for the elderly or those with chronic illness, but everyone older than 6 months of age should get vaccinated each year to protect themselves and others," said Dr. Schwartz.  "Influenza kills thousands of people each year, including young and healthy people." 
Each year, the number of flu deaths in the United States ranges from 12,000 to 56,000, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates.  
The flu virus is spread primarily when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  Practicing the three C's can limit the spread of flu:
  • Clean - properly wash your hands frequently
  • Cover - cover your cough and sneeze
  • Contain - contain your germs by staying home if you are sick
Symptoms of the flu virus include a fever, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and fatigue.  Antibiotics are not effective to treat the flu because it is a virus. 
You can receive a flu shot at your doctor's office or at a local pharmacy.
You + A Primary Care Medical Home = Better Health
Maintaining good health starts with having a primary care doctor.
That's because someone who knows your medical history, and sees you regularly can more easily spot emerging issues early and help you avoid preventable diseases like diabetes or heart disease.  They can also help you keep a chronic disease from getting worse.
Cook County Health & Hospitals System has family and primary care physicians at a dozen locations throughout the county where they care for the entire family by providing a full spectrum of care, including annual physicals, immunizations and maternal and child health care. 

"We're committed to building lasting relationships with our patients, their families and communities to promote good health at every stage of life ," said Dr. Mark Loafman, Chair of Family and Community Medicine at CCHHS .  
He added,  "We believe in addressing not just your physical needs, but also your social and psychological needs, to provide you with the best possible outcomes when it comes to your health."
In addition to seeing a primary care doctor on a regular basis, Dr. Loafman said another key way you can maintain your health is to eat right and get the recommended amount of exercise.  Your doctor can help you create goals to live a healthy lifestyle.
If you are looking for a primary care doctor, contact the CCHHS Patient Support Center at 312-864-0200.
Pardon Our Dust!
The Cook County Health & Hospitals System is continuing to create better space for our patients. CCHHS is building a new Central Campus Health Center for outpatient primary and specialty care services to better serve our patients. The new center will open in late 2018.
The Fantus Health Center building on the West Side is now closed. All services in Fantus have been relocated.
Most of the clinics moved inside the neighboring Stroger Hospital. Some clinics inside Stroger Hospital also moved to make space for the Fantus Health Center relocations.

Patients should ask their provider where their next appointment will be.  You can also find a list of where clinics have been relocated. Click Here.

The aging Fantus Health Center will be closing to create space on CCHHS' main campus for much needed additional patient parking.

CCHHS is also excited to announce the development of a new women and children's center at Stroger Hospital that is almost complete. Stay tuned for more updates.
In the Community: Latin American Health Week
The Cook County Health & Hospitals System was recognized by Consulate General of Mexico for participating in its 2017 Latin American Health Week that included a series of health fairs, informational workshops, screenings, and other activities organized by the Consulate of Mexico and various Latin American Consulates in the Midwest.

CCHHS in the News