Cook County Health & Hospitals System
Letter from the CEO
In the past few weeks, there has been a great deal of activity in the U.S. Senate regarding the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with the Senate narrowly voting down a number of measures aimed at repealing the legislation.
Since 2014, the ACA has provided health insurance coverage for millions of previously uninsured Americans, including more than 600,000 people in Cook County. Repeal of the ACA is estimated to result in 32 million Americans losing insurance coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office.  
The Cook County Health & Hospitals System has seen a significant reduction in the number of uninsured patients we serve. Half of our patients used to be uninsured. Now, thanks largely to Medicaid expansion, one third of our patients remain uninsured.  That change is related to an almost one-for-one transition from uninsured to Medicaid-covered.  
Repealing the ACA could result in a $300-800 million impact to our health system, at a time when we can least afford to absorb such a burden. More importantly, it would cruelly strip health coverage-including preventive care and behavioral health services-from countless individuals who for too long went uncovered. 
As a society, we must decide if repeal of the ACA is likely to improve or degrade the health of our neighbors and our communities.  A majority of Americans believe the ACA can be improved, but modifications that have been considered by Congress represent a dangerous step backwards.  The changes proposed thus far are likely to displace more from insurance, raise premiums in the insurance marketplace, and transfer wealth from the most vulnerable in our society to the wealthiest.
For those who want to protect the coverage offered under the ACA, I encourage you to reach out to your elected officials.  Volunteer with an organization that advocates for positive health policies. Talk to your friends and family about why they should be engaged too. Make your voice heard.
Dr. Jay Shannon, CEO, CCHHS
Cook County Health Offers Fresh Food and Free Summer Lunches 
At the Cook County Health & Hospitals System (CCHHS), we believe food is medicine and we work to connect patients and residents to healthy food in convenient ways.
Starting this summer, Fresh Food Markets will be hosted weekly at three CCHHS health centers in South Suburban Cook County.
Fresh fruits and vegetables from a local farmer will be available at these markets for sale. Cash, credit, and LINK cards (SNAP/EBT/food stamps) will be accepted as forms of payment. Those using their LINK/SNAP benefits, as well as WIC and Senior farmers' market coupons,  to purchase will receive a coupon to be used towards a future purchase as part of the Illinois LINK Up program, essentially doubling the value of their SNAP dollars up to $20 per market, per week.
All markets will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the following locations:  
You do not need to be a current patient of CCHHS to receive Summer Meals. Other Summer Meals sites can be located by calling 1-800-359-2163 or visiting .
To further address food insecurity in Cook County, the Cook County Department of Public Health has partnered with the Housing Authority of Cook County to create a community garden at John Mackler Homes in Chicago Heights. The site will serve as a pilot project to offer organically grown vegetables for families in the community. Plans for the community garden also include garden training and education on nutritional gardening. Families can volunteer to be designated gardeners. Stay tuned for updates- the first harvest is anticipated in August!
Please visit the CCHHS website at to find additional details about the Fresh Food Markets and free Summer Meals. 
Diabetes More Common Among Kids
Type 2 diabetes used to be rare among children and teens younger than 18. In fact, it used to be commonly known as "adult-onset" diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can't make enough insulin to keep blood glucose at normal levels, and it is often associated with being overweight or obese. But as a study highlighted in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the number of children with type 2 diabetes is increasing.
The  SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study, funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), found that the rate of new diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes increased by 4.8 percent between 2002 and 2012, researchers reported. 
In the United States, 29.1 million people are living with diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes, and about 208,000 people younger than 20 years are living with diabetes.
"That young people are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at a higher rate is concerning, because diabetes can lessen a person's quality of life and shorten their life expectancy," said Dr. Denise Cunill, a pediatrician and medical director at Cook County Health & Hospitals System ' s (CCHHS) Logan Square Health Center.
Though a reason for the increase in type 2 diabetes wasn't analyzed in the SEARCH study, it is believed to be tied to the growing rates of childhood obesity in the United States.  The percentage of children with obesity in America has more than tripled since the 1970s, and today, about one in five school-aged children (ages 6-19) is obese, according to the CDC.
Parents and caregivers should watch at-risk children for warning signs of diabetes, which can include: excessive hunger or tiredness, frequent urination, dry skin and mouth, and blurry vision. 
The good news is, just like in adults, type 2 diabetes can be prevented or controlled in kids and teens by maintaining a healthy diet and getting exercise.
To help children develop healthy habits, Dr. Cunill recommends parents try these steps:
  • Be a positive role model by practicing healthy eating habits and daily exercise
  • Cut down on high-calorie foods like sugary drinks (including juice, soda and sports drinks), cookies, chips, and fast food
  • Avoid unnecessarily large portions and bedtime snacks for kids
  • Encourage your kids to be active every day
  • Limit kids' screen time to no more than 2 hours per day
To schedule an appointment for your child to see a pediatrician, call CCHHS at  312-864-KIDS (5437). 
Tips for Staying Safe This Summer 
Whether you are BBQ-ing or enjoying a day at the beach, the Cook County Health & Hospitals System offers the following tips to stay safe this summer:
Food Safety:
  • Clean: Always wash hands thoroughly before preparing food and after handling raw meats. Scrub fruits and vegetables.
  • Separate: Avoid cross-contaminating foods by keeping each item separate. Wrap foods well.
  • Cook ground meats to an internal temperature of 160°F, and all poultry and hot dogs to 165°F.
  • Chill: Keep food chilled in a cooler with plenty of ice and maintain a temperature of 40 degrees F.
Keep hot food at 140 °F or above and cold food at 40 °F or below. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours.
Water Safety:
  • Supervise children at all times when they are in and around water. Assign an adult to supervise - don't assume young swimmers are being watched.
  • Inexperienced swimmers should wear life jackets in addition to being supervised.
  • Use the buddy system so no one swims alone.
  • Ensure there are barriers between young children and water so they cannot fall in unnoticed.
Follow all lifeguard instructions and posted warnings. Remember that lifeguards are on duty to respond to emergencies, not to supervise children.

West Nile Virus:
Practice the 3 R's to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and biting:
  • Remove - Eliminate opportunities for mosquitoes to breed outside your home. Once a week, dump water that is collecting outside in buckets, flowerpots, toys, kiddie pools, pet bowls, spare tires, etc. Keep gutters clean and free of debris.
  • Repel - Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents when outdoors. Always follow the directions on the label. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Use air conditioning when possible.
  • Repair - Keep mosquitoes outside. Make sure your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair any tears or other openings. 
Conferencia de Epilepsia -  Como Vivir
Con Epilepsia 
Representatives from Cook County Health & Hospitals System (CCHHS) joined several other hospitals at Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago's first Annual Spanish Epilepsy Conference called "Como Vivir Con Epilepsia" - How to Live with Epilepsy.  The June 17 th event featured an assortment of education topics, like the types of treatment available and how to prepare for a medical appointment for people living with epilepsy. 

Dr. Serge JC Pierre-Louis, head of the Epilepsy Clinic and Neurophysiology Lab at CCHHS' Stroger Hospital, gave a presentation on the quality of life in patients with epilepsy, including driving restrictions, injury risks and social stigmas for people living with epilepsy.   
4 Men Only Health and Wellness Fair Comes to Little Village  
The Cook County Health & Hospitals System, Little Village Community Council and the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois joined forces to bring the first 4Men Only Health and Wellness Fair to Little Village on June 3. The health fair offered free health assessments, dental evaluations, HIV rapid testing and vision screenings. Thank you to all who participated!
CCHHS In The News

CCHHS: All Are Welcome Here
Upcoming Events
Thursday August 17 
8:30 AM - Human Resources Committee Meeting
10:30 AM - Managed Care Committee Meeting

Friday August 18 
8:30 AM - Finance Committee Meeting
10:00 AM - Quality & Patient Safety Committee Meeting
11:00 AM - Audit & Compliance Committee Meeting
Click here for details.

Friday August 25 
9:00 AM - CCHHS Board of Directors Meeting