County Board Members, Healthcare Professionals & Community Leaders Support President Toni Preckwinkle on Oak Forest Decision

Today, members of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, healthcare professionals, and community leaders joined President Preckwinkle in supporting the Illinois Health Facilities and Services 7-1-1 decision to transform Oak Forest Hospital into a Regional Outpatient Center. “I applaud the Board's decision in approving the transformation of the Oak Forest campus. This is an important milestone for the Cook County Health and Hospital System and a key step forward in implementing the strategic plan. Public health care is in a critical period. As incoming Chief Executive Officer of the Cook County Health and Hospital System, I look forward to working with President Preckwinkle and the System Board to continue to strengthen our system and ensure that we can continue to provide quality, accessible health care for those who need it for many years to come.” -Dr. Ramanathan Raju, CEO of the Cook County Health and Hospital System “I commend the State Board for their decision yesterday. It is always difficult to change the way government provides services-especially healthcare. But approving the CCHHS Independent Board's strategic plan allows the health system to create effective and efficient out-patient care system. I join President Preckwinkle’s commitment to better quality health care at a lower cost to taxpayers, and this is another step towards that goal.” -Commissioner Bridget Gainer “The decision by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board was the right decision. I am very pleased that the Health and Hospitals System’s plan can move forward. President Preckwinkle should be congratulated for sticking to her guns throughout this process and I am eager to work with her and CCHHS to ensure that we can deliver quality healthcare to the residents of Cook County.” -Commissioner Greg Goslin “I have been a long-time advocate of strengthening access to care and improving the quality of public health care overall, and I know President Preckwinkle and I share this commitment. I believe that the state board has cleared the way for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System to take the necessary steps to bring our public healthcare system into the 21st century and to improve access to needed services.” -Commissioner Larry Suffredin “This is a great victory for public healthcare in Cook County. The strategic plan will enable the Oak Forest facility to serve many more people in the region. President Preckwinkle did the right thing. This is an intelligent manner of utilizing our precious health resources and now we can begin to turn our focus where it belongs: on ensuring good quality healthcare for all Cook County residents. -Commissioner Jesus Garcia “I am very elated about having the Regional Outpatient Center approved. Now, if we can only get the County Board to pass a budget with the money to make good on the plan, we will be on our way to satisfying our strategic future.” -Commissioner Jerry Butler “Regional health centers are absolutely the right direction we should be taking and I’m very pleased with the State Board’s decision. We at the Southland Ministerial Health Network have been advocating for this for over 5 years and will continue to fight to ensure that residents in the Southland have stronger access to care and are treated with the dignity they deserve. It’s obvious that President Preckwinkle will continue to look for community involvement through avenues such as the Southland Health Advisory Council. I will be glad to offer my support in any way I can to help the President continue to strengthen public healthcare in Cook County.” -Apostle Carl L. White, Pastor of Victory Christian Assembly, member of Southland Health Advisory Council and Southland Ministerial Health Network “A Regional Outpatient Center in the south suburbs will represent an important new resource to the area’s residents and those of us who strive to keep them healthy. A Regional Outpatient Center at Oak Forest will make an invaluable contribution to the Southland community. We are grateful for President Preckwinkle’s continued support on this issue and we will continue to work with her going forward.” -Dr. Jennifer Byrd, Medical Director at Aunt Martha’s Youth Service Center and Health Center