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Cook County asks public for health-care guidance

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Chicago Tribune
by Cara Anthony

Cook County health-care officials say they want the public's input on ways to improve the county's health-care system and have scheduled what they call a "listening tour."

"We are not looking to talk to the community but to listen to them," said Lucio Guerrero, spokesman for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System.

County officials said the meetings, which kicked off last week in south suburban South Holland, are designed to assist in the strategic planning process for the county health-care system. Additional meetings are scheduled this month at three Chicago locations and two suburban locations. People are encouraged to attend with suggestions.

"We need to determine what kind of services are needed but we aren't providing and what services we are providing that could be done in a different and more efficient way," said Warren Batts, co-chariman of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System's board.

Financial stability and the improvement of community communication are the main objectives of the plan, said Quin Golden, board co-chairman. Golden said there will also be analysis of the current state of the system and what services it should provide.

"We want the meetings to give an accurate picture of the health-care system," Quin said.

The meetings, which begin at 6 p.m, will be held:

--Monday at Chicago Urban League, 4510 S. Michigan Ave.

--Aug. 6 at Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Van Buren Ave.,

--Aug. 13 at Oakton Community College, 1600 E. Golf Rd., Des Plaines.

--Aug. 21 at Truman College 1145 W. Wilson Ave.

--Aug. 24 at Math and Science Academy 8601 W. Roosevelt Rd., Forest Park.

canthony@tribune.com


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