Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



City's pandemic facilities swipe staff from safety-net hospitals
Some say they've lost doctors and nurses to the city's makeshift McCormick Place facility, which aims to support a surge of COVID-19 patients.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business
by Stephanie Goldberg

As the city works to build up its makeshift hospital at McCormick Place and other sites to support a surge of COVID-19 patients, local hospitals are losing staff.

Loretto Hospital and Norwegian American Hospital on the West Side already have lost workers to the McCormick Place facility. Hospitals, especially safety nets that serve large numbers of low-income patients, can’t afford to match the higher pay and additional benefits offered by staffing firms working for the city.

“If we have to shut our doors because we don’t have the resources or staff to take care of the patients, it will be the greatest failure our community has ever experienced,” Loretto CEO George Miller said in a statement.

Other hospitals and ambulance companies also have had workers threaten to leave for the city’s COVID facilities, which include MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island and the former Sherman Hospital in Elgin, sources said. They point to generous pay packages that are, in some cases, more than twice workers’ regular hourly rates.

Nurse practitioners in the Chicago area make an average of about $50 an hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Staffing companies have offered more than $100 an hour plus overtime. Meanwhile, Favorite Healthcare Staffing offered paramedics $50 an hour plus overtime, as well as a $400 transportation reimbursement and hotel accommodations, according to an advertisement from the firm. On average, emergency medical technicians and paramedics in the area make about $20 an hour, according to BLS data.

"It makes tremendous sense to expand capacity, but if you increase capacity in one place, you could decrease capacity someplace else,” said Jose Sanchez, CEO of Norwegian American. Staffing up the alternative care sites "has created a ripple effect for all of us in regard to compensation levels that many hospitals, especially safety nets, cannot afford."

“From day one, the creation of the new McCormick Place Alternate Care Facility has been about creating capacity to serve residents who become sick from COVID-19, while alleviating the burden on staff and the operations of Chicago’s existing area hospitals to treat the most severe of cases,” Dr. Nick Turkal, executive director of the facility, said in a statement. “While the early stages of our efforts to mobilize needed health care capacity inadvertently recruited from local health care providers, we have since addressed our staffing strategies to prioritize qualified medical staff recruited from outside of Chicagoland.”

The McCormick Place facility's "leadership team has also been in close contact with area hospital CEOs to ensure that staffing does not detract from the hospitals in town," Hali Levandoski, a spokeswoman for the Mayor's Office, added in a statement. "In an effort to prevent any negative impact to our valued network of providers, the city has worked with the state to add geographic radius and non-poaching clauses to temporary staffing contracts. These temporary staffing agencies work to draw upon a national pool of travel healthcare professionals.”

For example, Alliance Health Staffing, which was hired by the city to place doctors at alternative care sites, has started requiring that applicants—not including independent doctors—provide a letter of approval from their employer if they work within a 30-mile radius of the city's COVID facilities.

Meanwhile, hospitals with deeper pockets are offering higher pay for COVID positions. Staffing firm Maxim Healthcare Services has advertised $70-an-hour jobs for registered nurses at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Streeterville.

"We cannot compete with Northwestern and the alternative sites being opened," Norwegian American's Sanchez said. "That is creating a major operational disruption for safety-net hospitals like us."

DuPage Medical Group, which is helping staff the McCormick Place facility, is “in frequent contact with local hospitals to understand their needs, and continue(s) to work to appropriately place our providers and clinical employees where they can best serve the health care needs of the community,” according to an emailed statement from the area’s largest doctors group.



Recent Headlines

26th employee contracts COVID-19 at Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s office
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Senior citizens in subsidized housing have been dying alone at home, unnoticed because of coronavirus distancing
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

George Floyd fallout: Gov. J.B. Pritzker deploys National Guard to suburbs, access to downtown Chicago remains restricted
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Circuit Court Clerk introduces electronic options for court information in non-criminal matters
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County sends officers, intel to aid suburban police: ‘We have been called everywhere’
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
The Daily Line

Disaster Proclamation Issued For Cook County As Chicago Faces Looting, Vandalism
Monday, June 01, 2020
Blockclub Chicago

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart: Carry on peaceful protests, but looters and arsonists will go to jail
Monday, June 01, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Monitoring Progress in Meeting the Criteria to Move to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan
Monday, June 01, 2020
Evanston RoundTable

Chicago protests of George Floyd death live blog: June 1, 2020
Monday, June 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Pritzker declares disaster in nine counties, mobilizes more National Guard troops, calls ‘for calm and peace in our streets’
Monday, June 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Editorial: Zero tolerance for rioting in the fight for police reform
Sunday, May 31, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle, Foxx: Don't let looters hijack reform
Sunday, May 31, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Gov. Pritzker activates Illinois National Guard, issues disaster proclamation for Cook County
Sunday, May 31, 2020
WSILTV Channel 3

Federal Court Denies Sheriff’s Request to Lift Protections for People Incarcerated in Cook County Jail During COVID-19 Pandemic
Sunday, May 31, 2020
Chicago Crusader

Order to prevent spread of coronavirus at Cook County Jail to continue while sheriff’s office appeals
Friday, May 29, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Friday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Friday, May 29, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health narrows CEO field to 12, plans to open another building at jail for COVID-19 response
Friday, May 29, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Editorial: Cook County Hospital is a stunning trauma survivor
Friday, May 29, 2020
Chicago Tribune

This official is trying to fix a problem that Springfield won't
Friday, May 29, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County employees to begin returning to offices next month; buildings expected to open to public July 6: Preckwinkle executive order
Friday, May 29, 2020
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP