REPORT OF THE COOK COUNTY TASK FORCE ON HOSPITAL GOVERNANCE

 

November 2, 2007

 

The Honorable,

The Board of Commissioners of Cook County

 

ATTENDANCE

 

Present:            Chairman Goslin, Vice Chairman Murphy, Commissioners Collins, Daley and Silvestri.

 

Absent:             Commissioners Butler and Moreno.

 

Also present:    Burt Odelson and Richard Velazquez of the President’s office.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

       The Cook County Task Force on Hospital Governance met pursuant to notice on Friday, November 2, 2007 at the hour of 9 a.m. in the Board Room, Room 569, County Building, 118 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois.

 

Commissioner Goslin urged those present to read the handouts that were distributed, Public Hospital Board Structures submitted by Commissioner Goslin and the 61st Annual Report of the Stickney Public Health District  provided by Burt Odelson, and be ready to discuss them or ask questions about them at the next meeting.

 

Chairman Goslin stated that at one of the Task Force’s next meetings he would like to take testimony and ask questions of Dr. Alan Goodman, Dr. Robert Simon, Commissioner Larry Suffredin who wants to present his idea for a Governance Board, and Commissioner Collins who would like to present her research on the matter. Commissioner Goslin said he would also like to bring in Cliff Boyd from Dallas County, who was the architect for Parkland Hospital in Dallas, and Susan White, the county’s healthcare lobbyist, for advice on non-profit models that would not be compliant for Federal reimbursement. Additionally there are other organizations that would like input including the Civic Federation and the Chicago Metropolitan Healthcare Council.

 

Burt Odelson said he is charged with the task of putting together the legal background on Governance Boards. At this point he doesn’t know what it would take to establish an independent taxing district, whether the County needs a change in state law, a referendum, or whether it is covered under existing Federal statute. He will have these answers at the next meeting.

 

There was discussion about different governing board models and agreement that there should be some type of governing board, but the structure and how to do it still need to be determined.

 

Commissioner Murphy expressed concern about turning over the Bureau of Health to a governing board permanently and said she would like to do it on a temporary basis of 2 to 2 1/2 years. Commissioner Silvestri stated his belief that the County would not get the right caliber of people on the board if they know it’s temporary. “We are dooming the board to fail” if we give the board a limited time to turn things around, Silvestri said.

 

Additionally, the Task Force briefly discussed issues such as how the County would retain audit oversight, confirm appointments to the board and whether union contracts would transfer to the new governance board. The Task Force members discussed the need for a bill, ready to go to the state legislature in January if required.

 

The Task Force agreed to meet again on Wednesday, November 7th at 1 p.m. in the County Board room.