Advocacy Continues in Cook County to Protect Pediatric Services; Rally at Stroger Hospital Delivers Nearly 2,000 Petition Signatures

Doctors Council members in Cook County continue to fight to stop the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS) senior administration from closing down pediatric services at John H. Stroger Hospital.  In our most recent action, our coalition of community groups and county unions held a rally outside Stroger Hospital on Wednesday, December 9th.

Doctors Council members Drs. Tatyana Kagan, Dick David, Marlon Kirby, Ari Katz, and Alisa Seo-Lee were in attendance to hear union and community members speak out in protest of the closures and then to march to the office of the CCHHS CEO to hand-deliver the nearly 2000 petitions signatures gathered in support of our effort.

Dr. Tatyana Kagan, a pediatrician and member of Doctors Council in the Emergency Department, spoke at the rally, saying that Doctors Council believes that “the plans for pediatric services at Stroger – conceived and being implemented without input form front-line caregiver, our patients and their families, or community stakeholders – will do irreparable harm to our children, the Cook County System and our community.”  She then asked the crowd to “stand with us today in demanding that the administration stop implementation of its plan.”

IMG_0336Dr. Kagan also reminded the audience that for over a century, the CCHHS has lived up to its mission to treat all patients with dignity and respect regardless of their ability to pay.   But when senior administration shuts down pediatric services at Stroger, Dr. Kagan said,  it will violate that mission by making it impossible to treat all of “our most vulnerable patients – children.”  Dr. Kagan closed her statement with a call for transparency, collaboration, and accountability, saying, “We want senior administration to share impact studies, hold public forums, and commit to preserving timely access to quality healthcare for our patients and the long-term viability of the CCHHS.”

Coming up, the coalition will meet with the Deputy CEO to ask questions and voice our concerns about senior administration’s plans for pediatric services.  In addition, Doctors Council members are in the process of setting up a meeting with the CEO to discuss the issue.

As always, we are proud to see Doctors Council members step up and do what’s right for our patients and our communities.  Many of our doctors have dedicated much of their free time to move our campaign forward.  We’re also thrilled to be working with other County unions and community groups on this project.  We would not have been able to achieve as much as we have without our colleagues and we look forward to continuing our fight.

As Dr. Simon Piller, Doctors Council Vice President noted, “As I look back on the last few months, I realize that to be successful, we have to be able to active on all fronts.  We need an active and involved membership for a strong presence at work.  And, we need to work with community groups and elected officials.  When we are involved both inside at work and outside in our communities and politically we increase our ability to win for doctors and patients.”

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