At the last Cook County Board meeting, Dr. Simon also accused people at the hospitals of purposely calling in, protesting all the changes. When Commissioner Maldonado pressed Dr. Simon for numbers of employees working on any given day and how many called in sick he did not have them. When Commissioner Maldonado asked Dr. Simon why he was calling it a work slow down, he said because the call in's were increased. Dr. Simon went on to say this is costing money because now they have employees getting overtime for covering absent staff. But I can totally see Commissioner Maldonado's frustration with Dr. Simon, who made these accusations without any numbers or facts. That seems to be the theme with Dr. Simon, and we will see if he brings the right people to answer the questions at the next board meeting as Commissioner Maldonado asked.
And it's no surprise to me that the Southside paper had fantastic coverage of local politics, in this case Cook County. I guess we care more about what is going on, on the South Side, just look at the high voter turnout in the last Municipal election was from South Side Wards.
Of course, we get Bill Beavers, well acting the the hog with big nuts, right in the middle of all of it. It's no wonder, Darcel Beavers did not win election in the Ward that was given to her by her Dad. Yes Sandi Jackson will be the next Alderman for the 7th Ward. Not enough ballroom in that Ward for another Beavers.

Some call for Simon to quit Cook County's top health official under fire after Southtown publishes comments

March 29, 2007
By Gregg Sherrard Blesch Staff writer
Immigrant advocates on Wednesday called for Cook County's top health official to quit based on comments published in the Sunday Daily Southtown.

In an interview about Oak Forest Hospital, interim health chief Dr. Robert Simon expressed frustration that illegal immigrants are among patients receiving long-term care, which he said costs taxpayers $800 a day.

The county should make efforts to find their families and provide airfare to their countries of origin, Simon said.
"These anti-immigrant remarks are not reflective of the mission of the bureau of health," said Omar Lopez, representing the March 10 Movement for Immigrant Rights, the coalition that mounted massive downtown rallies last year.

Simon started a presentation to the county board Wednesday with a statement that blamed controversy on the Southtown, saying his words were cherry-picked and sensationalized.
"The statements were offered in the context of what I believed to be a discussion about finding solutions posed by one part of an overwhelming regional health care crisis and were not meant to demean or belittle any human being," Simon said.
His response was printed in its entirety in Wednesday's Southtown.

Minutes earlier, outside the board room, Simon's critics held a news conference calling for President Todd Stroger to demand his resignation.
Commissioner Roberto Maldonado (D-Chicago) joined members of the March 10 Movement and the National Nurses Organizing Committee, which represents county nurses and is engaged in a brass-knuckles battle against layoffs under Simon and Stroger's leadership.
Maldonado, whose district is largely Hispanic, said he called Simon after reading the Southtown story on Sunday and was not satisfied by Simon's official statement issued Monday.
"It was a very uncompassionate retraction," he said. "People can respectfully disagree on issues, yes, that's true. But you're not respecting me when you're making those kinds of comments."
Simon pointed out in his response that it's common for hospitals to make arrangements with families across borders for immigrant patients who need long-term care.
Stroger spokesman Steve Mayberry said Simon's job is safe.
"While Dr. Simon's comments having to do with immigrants are not reflective of the administration's philosophy, he has in fact been asked to rethink and restructure the way health care is provided in Cook County, and we look forward to him continuing that task," Mayberry said.
Nor was there any apparent support among commissioners for Simon's resignation.

"I think the comments as presented in the press were out of context," Commissioner Tony Peraica (R-Riverside) said.
"I don't think we have enough to go on to make an informed decision," Peraica said. "He's been in the position perhaps 60 days."
Peraica did, however, rail against Stroger's administration for failing to produce a document that shows exactly what positions and services have been cut, even though more than 30 days have passed since commissioners approved the budget.
The uncertainty has created terrible morale among employees, Peraica said.

Commissioner Joan Murphy (D-Crestwood) said she opposes the cuts at Oak Forest Hospital but doesn't think Simon should resign over the flap.
"They are too ill to go back to Mexico, if that's where they're from," Murphy said. "If their families could deal with it, they wouldn't be in Oak Forest in the first place. I've expressed to him (that) nursing homes don't want these patients.
"If they're moved to another location, it's like signing a death warrant for them," Murphy said.

NNOC spokeswoman Sheilah Garland rushed to a microphone to dispute the account.
Commissioner Bill Beavers (D-Chicago), who was questioning Simon at the time, shouted, "I didn't ask you nothin', sit down."


  1. SP Biloxi said...
    "The county should make efforts to find their families and provide airfare to their countries of origin, Simon said."

    Wow, what a sensitive statement. No wonder this country is divided. Immigration issues is a contraversial topic to discuss..Seeems like there is so much pointing the finger to another person regarding the crisis instead of holding the city offical accountable...
    SP Biloxi said...
    Oh, and have a good weekend, Chicago Native. :D

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