The Chicago Tribune, March 17, 2011
With Cook County struggling to consolidate healthcare services, the state is on the verge of voting to shutter inpatient care at Oak Forest Hospital, a move some critics say will devastate patients and the community. A county proposal to convert the hospital into a large outpatient center will be considered Monday by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, which is expected to support the plan. The move to end inpatient care was one of the more controversial proposals in the county's sweeping new strategy, unveiled in June, to address longstanding inefficiencies and improve preventive care in the Cook County Health & Hospitals System. Unions, however, objected because of expected job losses. In a report released this month, the Illinois Department of Public Health appeared to be siding with critics of the plan, warning that discontinuing inpatient care would hurt patients and burden other hospitals in the south suburbs.