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From Crain's Chicago HealthCare Daily: County hospital board member abruptly resigns

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (HMPRG)
June 19, 2012

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County hospital board member abruptly resigns

By Kristen Schorsch June 18, 2012

(Crain's) — Cook County hospital board member Benn Greenspan has abruptly resigned after County Board President Toni Preckwinkle picked replacements for a third of its members, including its chairman.

Mr. Greenspan, a public health professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is stepping down after Ms. Preckwinkle decided not to reappoint chairman Warren Batts and Dr. David Ansell, chief medical officer at Rush University Medical Center. Both have expressed interest in another term on the 11-member board that oversees the Cook County Health and Hospitals System.

Last week, Crain's reported that Ms. Preckwinkle was preparing to nominate Abbott Laboratories executive Edward Michael, community activist Rev. Calvin Morris, Carmen Velasquez, executive director of a network of Southwest Side clinics, and Dorene Wiese, president of American Indian Association of Illinois to fill four upcoming vacancies.

In a June 15 letter addressed to Mr. Batts, Mr. Greenspan said, “Some months ago, you and I had a discussion about board reappointments and our mutual concern about keeping politics out of the process.”

“I cannot adequately express my dismay,” he said.

The hospital system provided a copy of the letter.

A spokesman for Ms. Preckwinkle said she too was dismayed at reports that implied she was penalizing Mr. Batts because last year he did not support Dr. Terry Mason, who was her candidate to become county health system CEO.

The independent board named Dr. Ramanathan Raju to the post over Dr. Mason, who is now chief medical officer of the system.

“This has been a collaborative process,” the spokesman said.

Ms. Preckwinkle called Mr. Greenspan today and thanked him for his service, the spokesman said. Read the full post.