The Cook County health system’s $1.8 billion budget was Tuesday’s final hearing, and one of the longest. While the county plans to allocate just $111 million in taxpayer dollars to the system, a 77% reduction since 2009, public health remains one of the county’s biggest responsibilities, alongside public safety. Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS) CEO Dr. Jay Shannon read from a nine page statement, outlining the challenges facing the county’s health network, including competition from other hospitals, changing patient needs, and aging facilities.

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