Hill Hammock unanimously elected Chairman of the Board

The Cook County Health Board at its annual meeting today elected a new chairman and vice chairman.

Director Hill Hammock was unanimously elected chairman of the board, replacing David Carvalho. Cook County Board Commissioner and CCH Director Jerry Butler was unanimously elected vice chairman, replacing Jorge Ramirez. The new positions take effect immediately.

Carvalho served as chairman for two years and Ramirez served as vice chairman for six years. Carvalho, Ramirez and Director Luis Munoz, all orignial members of the health system board, will continue to serve until Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle appoints new directors in the fall.

Hammock, the former Vice Chairman of LaSalle Bank, joined the board in July 2013. Hammock also serves on the boards of the Better Government Association, the Civic Federation, and Shakespeare Theatre and is a life trustee of the Chicago History Museum. He previously served as the Chief Administrative Officer of Chicago Public Schools.

“I appreciate my fellow members placing their faith in me to lead the health system board with their help and that of our staff,” Hammock said. “Our goal is to continue to serve all residents of Cook County with high quality health care regardless of their ability to pay.”

Commissioner Butler is an original member of the health system board and serves as the chair of its finance committee.

During his tenure, Carvalho participated in the transformation of the health system, including the establishment of personnel and purchasing systems insulated from political considerations. The system has been transparent with respect to financial matters and quality measures, Carvalho said.

“It has been my distinct honor and privilege to serve from the inception of this great experiment in independent governance,” Carvalho said. “I am confident Chairman Hammock, the remaining members of the board and CEO John Jay Shannon will steer the system through the next phase of its promising transformation. I’d also like to thank President Preckwinkle for her unflinching support of the system and its mission to serve all residents of Cook County.”

CCH is the third largest public health system in the country. With nearly 6,000 employees and a budget of $1 billion, CCH provides care to hundreds of thousands of Cook County residents at more than 20 sites. With the advent of CountyCare, an early expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the health system also is operating a health plan for low-income adults. CountyCare is expanding its eligible membership population to children, seniors, and persons with disabilities.

In a joint statement to the board Carvalho and Ramirez encouraged members to re-affirm their commitment to the strategy of growing CountyCare and said they believe “the future of CCH can only be secured through a robust, successful, sustained implementation of CountyCare.”

The independent Cook County Health board was established in 2008. Its 11 board members volunteer their time.