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Archive for ‘January, 2018’

A New Era for Cook County Hospital and Health Services

Such great news to hear from the top administration at CCHHS on the rebirth of the historic facade and building of the original Cook County Hospital on the 1900 block of Harrison. So much history and some tied to our family…remembering my grandmother bringing my mother and aunts there in the early 1900’s…my birth at the neighboring Rush Presbyterian Saint Luke’s Hospital; and myself working at this prestigious hospital. Also, I could remember as if was yesterday how it assisted so many Lithuanian immigrant families that had no where else to go for medical care. Little did they realize that the physician attending them just walked over from Rush or was a Northwestern or UIC attending or resident. They received, as everyone, the best health care available with the nationally renowned Trauma Service and the historic Burn Service. Little is known that the first blood analyzation was begun at County.

Going into a new era is soon the completion of the Cook County Central Campus Health Center in the 1900 block of West Polk. It will contain physician and departmental offices as well as clinic services complementing the most ambitious of projects the development of the original Cook County Hospital …

…as Curbed Chicago reports…

The 102-year-old Cook County Hospital building is in serious need of restoration, and after more than a decade of vacancy, a plan for redevelopment might actually get moving by summer.

The building’s 99-year lease was transferred to the developer, Civic Health Development Group, which indicates that the first phase of development is right around the corner, the Chicago Sun-Times first reported.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the first phase of the plan calls for reuse of the abandoned hospital building which has sat vacant since 2002. The hulking historic structure could house as many as 250 hotel rooms and 150 market-rate and affordable apartment units.

The next phase includes the construction of a new research and technology center built along Wood Street at the eastern edge of the site. Attention would then turn to expanding the capacity of the Hospital’s existing parking garage and lining the enlarged structure with new retail, residential, and office spaces. The final phase of the project outlines a pair of mixed-use highrise towers to be constructed just north of the old hospital at opposing ends of Pasteur Park. Open space will remain between the the new towers as to not too badly obstruct the historic building’s detailed facade following its full restoration.

Cook County plans to lease the land and buildings to the development team for $2 million a year. The total cost of the privately-funded project is estimated to be between $550 million and $700 million, though the developers hope to reduce the price tag with historic preservation tax credits. Phase one work on the old hospital building could start next year with the hotel and apartment component opening as early as 2018

In the long term we will see a new Cook County health complex that will complement Rush, University of Illinois Medical Center, West Side VA Medical Center in the historic Illinois Medical District. As we of Lithuanian extraction often say Valio … Valio … Congrats!

Christopher Kennedy

Want a Governor that works and understand our economy and you and your families and is not a billionaire that understands wealth and privilege…join me in supporting Chris… Joe

“I moved to Illinois 30 years ago with an enthusiasm for business and a commitment to serve. Every job I’ve had, every organization I’ve been a part of, has relied on teams working together and shared leadership, which resulted in shared success.”
From 2009 through 2015, Chris served as chairman of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. At U of I, Chris oversaw a $5.5 billion budget, 78,000 students and more than 23,000 faculty and staff. During his tenure, he reformed the administration and admissions process and grew the endowment and increased financial aid. He is a former Trustee for the Catholic Theological Union, one of the largest schools of theology in the world.

An Open Letter…

…to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish Community in Chicago’s Marquette Park neighborhood and our partner in Renew My Church…Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis, MIC mission in the Village of Lemont…

Can we honestly say today that our Catholic and Lithuanian faith tradition are important to us? Without question we can say yes! This is very well evidenced by the the Christmas holiday that just passed and the celebration of the Epiphany and Baptism of Our Lord which we celebrate this week. The first priority was not the exchange of presents, but the reverence of the manager and the Birth of Jesus with Mary and Joseph and the Shepherds. We did this at our parish and mission. But there is a missing dynamic here as to how we did this…separately and not sharing the Christmas Plotkele with our brothers and sisters at the mission…we celebrated that most holiest of meal…Kūčios by ourselves. We have been in discussion ad finitum on the proper way to be a faith community according to the guidelines set forth in Renew My Church by Cardinal Cupich. This includes among other issues the proper management of our parish and mission in ministry, education and finances. For this we need only look at our neighboring parishes here on the Southwest side of Chicago…Saint Christina…Christ the King and Saint Barnabas. To start with, we are in need of permanent Deacons both at the parish and mission. We are in need of a full time music and choir director; religious education director; acolytes/lectors/Eucharistic Ministers. A full time business and development manager together with a youth minister. You ask, why can some neighboring parishes have this and we not…this is because we have not yet learned to share and support each other in Renew My Church. Our First Communion and Confirmation classes are separate … our parish and mission social events are separate…we do not share. We have a parish convent populated by two nuns that can be used for parish events and organization such as the Legion of Mary…Holy Name Society etc… A nun’s residence is a quarter a block away at the Saint Casimir Center; that includes a vacant chaplain’s residence. One of the nuns could easily become a religious education director at the parish coordinating with the mission. None of these issues are under discussion because of strict ethnic thinking that the parish is in decline…the mission is ours and we do not want any interference from Archdiocese of Chicago. A fear grounded in the idea that we have to conform to inclusion rather than exclusion…we must welcome all of our brothers and sisters as Christ did…this has to change or we will not survive. If you look at the average age of those that attend the liturgies…you will soon see that it is in the late 60’s. Only major solemnities are attended by the larger Lithuanian community. You may ask why…because we do reach out to the younger generations in offering a vibrant parish and mission with services that I have already described. If we do not soon look to these our brothers and sisters in faith…we shall find ourselves not a community that we could call our own.

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