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Cook County Health set to interview CEO candidates

Cook County Health set to interview CEO candidates

Interviews for the vacant Cook County Health CEO job may begin as early as this month.

M. Hill Hammock, chair of Cook County Health’s board of directors, told board members during Thursday’s virtual meeting that, after several months, the search firm Heidrick and Struggles has presented its list of candidates to take over the role.

The board will shorten the candidate list in closed session, with interviews set to start either this month or in June, Hammock said.

“The search process has been going on full-tilt, in spite of all the other challenges that we’ve had,” he said.

Former CEO Dr. Jay Shannon left at the end of last year after his contract was not renewed. Debra Carey has served as interim CEO of the health system since his departure.

Other notable departures from the system in recent months include Cook County Health Chief Financial Officer Ekerete Akpan, who left the organization in February. Dr. Terry Mason, Cook County Department of Public Health’s chief operating officer, was forced out in early April.

Hammock told board members Thursday that Akpan was fired over his handling of revenue estimates, which caused the system’s budget request to the county board last year to be well below what was necessary to meet increased expenses.

“It was a shock to us to see such a disconnect, and as a result, we terminated our chief financial officer,” Hammock said.

The system announced earlier this year that it retained an advisory firm to review and evaluate its’ fiscal year 2020 budget.


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