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Rep. Ford resigns in protest from Loretto Hospital board

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2021

* Press release…

– State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, releases this statement regarding the recent situation at The Loretto Hospital.

“I am very disappointed with the recent developments at The Loretto Hospital regarding its use of coronavirus vaccine entrusted to the hospital. Yesterday, I submitted my resignation to The Loretto Hospital’s Board Chairman Edward Hogan because I strongly disagreed with how the reprimand of the hospital leadership was handled. As the state representative for the hospital and as a resident in its service area, I will continue to fight for resources for The Loretto Hospital, a safety-net hospital in the Austin community.”

Sun-Times

In a phone call Tuesday, Ford said, “It’s critical that consequences are more transparent.”

Ford previously told the Chicago Sun-Times the two would face “harsh reprimands.”

* Also, you may recall that Loretto set up an offshore insurance company in the Caymans

Twice since 2013, Lightford has used campaign funds to stay at the Ritz-Carlton in the Cayman Islands, racking up hotel bills of $3,931 during her two stays. […]

Loretto Hospital in Chicago was in danger of losing its insurance, which could have forced closure, explains Lightford, who is on the hospital board. After exhausting other possibilities, she said that the hospital set up a captive insurance company, essentially a form of self insurance, in the Cayman Islands.

“We cannot convene in the United Sates because it’s a captive in the Cayman Islands,” Lightford says. “Our meeting every fall is in the Caymans so that our auditors can come in, and we have our yearly meeting there. That’s (the Ritz-Carlton) the location that we stay when we’re there.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

38 Comments »
  1. - Montrose - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 10:26 am:

    *“We cannot convene in the United Sates because it’s a captive in the Cayman Islands,” Lightford says. “Our meeting every fall is in the Caymans so that our auditors can come in, and we have our yearly meeting there. That’s (the Ritz-Carlton) the location that we stay when we’re there.”*

    Well, that explains it. Clearly everything is on the up and up at Loretto. /s


  2. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 10:28 am:

    After this news and Sen. Lightford’s COVID conspiracy theory talk, I think the Senate Democratic Caucus should breathe a sigh of relief that they elected someone else to serve as their leader.


  3. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 10:29 am:

    Everything may or may not be on the up and up at Loretto, but it is true that many hospital and health care systems have captive insurance companies in the Caymans.
    https://www.hrmronline.com/article/cayman-tops-in-healthcare


  4. - Amalia - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 10:31 am:

    I get the urge to resign, but how about staying on the board and firing those two guys? what is so sacred about them that after revelation after revelation the board cannot act? who else got insider vaccinating treatment?


  5. - Fav Human - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 10:36 am:

    have captive insurance companies in the Caymans.

    Depending on when the “fall” is, that is at least the off season for tourism there.


  6. - Fav Human - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 10:37 am:

    And yes, I agree he should have stayed on the board as a raging proponent for good governance. One wonders how long his fellow Assembly member will stay.


  7. - Referred - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 10:41 am:

    Well Senator Lightford has more reason than Ford to stay. After she got them a state grant, they named their Emergency Room after Lightford. Wow.

    And according to her statement of economic disclosure, she’s being paid by the Cayman captive insurance company.


  8. - Roman - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 10:41 am:

    == but how about staying on the board and firing those two guys? ==

    Reading between the lines here, but it seems like Ford wanted to fire them (or at the very least hit them with a lot more than a reprimand,) but the other board members wouldn’t go that far, so he resigned. That might be the best way to turn up the heat. I’m guessing this ain’t over.


  9. - WestBurbs - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 10:49 am:

    So much to unpack here. Low hanging fruit — much less expensive hotels in the Caymans so absolutely no need for the Ritz. On a broader level, where was Ford’s backbone a few days ago when he was making excuses - “just going out allowing for the hospital to do as many vaccinations as possible.” As for CEO/COO - fire them and consider criminal charges. And, finally, those traffic court judges should, at a minimum, face an ARDC investigation - Evans told them they weren’t eligible and the invite/setup seems inconsistent with leftover doses that would be trashed.

    Bottom line - this shameful debacle gives ammo to those who call us Crook County and we need to hammer those involved in wrongdoing as hard as possible if we want to fight that label.


  10. - 33rd ward - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 10:51 am:

    I know somebody who took a cab from Loretta’s emergency department to another hospital because she was in need of immediate attention or she would die. True story.


  11. - Tammy - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 10:54 am:

    If the board fires the CEO and COO, one wonders if the CEO and COO will suddenly become more transparent about who else has received vaccines. That might be why they haven’t been fire.


  12. - Jimbo2 - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 10:54 am:

    I’d really love to see someone do a really indepth analysis of their Board of Directors. There must be some reasons the majority of the board have refused to take further action about the people responsible.


  13. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 10:55 am:

    ===gives ammo to those who call us Crook County===

    You can’t live your life worrying about those people. Doesn’t matter what you do.


  14. - Amalia - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 10:59 am:

    @33rd Ward, yes, it’s well known in the medical and medical legal communities that one would never choose Loretto.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 11:01 am:

    ===…ammo to those who call us Crook County===

    You mean justify the simple minded, Kass-like thinking that being a victim is inherit?

    You’d think you’d want ammo to try to make things better, not try to prop up the in-law uncle silly.

    To the post,

    What’s disappointing is like Rich’s incredibly smart QOTD about the two folks getting the vaccine; one young and in a neighborhood with more opportunities and the other in a disadvantaged area with real health issues.

    We need, we all need, society to get more shots in more arms.

    Need. Must. Required.

    But the rub is the access, the thoughts to jumping with access driven by wealth… how is that working?

    Hospitals have missions, and the access here, is that fulfilling that mission itself sees or to the public it serves?

    That’s where I see this… in this instance.

    I’ll let the answer speak for itself.


  16. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 11:10 am:

    Four miles, the distance between Loyola Medical Center and Loretto. Might as well be 4 million.

    That hospital isn’t trusted in the community and now its becoming more public as to why.


  17. - WestBurbs - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 11:14 am:

    Rich - I hear you but worrying about the “Kass–thinking” crowd is a byproduct of trying to root out the petty (and not so petty) corruption that is found across all governmental units in all geographical areas. Much tougher to fight corruption if you have a large group that thinks it is “biz as usual”. And, yes, I admit that is it a bit of wishful thinking…


  18. - Southern Skeptic - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 11:14 am:

    This debacle first and foremost is a horrible blow for the community that this hospital serves. You have a runaway CEO using the hospital’s access to vaccines as his personal plaything to be doled out to friends and cronies. Outrageous. And given what we now know about how they handled the vaccine issue, one has to wonder how else Loretto has failed in their responsibilities to the community.

    That said, the Loretto board has completely failed in its oversight responsibilities. They’ve been great at crying poor, but not so good at their job of managing those running the hospital. And that includes the legislator board members.


  19. - Southern Skeptic - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 11:15 am:

    “Well Senator Lightford has more reason than Ford to stay. After she got them a state grant, they named their Emergency Room after Lightford. Wow.

    And according to her statement of economic disclosure, she’s being paid by the Cayman captive insurance company.”

    Say what??????


  20. - WestBurbs - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 11:16 am:

    OW - sorry if I was unclear. I do “want ammo to try to make things better, not try to prop up the in-law uncle silly.” That is why I’m so irritated with the Loretto corruption and resulting wrist slap.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 11:19 am:

    - WestBurbs -

    It’s all good, we’re all trying to pull on the same end of the rope.

    Where it gets so tricky to pull harder is embracing phrases that make issues a caricature of perception, not a flashing light of needed scrutiny.

    Be well. Thanks for clarifying.


  22. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 11:22 am:

    You really only need 1 person to attend a captive meeting. Yes they do tend to be in the Caymans or Bermuda, but I’ve never seen an entire board go down to one of the meetings. Captives do make a lot of sense though for hospitals like Loretto.


  23. - Commisar Gritty - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 11:31 am:

    Wait, not sure I’m understanding this statement. Is Rep Ford resigning from the board because he feels they got too much punishment or too little? Thanks in advance.


  24. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 11:33 am:

    -And, finally, those traffic court judges should, at a minimum, face an ARDC investigation-

    That would be for the Judicial Inquiry Board. ARDC doesn’t have jurisdiction over sitting judges.


  25. - Regular democrat - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 11:45 am:

    The mayor said more stories may come out which means the story will continue. I’m sure it will read like a typical Chicago political novel. Clout donations and privledge.


  26. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 11:47 am:

    ===if you have a large group that thinks it is “biz as usual”===

    I grew up and currently live in Downstate Illinois. It ain’t about corruption.


  27. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 11:48 am:

    Instead of resigning in protest, maybe he should stay and fix the problems? Sounds like this was designed for maximum PR value.


  28. - Surprised - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 12:09 pm:

    The hospital should have policy to prohibit its employees from contributing to the campaigns of its board members. The COO contributing $3,000 every two weeks to Rep Fords mayoral campaign is not a good look.


  29. - Rasselas - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 12:40 pm:

    Given what we now know about the integrity and honesty of the CEO and COO of Loretto, perhaps someone should go back and look at how the heck they went from Cs and Ds in safety ratings to an A rating in just six months, especially since the ratings are based largely on self-reported numbers. http://austintalks.org/2019/11/loretto-hospital-jumps-in-patient-safety-rating-after-new-report/#:~:text=By%20Mateusz%20Janik%20%7C%20November%2024%2C%202019&text=Miller%2C%2068%2C%20president%20and%20CEO,an%20organization%2C”%20Miller%20said.


  30. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 12:45 pm:

    What’s he doing serving on the Board anyway? And is it a paid position?


  31. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 1:46 pm:

    Real brave on Rep. Ford’s part. Real brave. A public servant dedicated to transparency and improving access *in his constituent community* would probably stay on the Board and continue raising a stink publicly and privately until a more appropriate corrective action was taken.

    But that’s not what LaShawn did. He cut and ran. Color me shocked - shocked, I say - that he did something for PR value alone. But I also won’t be surprised if LaShawn is a wee bit more involved with this than he’s led us to believe.


  32. - Downstate - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 1:48 pm:

    “And is it a paid position?”

    Service on a non-profit hospital board is rarely paid. Many do it as a service to their community to maintain quality health standards. Although it’s a bit unusual that elected representatives serve on their local hospital board.

    The only perk is an occasional trip for a hospital conference, not unlike the captive trip that Lightford took. And those trips are rarely just “sun and fun”. The one’s I’ve been on are usually 2-3 days of all-day conferences with a nice dinner thrown in.

    Finally, the captive trips overseas are a necessity. Those trips involve meetings and conferences on loss mitigation and the like.

    If you are involved in a large organization that does not have a captive you should ask “Why not”? Captives are a method for companies to “self-insure”. It turns their premium expense into an “investment dollar” that grows in value through time. Actual losses are covered, in part, by the secondary market.


  33. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 1:49 pm:

    I am in the “Stay on the Board and press for firing and a full investigation camp.” Resigning in protest is worse than useless. Directors have power. Use it.


  34. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 3:03 pm:

    When I heard the news of impropriety at Loretto, I was not surprised…this stink belongs to the CEO, COO and the BOD…
    Senator Lightfords name has been on the emergency room for several years and was jokingly referred to as Kim’s hospital…She has the most to lose by not cleaning house…

    I don’t blame Ford for quitting…he may have been a lone wolf…

    If Loretto closed down nearby West Sub would bear the brunt
    its closure…The ER at West Sub can be a total nightmare on
    on weekends especially in the summer…


  35. - Alexis de Tocqueville - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 3:37 pm:

    Anyone heard from Camille Lilly?


  36. - Southsider - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 4:10 pm:

    Thanks for adding the offshore investment. Now the question is how is it structured and what are executives paid for running the company.? So if the Hospital Foundation.


  37. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 4:13 pm:

    The Office of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans released this statement, reproduced here in full:

    This is in response to press inquiries regarding some judges who are not in the county’s “1B” category receiving COVID-19 vaccinations at Loretto Hospital.

    Judges who have received the shots were informed that the vaccines were already mixed and would be destroyed if not used by the end of the day, so they could get shots after 3:30 p.m., supply permitting. The Loretto Hospital website makes clear that COVID-19 vaccinations are given up until 3 p.m., so shots given after this would be surplus. Judges who received shots did not take shots away from other eligible persons, but used shots that would otherwise have been destroyed.

    Currently, judges in Cook County who are under 65 are not classified as 1B, the group currently eligible for the vaccine. However, the Illinois Supreme Court’s position is that vaccines should be available for all court officials and staff that have regular contact with the public and others in congregate setting, and judges under 65 in many other counties have already been vaccinated, according to Supreme Court spokesman Chris Bonjean.

    Despite multiple precautions taken by the Office of the Chief Judge to protect court personnel and members of the public during the coronavirus pandemic –which has included conducting most proceedings by videoconference and teleconference — judges and other court employees have not been immune from this virus. A total of 282 employees of the Office of the Chief Judge and 21 judges have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.


  38. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Mar 23, 21 @ 7:30 pm:

    @Rasselas - I wonder if you always felt this way about Loretto management? Just curious.


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