Friday, April 17, 2009

Quentin Young Won't Let OSF Use Him

When OSF in Peoria wants to build another half-billion dollar expansion or a new Center for Health, they won't have convicted felon Stuart Levine to lobby.

Just a few years ago Levine and ex-governor Blagojevich's pal Tony Rezko were controlling votes on the Illinois Health Facilities Board. This Board determined which Illinois hospitals could expand, build, and buy new equipment.

OSF made out well with Levine and Rezko. They will have a tough time with Dr.Young.

Dr. Young was the Director of the Internal Medicine Department at Cook County Hospital when I did my Internal Medicine rotation there as a student at Chicago Medical School.

Here is the announcement today in the Chicago Sun-Times that Governor Patrick Quinn appointed Quentin Young to head the Board.

Quinn appoints Young to health planning board

April 16, 2009

BY JORDAN WILSON Sun-Times Springfield Bureau |

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Quinn appointed a longtime friend to head the scandal-plagued state health planning board that prosecutors said was once controlled by convicted felon Tony Rezko.

Quentin Young, one of Chicago's top experts on public health and an outspoken advocate for healthcare reform, will be announced Friday as the chairman of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board.

Young, who walked across the state with Quinn and was his personal doctor for five years, admitted the challenges of pumping integrity into the once-disgraced board. Yet, he remains optimistic he could help re-establish the planning board that had an "evil recent past."

"It's crucial because the public is entitled to an honest and well-run board," Young said. "I'll do everything I can to make that happen."

Prosecutors in the Rezko trial said Rezko worked in conjunction with former chairman Thomas Beck and board member Stuart Levine to control the board, which weighs bids for new hospitals, among other things. Rezko was set to cash in on a $1.5 million bribe, prosecutors said, by persuading board members to approve a controversial $81 million hospital in Crystal Lake.

Quinn’s hand-picked appointee isn’t expected to bring with him any political baggage that once haunted the planning board.

“The appointment of Dr. Quentin Young is yet another effort by Governor Quinn to restore integrity back to state government,” Quinn spokeswoman Marlena Jentz said in a statement.

The permanent chairmanship has been vacant since the scandal unfolded. Young will not be paid to head the board, but a bill that passed the Senate and is expected to pass the House could change that and provide board members up to a $10,000 per-year reimbursement.

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