Cook County public health COO fired

The COO of the Cook County Department of Public Health in Illinois has been fired, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Debra Carey, interim CEO of Chicago-based Cook County Health, confirmed that Terry Mason, MD, was no longer in the position, and his last day as COO was April 3. 

"On behalf of the Cook County Health board of directors and the staff, I want to personally thank Terry for his years of service to the residents of Cook County," Ms. Carey said in a media statement. "He has been a valued member of the executive team and has contributed to our success in recent years."

Ms. Carey's statement did not provide a reason for Dr. Mason's departure, but Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle told the Tribune Dr. Mason had been "terminated," by Ms. Carey. 

Ms. Preckwinkle said, "It's a personnel matter, and I don't comment on personnel matters," when asked about the reason for the termination.

Ms. Carey said Kiran Joshi, MD, and Rachel Rubin, MD, both Cook County Public Health Department senior medical officers since 2014 and members of the medical staff at Stroger Hospital in Chicago, have agreed to co-lead the department. 

"Both Drs. Joshi and Rubin have been deeply involved in public health's response to COVID-19 since the beginning and have my full support and deep gratitude," Ms. Carey statd.

Dr. Mason, who had been heavily involved in coordination of the COVID-19 response, joined Cook County Health in 2009 as CMO and served as the health system's interim CEO. In 2013, he transitioned into the COO role at the Cook County Department of Public Health, which is part of the health system, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Sun-Times was first to report Dr. Mason's departure. Dr. Mason was Chicago's public health commissioner before working for Cook County.

An attempt by the Tribune to reach Dr. Mason for comment was not successful.

 

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