COOK COUNTY - Stroger Hospital marked a big anniversary on Monday — 20 years.
The current hospital replaced the 90-year-old Cook County Hospital in 2002. It was a $551 million investment that not everyone agreed with at the time.
The hospital places a strong focus on equitable health care and making quality health care available to all residents, regardless of their ability to pay.
The Cook County Health System sees 300,000 patients per year.
"It wasn't a particularly popular decision at the time. Actually, the Chicago Tribune ran editorials about what a terrible idea this was at the time, and it was a waste of public money, can you believe that? A waste of public money," said Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board.
The hospital has the oldest comprehensive trauma unit in the country that continues to receive technological advancements today.