John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County
Cook County Hospital before 1911
LocationIllinois Medical District, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Coordinates41°52′20″N 87°40′29″W / 41.87222°N 87.67472°W / 41.87222; -87.67472Coordinates: 41°52′20″N 87°40′29″W / 41.87222°N 87.67472°W / 41.87222; -87.67472[1]
Care systemPublic hospital
TypeTeaching hospital
Affiliated universityRush Medical College
Emergency departmentLevel I trauma center
Links Edit this at Wikidata
ListsHospitals in Illinois
Cook County Hospital
Arealess than one acre
ArchitectGerhardt, Paul Sr.; Griffiths, John, & Sons
Architectural styleBeaux Arts
NRHP reference No.06001017[2]
Added to NRHPNovember 8, 2006

The John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County (formerly Cook County Hospital) is a public hospital in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is part of the Cook County Health and Hospital System, along with Provident Hospital of Cook County and several related centers, which provides public primary, specialty, and tertiary healthcare services to residents of Cook County, Illinois.

Facility and location

Stroger employs 300 attending physicians and over 400 fellows and residents. It has 1.2 million square feet (110,000 m2) of floor space, and 464 beds. It is located at 1901 W. Harrison Street, is a part of the 305 acre (1.2 km2) Illinois Medical District on Chicago's West Side, which is one of the largest concentrations of medical facilities in the world.[3]


Facade of the old Cook County Hospital, circa 2008
Facade of the old Cook County Hospital, circa 2008

Cook County Hospital, which opened in 1857, was used as a teaching hospital by Rush Medical School until the Civil War, when it was transitioned to an army hospital. After the war, it continued its purpose as a center for medical education and founded the first medical internship in the country in 1866.

By the 1900s, the hospital was overseen by surgeons and physicians in Chicago who volunteered their services at the hospital, which was rebuilt in 1916. Regarded as one of the world's greatest teaching hospitals, many interns, residents, and graduate physicians came to see the medical and surgical advances. Innovations included the world's first blood bank and surgical fixation of fractures.[4] In the early 1960s, William Shoemaker, a student of the famed surgical physiologist, Francis Daniels Moore, spearheaded surgical critical care when he organized the first Burn and Trauma Unit.

In 1986, Agnes D. Lattimer was appointed medical director of Cook County Hospital, making her the African American woman to serve as medical director of a major American hospital.[5]

Cook County Hospital was renamed for John H. Stroger, Jr., the then-president of the Cook County Board, in 2001.[6]

The new Cook County (Stroger) Hospital was opened in December 2002, and is housed in a facility located adjacent to the old hospital building.

The former Cook County Hospital building has been gutted and is being renovated as a privately funded mixed use development.[7]

In popular culture

County General Hospital, a fictional hospital that served as the setting for the NBC serial medical drama ER, was loosely based on Cook County Hospital; in the first episode a patient refers to the hospital as "Cook County General" during a cognitive test. Cook County Hospital is also used in the 1993 movie The Fugitive. The documentary I Call It Murder aired on the BBC television show Man Alive in 1979, which reported on the challenges facing the staff at Cook County Hospital. At that time, the hospital was one of the few free hospitals in the United States.[8] In 1996, Diana, Princess of Wales visited patients and doctors in the AIDS ward and trauma center, while on a tour of Chicago.[9]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: John H Stroger Junior Hospital of Cook County
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  3. ^ "About Us". John H. Stroger, Jr., Hospital of Cook County. Cook County Health & Hospitals System. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  4. ^ "Cook County Hospital". Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  5. ^ "Jet Magazine". Johnson Publishing Company. February 24, 1986. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  6. ^ Becker, Robert (December 19, 2001). "Hospital has new name: Stroger". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  7. ^ "Cook County Hospital Central Campus Redevelopment |". Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  8. ^ "I Call it Murder | The Progress". Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  9. ^ Thayer, Kate (June 3, 2016). "20 years ago this weekend, Princess Diana wowed Chicago in Northwestern purple". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 18, 2018.