After reading the article in the Chicago Reader about Dr. Bob Simon, Chairman of the Cook County Hospital’s Department of Emergency Medicine, I gained a new respect for what he has done for our community. His knowledge and insight, although seemingly controversial, offer real solutions to the problems that plague our society. It is offensive to me when a politician who is supposed to be looking out for the best interests of his community lashes out against a man whom he knows nothing about.

This political bandwagon jumping does nothing to improve the conditions of our hospitals. Instead, it displays the ignorance of a man who has been in office too long and who has lost sight of any goals he may have had to help our city. The only person who should consider stepping down from his position is Alderman Shaw. His media-grabbing tactics should offend all of us.

Alderman Shaw should wake up and take a walk down to Cook County Hospital to see the problems that a dedicated public servant like Dr. Simon faces every day. I don’t blame Dr. Simon for being angered that what he termed as alcoholics, drug addicts and bums on the street (who certainly require a different kind of assistance) are abusing our hospital systems for a place to sleep while sick people in need of emergency hospital stay are denied care because of lack of space.

If Alderman Shaw is so concerned with homelessness, then maybe he should create a new homeless shelter or seek solutions to that problem instead of wasting his time defacing the name of Dr. Simon, a man who has done nothing but relieve our city by saving lives.

Kim Chavarria