Daywatch: Chaperones may offer one way to prevent sexual abuse during medical exams

Good morning, Chicago.

Preventing patient sexual abuse is an issue that’s gained national attention amid the fallout from scandals such as Dr. Larry Nassar’s abuse of female athletes; the hundreds of allegations leveled at former University of Southern California gynecologist George Tyndall; and Columbia University’s acknowledged failures regarding gynecologist Robert Hadden, also accused of sexually abusing hundreds of patients.

In Illinois, the Tribune recently exposed how several large Illinois health systems allowed health care workers who were accused of sexually abusing patients to continue working, sometimes leading to additional harm.

In one of the most egregious local cases, at least 30 patients have accused gynecologist Fabio Ortega of sexually assaulting them. Several women alleged in lawsuits he assaulted them after NorthShore University HealthSystem – now known as Endeavor Health – already knew he was under police investigation. Ortega pleaded guilty in 2021 to sexually abusing two former patients and was sentenced to three years in prison; his medical license was permanently revoked. Endeavor has settled 21 civil lawsuits related to Ortega.

The Tribune found that Endeavor and other health systems have faced few consequences from state or federal regulators for allowing providers accused of sexually abusing patients to continue working. Sometimes, all regulators required was a plan to do better in the future. The Tribune also found that the state agency that regulates many medical licensees can be slow to take disciplinary action, and providers who worked outside of hospitals sometimes practiced for months while police investigated allegations against them, due to loopholes in state law.

In addition to addressing those issues, some medical experts and survivors of sexual abuse say broader use of chaperones may be one way to prevent patient abuse.

Read part 4 of our investigation.

Here are the top stories you need to know to start your day.

Subscribe to more newsletters | Puzzles & Games | Today’s eNewspaper edition

Trump’s Illinois delegates: Some tout election denials, others claim vaccines were useless or QR codes lead to government tracking

The 51 Illinoisans running as Republican Party delegates in the March 19 primary who are pledged to make Donald Trump the GOP nominee for president include two members of Congress, several candidates for the U.S. House, former and current locally elected officials and a few frequent and often unsuccessful contenders for other public offices across the state.

A deeper examination of the delegates’ backgrounds, their public comments and social media posts shows some also have repeatedly promoted the belief that COVID-19 vaccines were useless — including a state veterans’ home nurse — and some have pushed conspiracy theories that 5G phone transmission towers, wind turbines and QR codes lead to digital government tracking.

A year after John Lausch’s departure, Chicago’s next U.S. attorney still in limbo

April Perry, a former federal prosecutor, was nominated by President Joe Biden to succeed Chicago U.S. Attorney John Lausch as the first woman to ever hold the office. And though Perry was confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in September, she’s still no closer to assuming the role six months later.

Democratic incumbents face primary competition as party seeks to keep hold on Illinois legislature

Democrats will try to maintain their supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly in this year’s elections, with several incumbents facing challenges in the March 19 primary and big money pouring into some races.

Some young people planning fewer or no kids because of climate change

Collin Pearsall has friends who have started having children. But he has chosen a different path — due, in large part, to climate change.

Pearsall worries about the greenhouse gas emissions a child would add to a planet already experiencing the effects of rising temperatures.

And he is concerned about the impact climate change would have on the child: “the feeling of impending doom, every day, for their whole life.”

Illinois abortion providers praise Walgreens, CVS plans to carry mifepristone

The move comes as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs a challenge from conservative groups who are trying to curb access to and use of mifepristone. The high court could decide to limit the use of mifepristone to earlier in pregnancy or require an in-person appointment with a physician for a prescription, which would curtail telehealth services and pill-by-mail programs that have significantly expanded access to medication abortions in recent years.

For man with almost 1 million Cubs baseball cards, show in St. Charles a home run

Beau Thompson is closing in on a magic number when it comes to baseball cards of Chicago Cubs players.

“I’ve been collecting cards now for over 30 years and as of now I have 997,286 and I’m going to crack one million on April 5 of this year,” said Thompson, of Madison, Wisconsin, on Saturday morning at the Premier Card Show at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles. “It’s going to happen at Wrigley Field because I’ve planned it out.”

Chicago Bears pitch $2 billion for a publicly owned stadium on the lakefront to replace Soldier Field

The lakefront site would replace Soldier Field and increase open space on the museum campus by 20%, and provide a prime location to host the Super Bowl, NCAA Final Four and year-round community events, a source familiar with the deal said.

Column: Defensive line may be the top priority as Chicago Bears free-agency plans take shape

The negotiating window opens at 11 a.m. today and leads into the start of free agency when the new league year begins at 3 p.m. Wednesday. The work general manager Ryan Poles has completed in advance provides some clues for what could be next.

Why the ‘A League of Their Own’ TV show continues to resonate with fans — and why the Rockford Peaches remain timeless

Roughly 90 miles west of Chicago, Beyer Stadium’s brick ticket booth stands eight decades later as a physical reminder to the history embodied at the baseball field.

The Rockford Peaches and the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League still resonate within baseball and pop culture. Penny Marshall’s 1992 film “A League of Their Own” starring Geena Davis, Lori Petty and Tom Hanks remains the highest-grossing baseball movie after bringing in nearly $133 million worldwide.

Massive preservation project underway to save one of the oldest public art pieces in Chicago area

The United Electrical Workers union is teaming up with an art group to save a historic mural — considered one of the oldest public art pieces in the Chicago area — inside its Near West Side meeting hall, a space that will soon be developed into apartments.

The sprawling mural, titled “Solidarity,” spans the building’s two lobbies and central staircase, narrating the history of industrial unionism. A team of artists painted the vibrant work in the style of Diego Rivera between 1973 and 1974.

Review: The Eagles play it proudly old-school on their Long Goodbye farewell tour

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Eagles know their audience, writes Bob Gendron. Friday at the first of a two-night stand at a packed United Center, the veterans made no attempt to disguise their old-school methods and untrendy style.

‘Oppenheimer’ wins best picture at Academy Awards

“Oppenheimer,” a solemn three-hour biopic that became an unlikely billion-dollar box-office sensation, was crowned best picture at a 96th Academy Awards that doubled as a coronation for Christopher Nolan.

After passing over arguably Hollywood’s foremost big-screen auteur for years, the Oscars made up for lost time by heaping seven awards on Nolan’s blockbuster biopic, including best actor for Cillian Murphy, best supporting actor for Robert Downey Jr. and best director for Nolan.

The most closely watched contest of the Academy Awards went to Emma Stone, who won best best actress for her performance as Bella Baxter in “Poor Things.”