May 23, 2014: The latest statement on trauma care on the south side

The Latest Statement on Trauma Care on the South Side

May 23, 2014

The University of Chicago Medical Center is committed to providing the South Side of Chicago with access to the best health care possible and to contributing to the economic vitality of the region.

We do this by providing distinctive, life-saving services, including the South Side's only burn unit, the South Side's only trauma unit for children, and a neonatal intensive care unit that serves nearly 1,000 infants from the South Side each year. The Medical Center also offers the region's primary source of complex specialty care in areas such as cancer and gastrointestinal diseases.

The medical campus also strengthens the community through its economic impact, providing jobs and other opportunities for neighbors. Capital spending to modernize and build facilities generates millions of dollars for the local economy and ensures that the Medical Center stays competitive and will be around for generations to come.

A community health needs assessment of South Side residents identified diabetes, cancer prevention, access to primary care, as well as childhood obesity and asthma, as among the top health issues in the community. The Medical Center is a national leader in these fields and is actively engaged in providing services to address these concerns, which affect hundreds of thousands of South Side residents. 

Developing a Level 1 adult trauma center could compromise the Medical Center's ability to support these critical services. It would be a massive undertaking, requiring significant resources and support, as well as a complex decision-making process that must involve the city and state.

The South Side faces a complicated set of health care challenges, including the closing of seven hospitals and loss of 50 percent of all hospital beds in the region since 1988. Adult trauma care is one piece of that landscape. Achieving geographic balance in trauma care will require a regional solution that does not come at the expense of these other lifesaving services. The University of Chicago is committed to outreach and research that make an impact on the essential issue of violence prevention.

» Read more about the complex issues related to an additional trauma center on the South Side of Chicago.