After a long battle between community members and city leaders, a trauma center has once again returned to the Southside on the campus of the University of Chicago in Hyde Park. The facility’s completion was announced this week and is expected to open in May following accreditation and inspection from state regulators.
The trauma center is the only one of its kind on the south side. Following the closing of Michael Reese Hospital’s trauma center in 1991. Since then, one of the areas with the highest percentage of shootings and violent crime was without a facility it badly needed. The $35 million center, located at 5656 S. Maryland Ave is said to be the most technologically-advanced in the city to date and will serve the southside communities in its periphery.
“This is a big deal, this is a huge deal,” said Derek Douglas, vice president of civic engagement at the University of Chicago. “I think what today reflects is what can be accomplished when the university and the community come together to accomplish common goals.” (ABC 7)
Protests began following several reports over the last 26 years that documented gunshot victims and other of the sort that received treatment slower than they should have after being transported across the entire city to Northwestern or other Northside hospitals with trauma units. The University of Chicago’s unveiling of their own is a certified win for the community and those who took the time to make relevant an important issue in Chicago.