After a lengthy battle between community leaders, aldermen and the powers that be in the vast framework of Chicago politics, a trauma center is finally a near-reality for the south side. Ground was broken Thursday morning on the site of the future center at the University of Chicago which will help victims in need of immediate assistance, like gunshot wounds and car accidents.
Speaking to those in attendance at the first step of the next chapter for the long-needed center which will reportedly provide some 1,000 jobs to the area, Mayor Rahm Emanuel had this to say, “We’re grateful to this university not only for what it does for its students, but what it will do for the entire South Side, both in the health care and in the economic development and the jobs that will come.”
While many may recall the problem from Vice’s informative, if fantastical look at the city’s issues on their HBO show in 2015, the lack of an adequate emergency room on the south side is an issue that has long been a focus of residents. Gunshot victims in particular, which have been often this year which has set records for shootings, currently have to be transported across the city via ambulance to get adequate medical care. This, in the country’s third largest city currently experiencing one of it’s most violent streaks in recent memory. While the trauma center is a a step in the right direction, it is but one of many necessary institutions that must be established on the city’s south and west sides which face everything from food deserts to school closings not focused on the more affluent north side.
Slated to open in 2018, the center is predicted “to see 2,700 patients a year and cost $20 million each year to run” according to DNAInfo.