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Chicago's South Side finally gets Level 1 trauma center

Chicago-based Sinai Health System and University of Chicago Medicine announced Friday plans to build and operate a new $40 million Level 1 trauma center and expand emergency services on Chicago's South Side.

After years of protests, Chicago's South and Southwest side communities will finally have access to a more comprehensive system of trauma and emergency care. Protests began following the death of an 18-year-old in a drive-by shooting in late 2010. The young man was shot three blocks from University of Chicago Medical Center, but had to be transported nine miles away to Chicago-based Northwestern Memorial Hospital, since UChicago had closed its trauma center in 1988 for financial reasons.

The new trauma center will be located in the thick of the city's trauma injury and gun violence, at Sinai Health System's Holy Cross Hospital at 68th and California. The project is estimated to cost about $40 million, and will be funded by UChicago Medicine. Both systems will provide trauma specialists to staff the center.

"This new Level 1 adult trauma center is a true community and civic effort, and the City of Chicago looks forward to working with the key stakeholders to bring this to fruition," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. "I commend the University of Chicago, Sinai Health System and Holy Cross Hospital for working collaboratively to meet an important need on the South Side. This partnership will strengthen their longstanding commitment to their communities and proves once again why these institutions are an asset to our great city."

As part of the effort, UChicago Medicine also plans to expand emergency services on its Hyde Park campus by building a state-of-the-art emergency department. The partnership is pending approval by the state, and the health systems expect the project to take at least two years to complete.


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