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After 25 years of protests, University of Chicago decided to reopen its adult trauma care as part of its medical center in South Side Chicago.
The program has been ended as a result of financial concerns in 1988. Since then, activists and members of the community have taken uninterrupted efforts to convince the University that the program needs to be reopened.
The conflict reached its peak last year when the activists urged President Obama to discard the university’s proposal to host the presidential library. Obama has finally chosen the University of Chicago but the conflict affected the image of the institution.
The adult trauma center is highly needed especially in the South Side where the gun violence is at unusually high levels and where there is no Level 1 Trauma Care able to treat injuries resulted from gunshots.
A concession has been offered by the university in September, when it offered to arrange a partnership with Sinai Health System to open a trauma center at a Sinai hospital situated in the Southwest Side.
Even if the Trauma Care Coalition saluted the initiative, they didn’t settle for that since the adult trauma care center in the South Side is more needed by the local community.
When announcing their change of hearts, the University of Chicago stated that it makes sense for the adult trauma care to be housed in the same location as their pediatric trauma care and their center for burn and complex wound, providing a greater benefit for the patients in the South Side.
The Trauma Care Coalition is happy with the decision while also being sure that it resulted from the pressure they put on the university during the last two decades.
However, activists feel that it is a bittersweet victory since it has taken so long but finally their tactics and their patience have won.
All of the six trauma centers in Chicago are situated in the West and North sides even if the gun violence is more prominent in the South and West sides of the city.
A study from 2013 which analyzed Chicago crimes for over a decade revealed that people who were shot more than five miles away from a trauma center had increased chances of dying from the injuries. This alone proves the necessity of a trauma center in each side of a city well known by its gun-related violence.
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