Northwestern Medicine announced on Thursday a major new medical center is coming to the South Side of Chicago.
The outpatient care center is expected to be built at 48th and South Cottage Grove Avenue in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood. This corridor is an area of focus for the city’s $1.4 billion INVEST South/West initiative that aims to address decades of disinvestment in “high risk” neighborhoods.
For Rev. Chris Harris, this means his family will no longer have to drive downtown to receive care.
“They’re making an investment in the Black metropolis,” said Harris. “It gives people options; it gives people the opportunity to decide where they want to go.”
The 120,000 square-foot facility will serve around 50,000 patients every year. It will include an immediate care center, primary and specialty care, advanced cancer screenings, an on-site diagnostic lab and more.
The location is key.
The area is home to thousands of Black Chicagoans who face challenges when it comes to accessing quality health care. In fact, the city of Chicago recently released new data that shows the largest life expectancy gap between Black and white Chicagoans in decades:10 years.
The new outpatient center’s medical director, Dr. Kimbra Bell Balark, said access to quality health care is a contributing factor.
“When one cannot go and have great medical care when it comes to managing diabetes, in regard to managing hypertension, in regard to getting a late diagnosis of a cancer… obviously this will impact their life expectancy,” said Balark.
The project is expected to create 1,000 construction jobs and 100 permanent health care positions, according to Northwestern Medicine.
Northwestern Medicine’s Bronzeville location is expected to open by summer 2025.