A much-needed resource opens on Chicago’s South Side Tuesday, as the University of Chicago was slated to launch its Level 1 trauma center.
For years, community activists fought for the facility, saying that victims of gunshot wounds, crashes, burns on the South Side have been transported by ambulance past this hospital for about 10 miles to the nearest Level 1 adult trauma center.
But now, that will no longer be the case.
The University of Chicago gave a tour of the facility in December, when it first opened as an emergency room. It's located on the ground level of a hospital parking garage at South Maryland Avenue and East 57th Street.
The University of Chicago has always offered emergency care, but the trauma center allows for more extensive, round-the-clock care with on-site specialists.
The trauma center’s director Dr. Selwyn Rogers Jr. is a public health expert and surgeon with more than 16 years of trauma care experience, the university said in announcing his selection to lead the facility.
Rogers said he wants to see new outreach programs aimed at chronic problems like obesity and intentional violence.
"Our care for trauma will go far beyond just the trauma bays and just the hospital," Rogers said in December.
"We want to touch lives beyond the context of just sewing people up and sending them back to the communities in which they live," he added.
The program is expected to serve between 2,700 and 4,000 patients each year. The trauma center officially opens its doors Tuesday at 8 a.m.