Saturday, May 10, 2014

Progress IL: No Trauma Center, No Obama Presidential Library

Overtime on this blog, we have written about the need for a trauma center on the south side. The last time you might have seen a story here about that was in November when there had been a march highlighting this issue. Activists on the south side had a meeting regarding a trauma center recently:
A coalition of South Side residents and community groups is pushing back against the University of Chicago over its bid for the coveted Barack Obama presidential library and museum.

At a townhall meeting Thursday night, dozens of South Side residents delivered a stern message to the university: No trauma center, no Obama library.

Members of the Trauma Care Coalition, which hosted Thursday's meeting, said the university has an obligation to its community to improve access to emergency health services. If the university is interested in building the much sought-after Obama library, it should also make reopening its adult trauma center a top priority, according to the South Side activists.

The University of Chicago opened a Level 1 adult trauma center back in 1986, but closed it in 1988 in an effort to cut costs. Currently, there are no Level 1 adult trauma facilities on the city’s South Side. And that forces seriously injured people to travel miles away to other parts of the city for medical care.

The University of Chicago currently runs a trauma center for children up to age 16 at Comer Children’s Hospital, and activists have been demanding that the age limit for those accepted at the facility be raised to 21.

"We're not against the Obama library because we feel like it will bring great resources to the neighborhood, but we also feel that (university officials) need to get their priorities straight," said Trauma Care Coalition member Victoria Crider, a leader with Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY). "Before they can build such a prestigious attraction, they need to prioritize the lives of the young black people who are dying around them. We've been knocking on the university's door to get a trauma center for almost four years, and we've barely got their attention."

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