CHICAGO (AP) — Two hospitals are planning to open a $40 million adult trauma center on Chicago's South Side, an area that has been without such a facility for nearly 25 years.
On Thursday, University of Chicago Medicine and Sinai Health System announced they would convert the emergency room at Holy Cross Hospital in Chicago Lawn.
Community activists have sought an adult trauma center in the area for years. The University of Chicago Medicine said in a news release that the location "is near some of the highest incidence of trauma injury and gun violence in the city."
The South Side hasn't had adult trauma care since 1991 when the Michael Reese Hospital in the Bronzeville neighborhood closed its trauma center. The center at Holy Cross would be one of five in Chicago.
University of Chicago Medicine would pay for expansion and renovation at Holy Cross and provide trauma care specialists, while Sinai Health would provide most of the medical personnel. The approval process and construction are expected to take about two years.
The Trauma Care Coalition, whose activists have been demanding the trauma center, called the announcement a victory but said it isn't enough.
"There are still large swaths of the South Side that will not be adequately served by the new trauma center," the group said in a statement.
Chicago has four other Level 1 adult trauma centers, two on the West Side and two on the North Side. The Chicago area's other Level 1 adult trauma centers are in Evanston, Maywood, Oak Lawn and Park Ridge.
Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com