Activists call for trauma care from the University of Chicago Medical Center

August 15, 2011

The group Fearless Leading by Youth slept on concrete last night in front of the University of Chicago Medical Center. They want more emergency care for the most seriously injured patients - a business the hospital got out of 23 years ago.

The demonstration comes one year after the death of its founder, Damian Turner. He died from a gunshot near the U of C hospital, but had to go about 7 miles for treatment.

There's no direct evidence the outcome would have changed if he'd gotten care at U of C. But his case highlights the lack of trauma centers on the South Side.

The U of C Medical Center has invested heavily in specialty care and research. But near the construction site for a new $700 million pavilion, activist Corey Mason says those priorities are wrong. "We can't get a level-1 trauma unit that can fit inside of a building, but you can construct a big colossal size building? That just isn't logical," said Mason.

Hospital officials said in a statement the distribution of trauma centers demands a region-wide solution. The hospital does operate a pediatric trauma center and has expanded its ER.