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The University of Chicago Medicine announces historic community plan to strengthen access to care for Chicago's South Side

UChicago plan includes a level 1 adult trauma center on its campus; new and expanded ER; and increase in hospital beds to meet community needs

December 17, 2015

The University of Chicago Medicine has a deep ongoing commitment to serving the health care needs of the South Side. Unprecedented growth in inpatient admissions and emergency department volume has created serious capacity constraints, and as a result, our medical facilities are operating at capacity. More than 50 percent of the patients who are responsible for this growth come from the South Side, reflecting the faith that UChicago Medicine's surrounding community has in the quality of care that they receive in the hospital system.

As UChicago Medicine evaluated how to continue to meet the needs of their community into the future, they received input from community partners, members and leaders. They also conducted a careful evaluation of their capacity to meet the growing health care needs of the South Side community. In addition to this internal evaluation, UChicago Medicine continued to hear from, listen to and engage with a variety of community leaders, stakeholders and residents, who helped inform their thinking on the best way to improve access to care.

In an effort to expand access, UChicago Medicine is now proposing a bold plan to invest in facilities and programs that will deepen and broaden their commitment to the community and expand their ability to provide the highest quality health care to the South Side of Chicago.

UChicago Medicine's plan includes:

  • A Level 1 adult trauma center at UChicago Medicine that will complement the existing Level 1 pediatric trauma program and the Burn and Complex Wound Center, providing an integrated approach to serving the acute care needs of patients and the community at one site;
  • A new and expanded emergency room close to the Center for Care and Discovery;
  • A substantial increase in the number of inpatient beds, which will greatly expand UChicago Medicine's ability to meet the needs of the community in trauma and emergency care, as well as offering care to patients with serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease or who need complex surgical and other procedures.

In order to make this vision a reality, UChicago Medicine needs to go through a series of regulatory and approval steps:

  • UChicago Medicine will file a Certificate of Need application with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board to expand its licensed bed capacity and emergency department;
  • UChicago Medicine will seek approval for a Level 1 adult trauma center from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Chicago Trauma Network;
  • UChicago Medicine will continue to engage the community on these issues going forward;
  • A detailed timeline will soon be available.

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