The Trauma Center Coalition, a group of students, pastors, doctors, mothers and community residents, are  protesting the University of Chicago in order to bring an adult trauma center closer to the southside.

Chicago has six trauma centers scattered throughout the city and suburbs. However, there are none located in the southside. If built, the closest adult trauma center for patients would be at the University of Chicago. But, there’s other plans in the works for U of C; like building President Obama Presidential Library.

Hospital officials told ABC 7 that opening a trauma center would compromise the facility’s ability to support other services like, the burn unit and the neonatal care unit.

Daniel Kaplan, of Jewish Council and Urban Affairs (JCUA), said there’s a large concentration of gun violence existing in the south side.    u of c trauma center

“It’s a trauma center desert,” said Kaplan. “There’s not enough medical attention in the south side for gunshot violence.”

The closest adult trauma center to the southside is Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

In fact, the U of C had a trauma center but closed down in 1988 due to majority of the patients not having healthcare. Currently, U of C has a pediatric trauma center for patients ages 16 and under.

Student and community activists kicked off a week of action last month, which involved a week-long of events protesting at various locations. On May 19, protesters rallied outside the U of C’s construction site blocking entrances to parking garages and sitting in front of cement trucks. police move protesters

After three hours, the police came and forcibly moved the protesters.

While organizations such as, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) and Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY) continue fighting for a trauma center, Kaplan said JCUA is advocating for gun violence prevention and identifying what the root causes are.

“We fully support the trauma center campaign, but we are new to it,” said Kaplan. “JCUA is working with our partners to pass legislation on banning guns.


  1. How appropriate because I’ve noticed that most of the gangs, thugs,robbers and murderers use a lighter instead of a gun.

  2. Ms. Delk:

    You need to correct the blatantly false statements in your article. The University of Chicago has no plans to “build” the Obama library:

    The university would also not be funding it; funding of presidential libraries does not work in this way. Finally, the library will not be located on campus either, but in the community. The university wants to host the library.

    The word “host” rather “build” is crucial because the trauma center activists are clearly misinformed about the university’s plans, and in the process are inadvertently spreading this misinformation (indeed, you fell for it!).

    One hopes that this does not affect the bid to bring the Obama library to the South Side, which is a community partnership with the university facilitating the collaboration:

    If the trauma center activists were to succeed and the Obama library does not come to the South Side (with the lost opportunities for our community and youths), this would be a tragic example of members of our South Side community with the intent to do good but, because of lack of understanding and of the facts, end up hurting the community they purport to represent.

  3. The issue with the trauma center activists is their myopia and their one-dimensional view of the problems that the South Side community faces. The rest of us understand that the major problems faced by the South Side, including the serious health disparities and the epidemic of violence, are complex, and, as such, require real solutions that the activists are apparently incapable of entertaining.

    The activists must first respect the facts before they can begin to actually have real political impact. Their approach is unfortunately too one-dimensional to actually succeed. The rest of us understand that one must attack these problems on multiple fronts:

    1. Serious health disparities exist (in diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and a host of other diseases) that must be addressed such as with the following University of Chicago program:… … Diabetes is a major problem on the South Side — with nearly 19% of all African Americans aged 20 years or older having the disease, which makes African Americans several times more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy (blindness) and kidney diseases and 2.7 times more likely to suffer from lower-limb amputations:

    And there are a host of these health disparities that require major investments. The medical center’s programs to address these health disparities in the community cannot be jeopardized by the activists’ stubbornness:

    2. There is no better way to address the epidemic of violence than to identify truly effective approaches to reducing violence:… … The university’s Crime Lab needs tremendous support as it implements a comprehensive approach to violence reduction — an approach, for example, that collaborates on projects with the Chicago Public Schools to reduce truancy and dropout, and with local non-profits like Youth Guidance and World Sport
    Chicago to reduce the risk that youth engage in impulsive violence.

    We cannot jeopardize these programs, including the recently announced wide-ranging initiative from the major, with the help of the University, to curb gun violence:

    3. One also needs to invest in initiatives aimed at producing reliably excellent urban schooling through a comprehensive approach that integrates applied research, teacher training, and diagnostic tools such as this effort by the university’s Urban Education Institute:

    There are many other such initiatives that, in contrast to the trauma center activists, are having real impact on the community and beyond.

    You see, to the activists, the only real issue that counts is their issue — in total disregard of the other serious disparities that exist in the community. As long as they get their way, the possibility that these other necessary programs may be affected seems to have not even occurred to them as a possibility.

    The University of Chicago medical center does not print money! What these activists fail to acknowledge is that recently, Moody’s downgraded the university’s medical center’s outlook to negative because of its unusually heavy debt load–PR_286267

    The newly constructed 700 million dollar hospital that is often cited by the trauma center activists as proof that the medical center has financial resources fails again to mention that this is a replacement hospital for the old Mitchell hospital that was built in a long-lost era and that had double-occupancy rooms!

    We need a balanced account of what is going on so that it’s not just the loudest whose voices are heard — to the detriment of the South Side.

  4. Why don’t you comfort the young man bleeding to death three blocks from U of C with your three points? Then tell him that you’ll be right back– as soon as you finish repealing the second amendment. Have there been no other health and education initiatives, no previous anti-violence campaigns? I realize that it is more pleasant to plan a utopia than it is to accept the unwashed masses into your Hyde Park bubble, but such blindness to the immediate needs of this community while claiming to speak for it remains breathtaking. Sleep well tonight.