Congressman Rush’s Office to Hold Trauma Center Townhall with University of Chicago Hospital Saturday, Oct. 5

CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)–October 5, 2013–Congressman Bobby L. Rush’s office will meet with representatives of the University of Chicago Hospital, trauma doctors from other hospitals, and community activists to address the lack of a south side trauma center. The group will discuss collaborating on opening a level 2 trauma center at Advocate Trinity Hospital on 95th Street between Jeffery and Colfax Street. Congressman Rush’s office will also discuss new legislation the Congressman will introduce which calls for $100M a year for trauma services. The meeting will take place October 5th from 12pm- 2pm at 5655 S. University.

This townhall follows a meeting on May 28 where the Dean Polonsky of the University of Chicago Hospital said “we’d be happy to think about how we can collaborate with any other organization to help set up a Level 1 trauma center” (as quoted in Chicago Maroon on May 31). At the townhall the group will discuss collaborating on opening a level 2 trauma center at Advocate Trinity Hospital.

These meetings are all in response to a recent sit-in which ended with 4 arrests at the new University of Chicago $700M Hospital. Among those who sat in was Sheila Rush, whose son Damian Turner was caught by a stray bullet in 2009 four blocks from the U of C but was taken 10 miles away to Northwestern where he died. The campaign to get a south side trauma center was started in 2010 in response to Damian’s death.

The recent death of Kevin Ambrose, who was also shot blocks away from the University of Chicago (at the 47th Green Line Station) but taken to Cook County Hospital, has renewed outcry over the lack of an adult south side trauma center. Friends and relatives of Kevin Ambrose will be at the meeting to ask the University of Chicago to open an adult trauma center. “Kevin was a beautiful person”, said close friend Micheal Dye, who was with Kevin when he was shot. “He was taken to Stroger, we rode behind the ambulance which took over 30 minutes to get there, when the University of Chicago Hospital is down the street. If he didn’t have to ride that far he could still be alive today” said Dye.

The meeting with the Dean of the University of Chicago Hospital also comes in response to new research published by Dr. Marie Crandall of Northwestern Hospital which shows that longer travel times to a trauma center increase your likelihood of dying. The paper titled “Trauma Deserts” was published in the American Journal of Public Health and looks at over 10 years of gunshot wound data in Chicago and finds a strong relationship between travel times and mortality.