Aug 22, 2011
Community groups held a vigil Monday, August 14th to commemorate the violent death of Damian Turner, a young community activist, one year ago. He was a bystander when he was shot last year at the corner of 61st and Cottage Grove – only 3½ blocks from one of the leading hospitals in the country: the University of Chicago Medical Center.
But the University of Chicago closed its adult trauma center in 1988. The ambulance took Turner to Northwestern Medical Center, on the North Side, 10 miles away. That distance may have cost Turner his life.
There is not one 24-hour trauma center on Chicago’s South Side, despite the fact that trauma is a leading cause of death on the South Side.
The University says that opening a trauma center would come at the expense of other care they offer, including its focus: “advanced specialty care” – that is, procedures from which University Hospital makes big bucks.
It comes down to this: the University wants to provide cutting edge care for the wealthy while ignoring the needs of the poor communities that surround it.