2 min read

The Problems with TCC's Response to the Holy Cross Trauma Center

Beggars can't be choosers. That pretty much sums up everything that's wrong with the Trauma Center Coalition's (TCC) response to the future Level I Trauma Center to be built at Holy Cross Hospital in conjunction with UChicago Medicine.

After their self-congratulatory first point, it's clear that the TCC wants to have its cake and eat it too.

There are still large swaths of the south side that will not be adequately served by the new trauma center. South Shore, East Woodlawn, Kenwood, and other South Side neighborhoods with higher gun violence rates are still more than five miles away from an adult trauma center.

Geez. Do you want a 24-hour Level I trauma center fully staffed with a full roster of medical subspecialists on every block? What do you think these places are, McDonalds? Building more and more trauma centers exclusively in response to gun violence is, needless to say, NOT a permanent or sustainable solution.

The decision to not place the trauma center on campus says to the immediate surrounding neighborhoods that we are not welcomed. This campaign was started after the death of Damian Turner, a young black organizer who was shot 3 blocks away from UCMC...This decision says to those young people that the University of Chicago is willing to spend $40 million to keep black victims of gun trauma off of their sacred lands.

Correction: UChicago isn't willing to spend $40 million to keep blacks away. Rather, it's willing to spend $40 million to keep gangbangers and their friends away. Talk to enough medical professionals who've worked in an inner-city ER for a while and they'll tell you stories about rival gang members following ambulances or even stalking their wounded target all the way to the front doors of the ER. Building a trauma center on the UChicago campus - especially if it were the only trauma center on the South Side - would inevitably jeopardize the safety of students, faculty, and staff. Hyde Park has been relatively safe compared to other neighborhoods only because of the fact that there's little reason for gang members to go there; as soon as that delicate balance changes, all bets are off. Having a trauma center at UChicago may have saved Damian Turner, but ironically it also increases the probability of there being more Damians in the future. UChicago's decision to establish a trauma center at 68th and California - in the middle of the hot zone - is therefore perfectly sensible.

The fact that nine people who risked their freedom and safety to continue push the university on this issue are still banned from all University of Chicago property is another example of the University’s prejudice and disengagement toward the community.

I know I'm beating a dead horse here, but that's what happens when you not only trespass on private property, but completely deny access to it.

The U of C cannot renege on raising the age limit, in fact they should raise it further to 21. Under the proposed arrangement, the Comer Pediatric hospital would cease pursuit of raising the age limit of their trauma center to 18.

Just one thing: Do you understand the meaning of the word pediatric?

The TCC seems to really be grasping at straws with their latest round of arguments. Perhaps they're only looking for a reason to exist now that, you know, a trauma center is actually going to be built.