April 10, 2015

UCMC to raise the age limit of its pediatric trauma center to 17

The University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) released a formal statement in March, proposing the need for a regional solution to building an adult Level I trauma center on the South Side, and stating its continuing efforts to raise Comer’s trauma center age. According to the statement, “the medical center has taken formal steps to raise the age limit of its pediatric program to include 16- and 17-year-old children.”

The statement also emphasized the importance of maintaining other critical services which are vital to the community, including the UCMC’s neonatal intensive care units, violence prevention programs, and fiscal means of community support, which constitutes 22.5 percent of its operating expenses. The UCMC also maintains the South Side’s only burn unit.

The press release follows an initial statement, which was made public on December 8, 2014, in which the UCMC declared its move to raise the age limit of its pediatric trauma program to include 16- and 17-year-old children. Sharon O’Keefe, president and CEO of the UCMC, expects the pediatric trauma unit to be ready to treat this broader constituency within a year.

In-depth coverage on the history of care in the South Side, the raising of Comer’s trauma center age, and what the administration, community, undergraduate, and graduate student groups envision as solutions to South Side health care will be featured in an upcoming issue of The Maroon.