The University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) recently released more information about its Get CARE initiative, the best-known aspect of which is the plan to build a Level I adult trauma facility. The UCMC also discussed the plan at a community forum at the KLEO Community Family Life Center, 119 East Garfield Boulevard, on Thursday night.
As part of the Get CARE plan, the UCMC also intends to transform Mitchell Hospital into a dedicated cancer treatment facility and to relocate and expand its emergency room.
The UCMC recently said that it expects to treat 2,700 new patients per year at the trauma facility, according to a DNAinfo article. The UCMC expects that three quarters of those new patients, many of whom will likely be gunshot and car crash victims, will require stays of more than a week, which is significantly longer than the average hospital stay.
The UCMC also announced that its hearing with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board (IHFSRB) will occur on May 10. The IHFSRB must approve the UCMC’s plan before it can begin construction.
At Thursday’s community meeting, executives of the UCMC announced that they plan to create a community advisory board for the hospital as part of the Get CARE plan. Details about who will be chosen to sit on the community advisory board and its exact role have not yet been decided.
UCMC administrators solicited community input at Thursday’s meeting. Multiple audience members applauded the University for finding a sustainable revenue stream for the trauma center, which is expected to cost the University around $20 million per year. The University plans to offset these costs with increased revenue that will come from expanding its more lucrative cancer care to more patients at the new facility.
Organizers of the forum urged community members to unite in supporting the UCMC’s plan.
“We have to make sure [the UCMC’s plan] passes in Springfield. We still have a lot of work to do, and you know, just like anything else, if there is a divided community, people can play off of that to not get things through,” said pastor of the Apostolic Church of God and one of the local leaders who moderated the forum Byron Brazier.
The UCMC also launched the website uchicagogetcare.org, where people can learn more about the plan and sign a petition in support.