In its first four weeks, U. of C. Medicine treated 274 adult trauma patients, making it one of the the busiest trauma centers in Chicago, officials said Wednesday.
Though that figure is in line with estimates made during the planning process, the South Side trauma center also saw a surge over Memorial Day Weekend, treating 44 adult trauma patients over the course of the three-day weekend.
Over the course of the month, 38 percent of those treated suffered gun shot or stab wounds — the other 62 percent suffered blunt force trauma, which includes injuries suffered in car accidents, officials said.
Selwyn Rogers Jr., director of the trauma center, said with the warmer weather, the facility along with the others like it, will “have their work cut out for them.”
“We’re hoping that doesn’t stay the case, but because of all of the planning everyone pretty much expected, if you will, the worst and the trauma team … were pretty amplified and eagerly preparing for that moment,” Rogers said.
The opening of the trauma center means fewer trauma patients will be transferred to Northwestern Memorial, Advocate Christ Medical Hospital or Stroger Hospital, said Leslee Stein-Spencer, of the Illinois Department of Public Health’s EMS Advisory council.
Beyond caring for trauma patients, U. of C. Medicine has also awarded a total of $50,000 to nonprofits, including the Alliance of the SouthEast and Centers for New Horizons, to help with violence prevention.
Centers for New Horizons’ CEO Christa Hamilton said the money will be used for a program called ‘Reach!’ which will recruit youth who’ve already had a run in with the justice system. The nonprofit, which operates in the nearby South Shore area, plans to start the program in June.
“We want to have change agents but we don’t always know what communities need,” Hamilton said. “This will help us with summer youth employment programs, cognitive behavior therapy and peace circles to make those changes in our communities.”