Trauma Care Questions
1. What obligations does the UCMC feel to engage community health needs in the expansion of thehospitals? What steps does the UCMC currently take to address community needs, and how dothese steps align with UCMC's mission to deliver the “best care to the most people possible”?
As the only academic medical center in the underserved South Side, the University of Chicago MedicalCenter has a number of health care responsibilities. The most pressing and all-encompassing is to provideservices that are scarce or unavailable at the same level at other area hospitals. This includes our world-renowned complex cancer care and a level 1 trauma center for children, as well as services and care for inflammatory bowel disease, neurological conditions, organ transplants and heart device implantations. Italso includes rare emergent services that nearby communities need, such as our burn unit, one of onlythree in the Chicago area, and our intensive care units, with special emphasis on the pediatric andneonatal ICUs. Another one of the Medical Center’s responsibilities is to take care of patients who aresent from other hospitals that don’t have the level of expertise and experience that our medical staff possesses.The Medical Center treats the second-highest number of sexual assault and domestic violence victims.We are training our nurses to become a state certified sexual assault treatment center. We also are in talkswith local anti-violence community groups to see how we can better partner with existing programs toend violence.Through the research and community clinical care efforts of the Medical Center, members of our facultyand the Urban Health Initiative, the Medical Center is also addressing many of the health disparities inour surrounding neighborhoods, such as diabetes, obesity, breast cancer, HIV infection rates and basiclack of access to medicine. In fact, UCMC spends more than $200 million every year on services and programs that benefit the community, including providing charity care, uncompensated care and fundingof education and research. At the same time, the Medical Center is working proactively to create acoordinated network of care that spans the South Side and can offer care to patients in convenient andwell-matched settings. This includes making University of Chicago physicians available at settingsthroughout the community. The long-term community commitment also includes training the future physicians and conducting research of the community’s needs and resources as a first step in improvingaccess and the quality of care.The Medical Center is also investing in the community by building a new state-of-the-art hospital pavilion. South Side residents deserve to have a modern hospital providing the most advanced health carewith the best doctors. Our current facility was built in 1983 and needs to be updated. Other academicmedical centers in the city also have recently launched major building projects to update their facilities.Our plan is to be here for the community for generations to come, so we need to remain at the top of our field and to continue to grow. In order to do that, UCMC must position itself to be financially stable byinvesting in its future. If UCMC fails to stay competitive, the South Side risks another medical center closure, which happened in June 2009 when Michael Reese Hospital. Michael Reese Hospital closed itslevel 1 trauma center in 1989 after facing escalating financial challenges as operating expenses increasedamid aging facilities.The University of Chicago’s New Hospital Pavilion project has become an economic engine fuelingminority- and women-owned businesses in the Chicago area. The Medical Center has paid close to $98million in contracts to 94 minority- and women-owned business enterprises, such as material suppliers,construction contractors and professional services firms. That number represents more than 48 percent of the $206.7 million paid to date on the project.