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University of Chicago Medicine breaks ground on new emergency department

The University of Chicago Medicine broke ground Sept. 15, 2016, on a new and expanded emergency department that will also offer adult trauma care. (University of Chicago Medicine rendering)

A ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday marked the start of a $43 million project to convert part of a parking garage into a new emergency department at University of Chicago Medicine, bringing back trauma services to the South Side after a 25-year absence.

The new emergency department is expected to open in January 2018, and trauma services will likely be offered in early spring 2018.

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board unanimously approved the university's plans for the project in May after years of campaigning by activists for urgent, high-level medical care on the city's South Side. The South Side hasn't had such care since Michael Reese Hospital in Bronzeville closed its center in 1991.

"By opening a trauma center at the University of Chicago, we are going to not only add additional capacity to the entire (emergency medical services), trauma system, but we will be in a position to reduce transportation times for patients in need of immediate intervention, if not life-saving intervention," said University of Chicago Medical Center President Sharon O'Keefe.

Keywords: Chicago, Emergency Room, Hyde Park, University of Chicago

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