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    Posted June 16, 2014 by

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    Students, Activists Push to Reopen U Chicago Trauma Center


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Chicago’s continuing problem with gun violence has some residents rallying for the establishment of a new Level I trauma center, as there isn’t one on the South Side. The University of Chicago Medical Center had been the only one, but it closed the center in 1988 so the medical center could focus on pediatric care and burn unit, according to the hospital.

    The South Side Trauma Coalition is fighting to reopen the trauma center, leading protests like the one in the video from late May. The coalition argues that gun violence victims, like 18-year-old Damian Turner, could have been saved. Turner was caught in crossfire blocks away from the University of Chicago Medical Center in 2010, but he was taken to the nearest adult trauma center, which is 10 miles away. His mother told CNN affiliate WLS that her son could have survived if there was a closer trauma center.

    "Innocent people who have nothing to do with gang violence are dying, and it's unfair. I wanted these people, whom I admire so much, to have a voice,” said Northwestern University journalism student Catherine Reid, who produced this video.
    - taliaday, CNN iReport producer

    Special thanks to Jane Herman, iReporter jvh348, for covering the protest with me.

    The University of Chicago closed its Level 1 trauma center for  adults in 1988, leaving the South Side with no treatment options for  gunshot victims. Patients now have to travel for up to forty minutes to  reach hospitals in other parts of the city, losing vital time for  treatment. The South Side Trauma Center Coalition, led by young  activists, is leading the fight to reopen the center.

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