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University of Chicago Medicine Applies for IHFSRB Approval of Level I Trauma Center

Thu February 18 2016 7:11 am
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The ‘Get CARE’ initiative proposes a new and larger emergency department, Level 1 adult trauma service, and dedicated cancer hospital

The University of Chicago Medicine is seeking state approval for a bold project that will address the lack of access to emergency and adult trauma services and complex care on the South Side.

Under its “Get CARE” plan, which was submitted this week to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board (IHFSRB) for approval, the University of Chicago Medicine is seeking to:

Relocate and expand its adult emergency department in close proximity to its newest hospital, the Center for Care and Discovery (CCD), which will reduce wait times and serve more patients.

Establish a Level 1 adult trauma center on its Hyde Park medical campus, which will join the medical center’s existing pediatric trauma service and Burn & Complex Wound Center.

Redevelop Mitchell Hospital into a facility dedicated to cancer, which disproportionately affects people on the South Side. This will allow relocation of patients with cancer to a dedicated hospital, opening up the CCD to other critical patients undergoing surgery and other life-saving procedures.

The Get CARE plan is expected to cost $269 million and create more than 1,000 permanent positions and 400 construction jobs.

“Get CARE is a plan to reduce the disparities that exist in access to critical care on the South Side and address the severe capacity constraints our medical center faces,” said Sharon O’Keefe, president of the University of Chicago Medical Center. “For 310 days last year, our hospital was so full that we were forced to turn some patients away; while others endured longer-than-acceptable wait times. We must address these capacity constraints to provide the care our community and patients need.”

Proposed rendering of expanded facilities dedicated to treating cancer (pictured, southwest view).

The graphic above is a proposed rendering of expanded facilities included in the University of Chicago Medicine’s Get CARE plan, which was submitted to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board this week. The proposal includes redeveloping the existing Mitchell Hospital (pictured, southwest view) into a facility dedicated to treating patients with cancer. This rendering is merely conceptual and meant to give a general impression of the vision of the project. No architect has been chosen, and these plans have not been finalized.

To support these expansions in emergency, trauma and complex-care services, UChicago Medicine is proposing to restore 188 inpatient beds, which will return UChicago Medicine to roughly its size in the late 1970s. This bed request will help address capacity issues that have been limiting patients’ access to care and straining the network of providers, as ambulances are diverted elsewhere and community hospitals are unable to transfer patients in need of complex care to UChicago Medicine. Indeed, UChicago Medicine maintains one of the highest occupancy rates in the state, at 90 percent.

Get CARE is an integrated plan that involves creating teams of specialized surgeons and other health care professionals to cover trauma care and support the expansion of emergency and specialty services — an important model for ensuring the long-term sustainability of the medical center.

The Get CARE plan stands for:

Community — commitment to our neighbors
Access — providing equal access to care for South Siders
Reliability — our doors are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to all who need care
Excellence — life-changing care for anyone who needs it
The elements of the proposal must first be approved by state regulators. The initial step in the regulatory process is the filing of a Certificate of Need with the IHFSRB.

There are eight adult and two pediatric level 1 trauma centers serving the Chicago area. Six Level 1 trauma centers are located within the Chicago city limits: four serve adults (at Stroger, Mount Sinai, Northwestern Memorial and Advocate Illinois Masonic hospitals) and two serve children (University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital and Lurie Children’s).

There are other Level 1 trauma centers in Cook County that serve patients from Chicago, including Advocate Christ Medical center in Oak Lawn and Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. In DuPage County, Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital is the only Level I Trauma Center in the county.

Licensed trauma centers are facilities specially equipped to provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary medical services to trauma victims. There are stringent requirements that must be met in order to be a licensed trauma center. Trauma centers are typically classified as Level 1, 2 or 3 based on the resources,
equipment and specialists provided, as well as the trauma volume and research and educational commitment.

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