University of Chicago drafts plan for South Side trauma center

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The University of Chicago Medicine has drafted a plan to bring a Level 1 trauma center to one of the city's communities that needs it most. (WLS)

The University of Chicago Medicine has drafted a plan to bring a Level 1 trauma center to one of the city's communities that needs it most.

The proposal is called "Get CARE," which stands for community, access, reliability and excellence.

Officials released a rendering of the expanded facilities once the hospital's emergency department is relocated and Mitchell Hospital is redeveloped into a dedicated cancer center. No architect has been chosen yet and no design finalized.

The get care plan is expected to cost nearly $270 million and create more than 1,000 permanent jobs. That includes teams of specialized surgeons and other health care professionals to cover trauma care and support the emergency room expansion.

A bigger facility should help to relieve one of the highest hospital occupancy rates in the state. According to University of Chicago Medical Center President Sharon O'Keefe, there were 310 days last year where the hospital was so full that it was forced to turn some patients away.

The proposal now needs approval from a state review board to move forward.

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