People on the South Side rallied, marched and demanded their own trauma center for years.
And just one month after getting it, we have proof of just how badly it was needed. We're told the University of Chicago’s new trauma center is already the busiest in the state.
"They are the busiest trauma center now it Chicago. It shows there was a definite need for them in their community,” said Leslie Stein-Spencer, EMS for Illinois.
U-Chicago Medicine opened the level one center May 1st, ready to treat the most severely injured patients.
In the first four weeks, they saw 274 adult patients and 38 percent of those were penetrating injuries, such as gunshots and stabbings.
The South Side hasn't had a trauma center like this for 27 years.
“Having a trauma center in their backyard has been something that many community members have been very grateful for,” said Dr. Selwyn Rogers.
On top of treating the victims of violence at this trauma center, the hospital is also working on preventing violence here on the South Side.
“We're really excited to have this grant. It continues our fight against violence in our community,” said Lali Avila of Alliance of the SouthEast.
Avila's organization Is among seven groups to receive a grant from U-Chicago Medicine.
In neighborhoods all too familiar with trauma, this second round of $50,000 will go to violence prevention groups like Avila’s, which teaches kids about peace.
“These are very passionate young people who want to see change in their community. They want to be at the table to talk about the change they want to see,” she said.
Until that change arrives, this new ER is bracing for a busy summer.