My latest for EBONY: "Lack of South Side Trauma Center May Cost Chicagoans' Lives."
Chicago has become ground zero for the national debate on guns and gang violence. But does the lack of an adult trauma center on the South Side—the historic home of the city’s Black community—contribute to more deaths? Possibly. Chicago-area gunshot victims “who are shot more than five miles from a trauma center have a higher mortality rate,” according to a new study.
The study was published by the American Journal of Public Health. Dr. Marie Crandall, professor in surgery/trauma care at Northwestern University, analyzed 11,744 gunshot patients from 1999-2009, reports Chicago’s WBEZ Radio. “The data found 4,782 people were shot more than five miles from a trauma center. Those patients were disproportionately Black and less likely to be insured.”
"That is the reality across the nation in urban Black populations," Glenn Ellis told EBONY.com. Ellis is the Philadelphia-based wellness writer and radio host, who often reports on healthy equity. "The less Black you are and the more insurance you have, the more are likely you are to live if you enter a Level 1 trauma center."
ZERO South Side residents live within five miles of the city’s four Level 1 trauma centers. Activists, politicians and many residents are outraged that the University of Chicago Medical Center on the city's South Side closed its adult trauma center in 1989 and has refused to reopen it. Therefore the many adult victims of gun violence—even those who were shot only blocks away—must be transported up to 13 miles for life-saving treatment. The hospital and university campus have been targeted by demonstrations that have lead to a number of arrests.
Read it at EBONY.