The trauma victims’ recovery program at the University of Chicago Medical Center is expanding to include a new component.
Grants totaling $2.6 million and collaboration with Legal Aid Chicago have made it possible to expand services for victims of crime.
When people think of “community violence,” they may picture things like gunshot wounds, stabbings, or other sorts of piercing trauma, as explained by Legal Aid Chicago staff attorney Carly Loughran.
More than 20,000 patients have been treated at the University of Chicago’s trauma center, with roughly 40% of them being victims of gun violence.
Dr. Selwyn Rogers, the founding head of the trauma center at UIC Medicine, said, “As we have taken care of these patients, one of the things we have been very mindful of is what are the needs of patients beyond the very significant clinical demands.”
In recent weeks, patients at that trauma hospital have benefited from the initiative.
In addition to legal and financial aid, they can receive benefits to help sustain their family while waiting for a loved one’s recovery.
We don’t do anything until they’re transferred to the inpatient ward,” Loughran said.
We’ll visit them maybe two or three days after they’ve been hospitalized because we need to ensure they’re mentally and physically well enough to communicate with us.
This kind of assistance is desperately needed in the United States, not just in Chicago.
Further, the University of Chicago Medical Center hopes to serve as a model for other trauma centers with this initiative by demonstrating that more can be done for patients treated in hospitals around the country.
To become a national model, Dr. Rogers and his team “are accumulating data, trying to understand what works, what doesn’t work, magnifying the things that work,” and so on.
There will be at least five years of this initiative, and the first year should see 150 patients benefit from it.