The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board will delve into the $269 million expansion plan for the University of Chicago Medical Center Tuesday during a meeting in Normal, Illinois. The proposal includes an adult trauma center, which the South Side has not seen since 1991, when Michael Reese Hospital closed that wing of its medical center. The University of Chicago shuttered its trauma center in 1988 for financial reasons.
The Get Care expansion plan, which calls for the trauma center to be built first, features a new cancer center and an increase in hospital beds, adding 188. An Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board report argued that less beds are needed and the cost is $18 million over what should be spent. The plan calls for $618 per square foot in construction costs, which is greater than the standard in Illinois.
For more on the expansion plan for U of C's medical center, check out our report on a community forum about the proposal held at the university late last month.
The Trauma Care Coalition is slated to hold a public meeting on the plan on Thursday, May 19 at 6 p.m. at Kennicott Park, 4434 S. Lake Park Ave.
UPDATE: The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board unanimously approved the University of Chicago Medicine's application for its Get Care expansion plan on Tuesday.
"With this regulatory approval, UChicago Medicine can begin construction of a new and larger emergency department, which will house four trauma bays, and a dedicated cancer-treatment facility," reads a statement from the university medical system. "UChicago Medicine also will seek approval to be a Level 1 adult trauma center from the Chicago Trauma Network and the Illinois Department of Public Health. Plans are underway to recruit staff who will be necessary for the expansion, and UChicago Medicine has launched a national search for a director of the trauma center.
"The new emergency department," the statement adds, "is expected to open in late 2017 and the adult trauma program several months later, supplementing existing pediatric trauma services and the Burn and Complex Wound Center. The initial conversion of the Mitchell Hospital will be phased in over time, beginning later this year."