U.S. Senator Dick Durbin joined hospital leaders to announce a new collaboration between the University of Chicago Medicine and Advocate Christ Medical Center that will expand and strengthen the trauma recovery ecosystem throughout the South Side. The collaboration has grown out of Durbin’s Chicago Hospital Engagement, Action, and Leadership (HEAL) Initiative, which was launched last Fall and is designed to bring together the world-class healing power and economic footprint of the leading hospitals to directly reduce violence and address health disparities in our communities.
Prior to the University of Chicago Hospital opening its Trauma I center, Oak Lawn’s Christ Advocate Hospital was the only Trauma I center serving the southside.
The HEAL initiative notes that addressing Chicago’s gun violence epidemic requires a focus not just on sensible gun safety reforms, but also the underlying factors that drive health challenges, inequality and poverty. As a result, Durbin said that he joined forces with major Chicago hospitals on a groundbreaking community initiative to reduce violence and improve health. The Chicago HEAL Initiative (Hospital Engagement, Action, and Leadership), is a collaboration between major Chicago hospitals that Durbin convened and supported, to make tangible commitments to reduce gun violence, heal the physical and mental trauma that violence inflicts on victims, increase well-paying jobs, and create other economic opportunities in the neighborhoods these hospitals serve.
Not only do Chicago’s world class hospitals care for physical wounds and mental health challenges inflicted by violence, they are very often the largest employers and drivers of economic opportunity in their neighborhoods. In Oak Lawn, Advocate is the largest single employer.
The Chicago HEAL Initiative is a special collaboration—among hospitals who traditionally compete with one another.
The 10 hospitals initially involved in Chicago HEAL are among the largest serving Chicago:
Advocate Christ Medical Center
AMITA Health’s Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center
Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Cook County Health and Hospital System
Loyola University Medical Center
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Rush University Medical Center
Sinai Health System
University of Chicago Medical Center
University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences Systems
Dick Durbin is from Springfield and was first elected as a US Senator in 1996. He has been the Senate Democratic Whip since 2005, the second-highest position in the Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate.