University of Chicago Medical Center: Expand access to lifesaving trauma care on the South Side of Chicago!
  • Petitioned Sharon O'Keefe

This petition was delivered to:

University of Chicago Medical Center CEO
Sharon O'Keefe
University of Chicago President
Robert Zimmer
Dean, Division of the Biological Sciences
Kenneth S. Polonsky

University of Chicago Medical Center: Expand access to lifesaving trauma care on the South Side of Chicago!

    1. Toussaint Losier
    2. Petition by

      Toussaint Losier

      Chicago, IL

On August 15, 2010, I lost a friend and ally when Damian Turner was killed by a stray bullet here in Chicago. Although he was shot only several blocks from the University of Chicago Hospital, Damian died on the way to another hospital more than ten miles away.

After Damian’s funeral, members of Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY), a community organization Damian co-founded, informed me that there are no trauma centers for young people over age 15 on the South Side of Chicago. Residents of the largely Black, working class neighborhoods on the city’s South and Southeast Sides are not only caught up in a gun violence epidemic that has made national news, but also face longer ambulance run times than any other residents in the city.

Members of FLY and other organizations have repeatedly called upon the university, which has the most resource rich hospital on the South Side, to use its resources to better care for its neighbors. As a PhD student at the University, I’ve done what I can to support this Trauma Center campaign, working with FLY to combat a sad history of racism and elitism that has led to gaping holes in care that in turn lead to needless and tragic deaths like Damian’s.

Students and faculty at the university have begun talking about the need for a trauma center after campus police broke up a peaceful demonstration at the hospital’s new $700 million Center for Care and Discovery and arrested an alumnus, two community youth and myself on January 27th.

Now that people on campus are talking, we have an opportunity to show the University of Chicago that alumni, physicians, employees, parents, faith leaders, youth, elected officials, community members and donors – as well as students and faculty – are calling on them to turn away from the University’s long history of racial exclusion by working with us to expand access to trauma care.

Please sign our petition asking the University of Chicago Medical Center to raise the age limit of the Children’s Trauma Center from 15 to 21 and open an Adult Level 1 Trauma Center to prevent more needless deaths like Damian’s.

Sharon O'Keefe, University of Chicago Medical Center CEO
Robert Zimmer, University of Chicago President
Kenneth S. Polonsky, Dean, Division of the Biological Sciences
Expand access to lifesaving trauma care on the South Side of Chicago!

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Report links Chicagoans' distance from trauma centers to higher mortality r

      Toussaint Losier
      Petition Organizer

      Chicago-area gunshot victims who are shot more than five miles from a trauma center have a higher mortality rate, according to a new public health study released on Thursday.

      Report links Chicagoans' distance from trauma centers to higher mortality rates

      Northwestern University professor researches association between distance from a trauma center and mortality.

    2. ChicagoMaroon: FLY, SHE protest opening day at Center for Care & Discovery

      Toussaint Losier
      Petition Organizer

      “We can’t help but think about what can these institutions do to help us make those rates come down. As a youth, I’m tired of seeing my friends die; I’m tired of seeing my friends bleed out; I’m tired of seeing youth on the ground with no help. That’s a hard sight to see when you’re twenty years old, and you’re thinking about tomorrow, and you’re recognizing that tomorrow might not come.”

      FLY, SHE protest opening day at Center for Care and Discovery

      In response to the opening of the $700 million Center for Care and Discovery (CCD) on Saturday, Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY) and Students for Health Equity (SHE) held a march in protest of the University's refusal to re-establish a level-one adult trauma care center as part of their ongoing campaign.

    3. Washington Post: Chicago gun violence drives push for more trauma care

      Toussaint Losier
      Petition Organizer

      “This fight is very important to us, If the issue were affecting white students at the university as much as people of color in the community, the university would put more effort into this.”

      Chicago gun violence drives push for more trauma care as hospitals cut back on facilities

      In this portrait taken Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, in Chicago, Veronica Morris-Moore... (Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated...) CHICAGO - In a storefront office on Chicago's violence-plagued South Side, young activists meet in pursuit of a single goal: pressuring the University of Chicago Medical Center to reopen a trauma department it closed 25 years ago.

    4. Veronica Morris-Moore of FLY speaks on Fox 32's Good Morning Chicago

      Toussaint Losier
      Petition Organizer

      South Side trauma center, sequestration effects, relationship spending: Chat Room

      On Monday's Chat Room, Susanna Negovan and Rochelle Trotter spoke on the effects of sequestration on the public, and Veronica Morris Moore explained her efforts to get a trauma center built on the South Side.

    5. Reached 2,500 signatures
    6. CNN coverage of the need for South Side Trauma Care

      Toussaint Losier
      Petition Organizer

      During President Obama's recent visit to his hometown of Chicago, CNN reporters spoke with activists raising the issues of access to quality education, employment and health care as well as the families of gun violence victims. Here is a quote from their broadcast:

      "What we need to do is address the root of the problem, the economic violence on a lot of these kids who don't have jobs or an education or even something to eat, and when they are victims of violence, they don't have access to the medical care they need. We need a trauma center here."
      - Veronica Morris-Moore, a 20-year-old community organizer with an organization called Fearless Leading by the Youth. The group has held regular protests to demand an end to what they call the "trauma care desert" on the city's South Side.

      Chicago's record murder rate: Don't blame guns alone

      (CNN) -- On the same day Chicago police held a news conference to tout their improved murder rate in November, 15-year-old Porshe Foster got caught in the middle of deadly gang warfare. It happed right before 9:30 p.m. November 26.

    7. More than 2,000 signatures in less than a week!

      Toussaint Losier
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks to dozens of supporters, we have been able to push the petition past 2,000. If you have signed it, please take a minute to share it with your friends and family!

    8. Reached 2,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • 10 months ago

      It is the right thing to do.Our country must pray together that senseless violence in Chicago and everywhere must stop.Public Safety & Public Services protects & comforts us and to me is the Christian practice with better health & human services the state & federal government should strengthen and properly adequately fund.Not only fund,but take a better oversight interest into within all the logistics to make better all health,public safety & human services deliver better results for the good of all citizens and our society.

    • R. H. CHICAGO, IL
      • 11 months ago

      I live in this community and see/hear of trauma daily... why wouldn't there be a trauma center???

      • about 1 year ago

      As an alumni of the University, I wish to express my support for this petition.

    • Claire Duncanson MOORHEAD, MN
      • about 1 year ago

      Better healthcare for all is now becoming a human right and necessity denying it to ANYONE is a crime against humanity.

    • Courtney C............ NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR
      • about 1 year ago

      I live on the South Side and I want my fellow community members to have close access to trauma care.


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