Protesters Demanding Trauma Center at U of C Hospital Arrested

Planes2Doc

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Here's a pretty interesting article I just came across when reading the Trib website:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-protesters-arrested-at-u-of-c-20130127,0,4909347.story

If you're not familiar with the University of Chicago Hospital, it's located in Hyde Park. It is a very affluent part of Chicago that is quite small, and surrounded by extremely low-income neighborhoods. This proved to be a drain on the hospital's resources, hence they axed their trauma unit.

This was a pretty hot topic in Chicago when the hospital announced that they would axe the trauma unit.

So what do you think? :shrug:
 

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Interesting. When I interviewed I thought it was odd U of C did not have an adult level one trauma center, especially given the surrounding community.
 
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Planes2Doc

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Interesting. When I interviewed I thought it was odd U of C did not have an adult level one trauma center, especially given the surrounding community.
This is one of those topics where you need to tip toe around, in order to not sound like a horrible person or what not. It's very controversial.

If you're from Chicago and look at the Chicago Tribune website on a daily basis, you would definitely understand and not think of it as being odd. :(
 
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Few things I don't understand about this.....

1. Is the closest trauma center to U of C really 10 miles away? I never realized how big Chicago is!

2. U of C medical center is a level II trauma center. They should be equipped to handle a gunshot victim until he's stabile enough to transport. Sure, it's not ideal, but EMS should know better than to drive 10 miles with an exsanguinating gunshot patient when there's a level II trauma center around the corner. This whole story sound fishy to me...

3. Uh...Mrs. Rothenberg, what you said is a little bit racist, don't you think?!?

4. How many trauma centers are in Chicago? I'm guessing.....5?

Anyway, what these people seem to not understand is you need many things to become an accredited level I trauma center. One of them is Trauma! Sounds like this area of the city doesn't see very much trauma, and there are plenty of other hospitals that do. Just because some college students and affluent residents want to feel safe in case "poor black kids" break into their houses and shoot them doesn't mean they are "entitled" to a trauma center a stone's throw from their neighborhood.

Also, how do these people have the nerve to protest INSIDE a hospital and not expect a strong, physical type of resistance from authorities? Especially in the wake of all of the mass shootings that have been happening lately?

I say "Boo hoo, life's tough." There are millions of people who don't live within a hundred of miles of a trauma center. You can deal with living 10 miles from one and right next to a level II trauma center....
 
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Planes2Doc

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Few things I don't understand about this.....

1. Is the closest trauma center to U of C really 10 miles away? I never realized how big Chicago is!
Chicago is quite big, especially when you go way down South where the CTA trains won't take you. There's a pretty big cluster of hospitals near downtown which are UIC, Rush, and Stroger.

2. U of C medical center is a level II trauma center. They should be equipped to handle a gunshot victim until he's stabile enough to transport. Sure, it's not ideal, but EMS should know better than to drive 10 miles with an exsanguinating gunshot patient when there's a level II trauma center around the corner. This whole story sound fishy to me...
I thought they completely got rid of any form of an ED.

3. Uh...Mrs. Rothenberg, what you said is a little bit racist, don't you think?!?
Back in the day when the university announced they would be getting rid of the ED, one of the main reasons was because the hospital was mostly receiving extremely low-income patients often getting shot or stabbed. It is racist, but this is the argument that people have put forth toward this highly charged issue.

4. How many trauma centers are in Chicago? I'm guessing.....5?
No idea. It also depends on what you consider Chicago. You have the city proper, and then the Greater Chicagoland area which includes the suburbs. Large hospitals like Loyola are technically in the suburbs, despite the undergraduate campuses being nowhere near them way up in downtown and north of the city.

Anyway, what these people seem to not understand is you need many things to become an accredited level I trauma center. One of them is Trauma! Sounds like this area of the city doesn't see very much trauma, and there are plenty of other hospitals that do. Just because some college students and affluent residents want to feel safe in cause "poor black kids" break into their houses and shoot them doesn't mean they are "entitled" to a trauma center a stone's throw from their neighborhood.
I see you're not from Chicago. This area actually has a disproportionate amount of trauma. People are gunned down every single day on both the South Side (where the hospital is located) and the West Side. I watched a Drugs Inc episode on Nat Geo where they talked about the West Side of Chicago as the heroin capital of the Midwest. Anyway, these are extremely poor crime-ridden areas. Therefore, there is a ton of trauma, but the trauma consists of poor uninsured patients. I'm not sure what the wealthy people and students situated in Hyde Park think. I think Nick Naylor can provide some insight into this.

Also, how do these people have the nerve to protest INSIDE a hospital and not expect a strong, physical type of resistance from authorities? Especially in the wake of all of the mass shootings that have been happening lately? I say "Boo hoo, life's tough." There are millions of people who don't live within hundreds of miles of a trauma center. You can deal with living 10 miles from one and right next to a level II trauma center....
Well I'm guessing they took it as a direct attack on the poor. The reason the ED was shut down in the first place was because of the enormous number of poor uninsured people being brought in as victims of violent crimes. People were actually saying that by shuttering the ED, the hospital should lose its "non-profit" status. In order to be a non-profit, if I'm not mistaken, you need to do charity cases.

It's more profitable for the hospital to do charity cases that make it into the news, like a face transplant or ground-breaking surgery, than to keep treating victims of violence that the "rest of Chicago" seems to ignore completely.
 
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I thought they completely got rid of any form of an ED.

I see you're not from Chicago. This area actually has a disproportionate amount of trauma. People are gunned down every single day on both the South Side (where the hospital is located) and the West Side. I watched a Drugs Inc episode on Nat Geo where they talked about the West Side of Chicago as the heroin capital of the Midwest. Anyway, these are extremely poor crime-ridden areas. Therefore, there is a ton of trauma, but the trauma consists of poor uninsured patients. I'm not sure what the wealthy people and students situated in Hyde Park think. I think Nick Naylor can provide some insight into this.
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Ah, I misunderstood. If that is the case, then it seems silly that the closest trauma center is 10 miles away. Still disagree with an in hospital protest, but I can see why people are mad.

Also...how can you be a level II trauma center without having an ED!?
 
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Planes2Doc

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Ah, I misunderstood. If that is the case, then it seems silly that the closest trauma center is 10 miles away. Still disagree with an in hospital protest, but I can see why people are mad.

Also...how can you be a level II trauma center without having an ED!?
My bad! For some reason I was thinking that they completely shut their ED period.

I guess this is their PC way of keeping the victims of violence from coming through their doors. :confused:
 

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Few things I don't understand about this.....

1. Is the closest trauma center to U of C really 10 miles away? I never realized how big Chicago is!

2. U of C medical center is a level II trauma center. They should be equipped to handle a gunshot victim until he's stabile enough to transport. Sure, it's not ideal, but EMS should know better than to drive 10 miles with an exsanguinating gunshot patient when there's a level II trauma center around the corner. This whole story sound fishy to me...

3. Uh...Mrs. Rothenberg, what you said is a little bit racist, don't you think?!?

4. How many trauma centers are in Chicago? I'm guessing.....5?

Anyway, what these people seem to not understand is you need many things to become an accredited level I trauma center. One of them is Trauma! Sounds like this area of the city doesn't see very much trauma, and there are plenty of other hospitals that do. Just because some college students and affluent residents want to feel safe in case "poor black kids" break into their houses and shoot them doesn't mean they are "entitled" to a trauma center a stone's throw from their neighborhood.

Also, how do these people have the nerve to protest INSIDE a hospital and not expect a strong, physical type of resistance from authorities? Especially in the wake of all of the mass shootings that have been happening lately?

I say "Boo hoo, life's tough." There are millions of people who don't live within a hundred of miles of a trauma center. You can deal with living 10 miles from one and right next to a level II trauma center....
Whew. I think the main point here is that the South Side *does* have trauma - it's not about some affluent Hyde Parkers who want protection, it's about addressing a huge amount of violent crime that happens on the South Side of Chicago (yes, including some in Hyde Park). Hyde Park may be a well-off neighborhood, but other neighborhoods that the University of Chicago hospital system ostensibly serves are not. This fits into a much larger, ever-present dialogue about the tensions between the University (and the Hyde Park community) and its surrounding neighborhoods. Here, the basic tension is that the hospital system has a strong academic focus and ultimately limited resources, hence the trauma center getting nixed in '88. On the other hand, the University is subject to the criticism that it isn't really serving its surrounding neighborhoods without the level I trauma center that is perceived as sorely needed on the South Side.

Edit: Looks like Planes2Doc already covered many of my points :).
 

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It is racist, but this is the argument that people have put forth toward this highly charged issue.

[...]

Well I'm guessing they took it as a direct attack on the poor. The reason the ED was shut down in the first place was because of the enormous number of poor uninsured people being brought in as victims of violent crimes. People were actually saying that by shuttering the ED, the hospital should lose its "non-profit" status. In order to be a non-profit, if I'm not mistaken, you need to do charity cases.
It's not racism, it's economics. The people who aren't paying in this case might disproportionately comprised of minorities, but that doesn't change the dollars and cents.

You don't need to do charity cases to be a non-profit (and I'd be very surprised if such a big, specialized place as the University of Chicago wasn't doing some pro-bono work).

These people don't have a leg to stand on (and no, it's not because they had a 10 mile transport after a gunshot wound to said leg ;)). It's a private entity, and they can offer the services they want. If they kept taking losses on their trauma service, it changes what other things they can do, and potentially even if they're able to keep the lights on. I think it would be more reasonable to negotiate what kinds of patients are suitable for transport to a level II center versus a level I. It sounds like they were willing to send most things to a level II where Geebeejay is from, while in my home city, we had more stringent requirements on what had to to to the only level I trauma center in town (I think penetrating trauma to an extremity without neurovascular compromise could go to level II, but to the chest, head, or abdomen was going to the level I center that was greater than 10 miles away from much of the city, and hundreds of miles from some of the places it served. Same for rollover accidents, death in the same passenger compartment, intrusion of greater than 12 inches into the passenger compartment, and falls of greater than something like 10 feet, regardless of actual patient complaint, if I remember correctly).

The patient they discharged after a dog bite to the face and told to follow up at Cook County seems a lot more egregious (not the original article, but posted and discussed in the EM forums here: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=603772&highlight=chicago). But having read responses from both sides, even that's not completely black and white. They very well may be unfriendly to the poor, but this isn't the battle to fight.

EDIT: Looks like they're not a Level II trauma center at U of C either, based on what calvnandhobbs68 posted while I was writing this up. Bummer for the community, but they are a private business, and entitled to run themselves accordingly.
 
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yehhhboiii

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Maybe the protesters could focus their attentions on the gun violence rather than attempting to force other people to clean up the mess.
 
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The ER is already ridiculously overcrowded as is. It's not terribly uncommon for someone in the ER to wait 24 hours for a hospital bed. The amount of Medicaid and uninsured patients University of Chicago sees is much higher than most of the other private hospitals as well as UofC is the only major academic center on the south side of chicago. So UofC gets all the south side primary care in the ED.

Of course the reason for the closure is that most of the trauma you see is from uninsured patients. There's a reason the pediatric hospital only takes trauma up to age 17...that ensures that everyone you see is at least insured by Medicaid. Constantly having to eat the cost of gunshot wounds will cut into your operating expenses by quite a bit.
I would imagine this is pretty much true for any inner city ED. It certainly is true for the ED I work in, and it's a private, academic hospital. As I frequently say, Life's tough. I don't know enough about U of C to confidently make this statement, but I haven't heard of any other hospital closing the doors of its ED because it doesn't want to treat uninsured violent crime victims...

Maybe the protesters could focus their attentions on the gun violence rather than attempting to force other people to clean up the mess.
Right, go tell those protesters to go door to door and ask gang members and drug dealers to stop shooting people and smuggling weapons into the city they live in. :rolleyes:
 
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Planes2Doc

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Maybe the protesters could focus their attentions on the gun violence rather than attempting to force other people to clean up the mess.
Well said. Unfortunately, in Chicago, you'll be labeled a racist if you say things like this. :oops:

But seriously, I think it's hard for the general public to feel sympathetic toward people who are getting shot because they disrespected someone or have a rival gang affiliation than the shooter. You feel worse for the innocent people caught in the crossfire, but that doesn't happen as often.

I remember in college I took a sociology class where we spent a great deal of time analyzing what happened in South Central Los Angeles. All of the violence was taking place in a contained portion, therefore, the general public generally ignored it.

The same thing is happening in Chicago. Even though it is being labeled as a war zone and incredibly dangerous city, I wouldn't hesitate to walk in downtown Chicago or parts of the North Side at night. The violence is definitely being contained to specific areas, which most people will never enter anyhow. There have been outcries when mobs of people started robbing people downtown or stealing iPhones on the trains. But otherwise, when the violence is happening in the contained areas, simply put, the general public does NOT care.

As for the University of Chicago, despite being in Hyde Park which is extremely wealthy, it is surrounded by a significantly greater area which is extremely poor and crime-ridden. I realize that pro-bono work is usually done to achieve an ulterior motive. In the field of law, it's very obvious since the attorneys who take on high-profile pro-bono cases get immense amounts of publicity. In terms of healthcare, hospitals that have undertaken procedures such as face transplants or other surgeries gain them recognition among the public. Therefore, it's publicity. Pure and simple.

But, what incentive does the hospital have to provide pro-bono care to a part of the population that is either shunned or negatively criticized by the rest of society, which is also going to be uninsured? Now this is coming from a purely economic perspective, and to answer this, people must take off their idealistic "I want to help everyone!" hats off, and enter the real world, which is our current healthcare system in America.
 

calvnandhobbs68

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I would imagine this is pretty much true for any inner city ED. It certainly is true for the ED I work in, and it's a private, academic hospital. As I frequently say, Life's tough. I don't know enough about U of C to confidently make this statement, but I haven't heard of any other hospital closing the doors of its ED because it doesn't want to treat uninsured violent crime victims...



Right, go tell those protesters to go door to door and ask gang members and drug dealers to stop shooting people and smuggling weapons into the city they live in. :rolleyes:
The ED is very much open. As I said, it's very crowded but open. I think you're having a problem confusing closing a trauma center with closing an emergency department.
 

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Medicine is a business. If trauma care was a big enough drain on their funding, perhaps the hospital could've closed down all together (doubt it though).
 

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yehhhboiii

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Right, go tell those protesters to go door to door and ask gang members and drug dealers to stop shooting people and smuggling weapons into the city they live in. :rolleyes:
Or you know, by funding educational programs and providing employment opportunities. But perhaps we can stick with your sensible scenario. Because it makes sense to ask doctors and nurses to give up their ample time and resources to save the lives of those very gang members and drug dealers that are shooting people and smuggling weapons into the city they live in.
 
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Or you know, by funding educational programs and providing employment opportunities. But perhaps we can stick with your sensible scenario. Because it makes sense to ask doctors and nurses to give up their ample time and resources to save the lives of those very gang members and drug dealers that are shooting people and smuggling weapons into the city they live in.
Ya I'm sure drug dealers and gang members can't wait to sign of for these educational programs. And if I'm making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year (or probably more) pushing drugs and giving guns to kids to do the distributing and most of the dangerous leg work, I'm gonna leap out of my chair to work a minimum wage job or a government-created job.
 
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I would imagine this is pretty much true for any inner city ED. It certainly is true for the ED I work in, and it's a private, academic hospital. As I frequently say, Life's tough. I don't know enough about U of C to confidently make this statement, but I haven't heard of any other hospital closing the doors of its ED because it doesn't want to treat uninsured violent crime victims...
:
When I lived in Arizona, the University of Arizona was considering closing its Level I trauma center because of the cost. Fortunately for all of southern Arizona, it's publicly funded and wasn't allowed to shut down, but by 2004, it had become the ONLY Level one trauma center in a city of half a million people, plus the rest of southern Arizona. Paying to treat the uninsured is expensive and trauma centers have been closing all over the country for this reason. I don't think it has anything to do with the people needing the service being violent criminals, but everything to do with the lack of ability to pay.
 

yehhhboiii

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Ya I'm sure drug dealers and gang members can't wait to sign of for these educational programs. And if I'm making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year (or probably more) pushing drugs and giving guns to kids to do the distributing and most of the dangerous leg work, I'm gonna leap out of my chair to work a minimum wage job or a government-created job.
I'm not entirely sure how this makes attempting to force the hospital to treat these patients any more agreeable. It also makes sense to talk about drug dealers and arms runners when the majority of people in these situations are low level soldiers and children who would benefit from these programs, which would obviously not be targeted at those who aren't interested. But I suppose that the use of unrelated hyperbole to make a misguided argument has its place as well.
 
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I'm not entirely sure how this makes attempting to force the hospital to treat these patients any more agreeable.
I'd say that it is a hospital's duty to treat a gunshot victim moreso than it is a community member's duty to curb gun violence. The causes of most gun violence in certain pockets of the city go far beyond the scope of what an ordinary civilian is capable of. It is the result of complex drug chains and gang affiliations, and only changing drug litigation and increased law enforcement will rid a community of this sort of violence. Increasing jobs might help with some domestic issues, but not drug issues.

I don't mean to attack you on this, but saying that the protesters should be responsible for ending gun violence in their community is a bit ridiculous
 

MedPR

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Ya I'm sure drug dealers and gang members can't wait to sign of for these educational programs. And if I'm making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year (or probably more) pushing drugs and giving guns to kids to do the distributing and most of the dangerous leg work, I'm gonna leap out of my chair to work a minimum wage job or a government-created job.
The point is to educate kids and show them there are alternatives to being a drugdealer/gangbanger. Sure less money, but also less gunshot wounds and less years in jail.
 

MedPR

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I'd say that it is a hospital's duty to treat a gunshot victim moreso than it is a community member's duty to curb gun violence. The causes of most gun violence in certain pockets of the city go far beyond the scope of what an ordinary civilian is capable of. It is the result of complex drug chains and gang affiliations, and only changing drug litigation and increased law enforcement will rid a community of this sort of violence. Increasing jobs might help with some domestic issues, but not drug issues.

I don't mean to attack you on this, but saying that the protesters should be responsible for ending gun violence in their community is a bit ridiculous
Just FYI, you are paying for that gunshot victim's treatment as they likely don't have any health insurance.
 
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Ya I'm sure drug dealers and gang members can't wait to sign of for these educational programs. And if I'm making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year (or probably more) pushing drugs and giving guns to kids to do the distributing and most of the dangerous leg work, I'm gonna leap out of my chair to work a minimum wage job or a government-created job.
You do know that the vast majority of people involved in drug dealing make less than minimum wage? Certainly there is a culture to it (trying to be one of the lucky few to actually be successful), but the major reason for perpetuation of violence is poverty, a punitive war on drugs, and a lack of any educational or employment opportunities. It would take a while to change things, but we can at least start moving in the right direction.
 

MedPR

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I'm also paying for their incarceration. I think we can all agree that the war on drugs is failing and costing taxpayers a ton of money.
You're paying for both right now. Why not try to educate people so that they get jobs and their own health insurance then you're only paying for 1.
 
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You're paying for both right now. Why not try to educate people so that they get jobs and their own health insurance then you're only paying for 1.
Because why would they get jobs when they can live the gang lifestyle? and why would they get their own healthcare when they know that the taxpayer will pay for it? Education works for some people, but it is not the solution. When someone gets involved with this sort of criminal lifestyle, most of them know damn well there are other options, they don't need a class to tell them. Hell, there are professional athletes and musicians that still get involved in gang culture. It's a choice they make and a culture that some people identify with, and that culture is going to around for a long time.

In the mean time, we have hospitals to save them when they shoot each other. It's a shame that this is stretching hospitals so thin that they must end their trauma programs. But it's going to take more of an effort than "education" to stop gang culture. Hopefully obamacare will take some pressure off of the hospitals, but I don't know enough to know for sure so I'm only speculating here.
 

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Because why would they get jobs when they can live the gang lifestyle? and why would they get their own healthcare when they know that the taxpayer will pay for it? Education works for some people, but it is not the solution. When someone gets involved with this sort of criminal lifestyle, most of them know damn well there are other options, they don't need a class to tell them. Hell, there are professional athletes and musicians that still get involved in gang culture. It's a choice they make and a culture that some people identify with, and that culture is going to around for a long time.

In the mean time, we have hospitals to save them when they shoot each other. It's a shame that this is stretching hospitals so thin that they must end their trauma programs. But it's going to take more of an effort than "education" to stop gang culture.
So we can't educate them, we can't keep paying for their healthcare, and we can't keep paying for their prison stays. What's the solution?
 
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So we can't educate them, we can't keep paying for their healthcare, and we can't keep paying for their prison stays. What's the solution?
beats me :). Legalizing drugs is probably a solution. But I think there will always be gangs, and I think they will always find reasons to kill each other, even if you can one day buy an 8-ball at cumberland farms.
 
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So we can't educate them, we can't keep paying for their healthcare, and we can't keep paying for their prison stays. What's the solution?
The culture needs to change. Throwing things at it isn't going to solve the problem.
 

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Right, go tell those protesters to go door to door and ask gang members and drug dealers to stop shooting people and smuggling weapons into the city they live in. :rolleyes:
You do realize that the vast majority of people who get shot by gang members and drug dealers are OTHER gang members and drug dealers, right?
 

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The point is to educate kids and show them there are alternatives to being a drugdealer/gangbanger. Sure less money, but also less gunshot wounds and less years in jail.
A better option might actually be getting them jobs and better skill education to actually be able to help put food on the family table while gaining skills to hopefully be promoted. But the problem is that such promises are often long term and poorer people tend to think shorter term in terms of survival (Food and housing). If selling drugs is going to get them money quick, they'll still do it no matter the long term benefits of a proper education and such.

Changing this would be very hard. Those who get into colleges with help from affirmative action are already those who want to learn and succeed long term. But there are still many people from poorer areas who just aren't motivated by this long term promise and affirmative action won't get them out of the slums unless they want to get out of it through education and a stable job.

The start of the solution will have to appeal to them short term. More frequent salary payments as well as job stability would be more appealing.
 

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UC is a pediatric level 1 trauma center (only up to age 16) but has no adult trauma center.

UC has a fully staffed ED including an EM residency.

The whole situation is really sad. They were the ONLY trauma center for the whole southside of Chicago, one of the most violent places in the U.S., now there aren't any at all. That's why those people were protesting. Every month multiple gunshot/stabbing victims die in the back of the ambulance because they have to be transported all the way to Cook county, Northwestern, or Advocate Christ for care.

One of the main reasons I never applied to UC...

(That and their EM dept. is a huge mess)
 

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Sad thread indeed. The violence, not so much the hospital issue, reminds me of my own hood a great deal (Inglewood, 5mi from Compton/South Central).