A committee of local trauma directors recently expressed unanimous support for the University of Chicago Medicine’s plans to be designated as an adult Level I Trauma Center in the spring of 2018.

The support from the Trauma Medical Directors Committee of Emergency Medical Services Region XI represents an important milestone for UChicago Medicine as it continues its system-wide preparations to provide adult trauma care. The State of Illinois has eleven designated EMS Regions in which emergency medical services are coordinated; UChicago Medicine is one of the medical centers in Region XI, which serves Chicago.

A letter of support from the committee was sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), which certifies Level I Trauma Centers throughout the state before they are approved to treat patients.

UChicago Medicine will seek the department’s approval six months in advance of launching adult trauma services. In a letter to the IDPH, Richard Fantus, chair of the committee, said “the geographic location of UCM would serve populations that currently travel farther to reach a Level I trauma center.”

Selwyn Rogers, MD, MPH, UChicago Medicine’s Trauma Director, said the support from the Trauma Medical Directors Committee underscores the necessity for broad cooperation among medical centers in the Chicago area in order to provide better care to underserved communities.

“Being a Level I Trauma Center will mean a great deal to our organization and to the community,” Rogers said. “Most importantly, it means that we’ll provide better access to care for people living in underserved areas.”

In other recent trauma center developments, a team of UCM representatives recently visited Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston to observe their operations, and new physicians and staff have been recruited.