Target: Sharon O’Keefe, President of University of Chicago Medical Center
Goal: Applaud the University of Chicago Medical Center for increasing the pediatric trauma patient age limit
For many years, community members and activists have pushed for the University of Chicago to allow increased access to trauma care, especially considering that many local medical facilities lack appropriate equipment and treatment for severely injured patients. In response to these requests, the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital is raising the age limit for patients admitted to its pediatric trauma unit. Care is being expanded to 16 and 17 year olds who are in need of trauma care.
Previously, the pediatric trauma center at Comer Children’s Hospital admitted children 15 years and younger, since that was the state-defined age range for pediatric patients. However, this age restriction meant that children aged 16 and 17 were forced to travel farther to other medical facilities to receive emergency trauma care.
This expansion of the University of Chicago pediatric care center will allow for hundreds of additional injured youths to receive emergency trauma care closer to their homes, which will decrease the time it takes for them to receive emergency treatment. The medical center plans to go forth with its expansion plan within the next few months with changes including hiring additional medical personnel, and to start treating additional patients within a year. After the changes, it is estimated that the hospital will be treating around 120 additional patients a year.
By signing the petition below, you are applauding the efforts of the University of Chicago Medical Center for expanding its outreach to patients by raising the age limit for patients admitted to its pediatric care center. This change will make a big difference for the livelihoods of emergency youth patients.
Dear President O’Keefe,
Hearing about the plan to expand the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital to accommodate additional patients was quite heartening. Previously, children aged 16 and 17 years were unable to receive treatment at the pediatric trauma center at the University of Chicago Hospital, due to a limited, state-regulated definition of pediatric patients. Now that the age for determining pediatric patients is being raised, emergency care for kids aged 16 and 17 who previously had to travel greater distances to receive care are able to receive quicker and therefore more effective emergency care.
Thank you again for planning to expand the medical center. The health and lives of the children to be treated at the pediatric trauma center will no doubt be enriched due to these changes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Robert Lawton via Wikimedia Commons