Dr. Selwyn Rogers Jr., a trauma surgeon who wants to help tackle the gun violence epidemic in Chicago, has been tapped to lead University of Chicago Medicine's new adult trauma center.
Rogers, 50, began his new role Jan. 5. He's hustling to recruit a team of surgeons, create policies and procedures at a campus without adult trauma for roughly three decades, and design a center with input from community members.
It's a big goal: the trauma center is slated to debut in spring 2018, and he feels a sense of urgency given the level of violence surrounding U of C Medicine on the South Side in particular.
“I don't think anyone can stand on the sidelines for this work,” Rogers said. “It's too big. It's too complicated.”
The Hyde Park-based academic medical center announced in December 2015 that it would reopen its long-shuttered adult trauma center after a contentious battle with community activists. For years they called for trauma care in an area wracked by violence and health disparities.
The center is part of a nearly $270 million campus expansion that also includes a bigger ER to help alleviate overcrowding and a cancer institute.
Dr. Jeffrey Matthews is the U of C Medicine chairman of the department of surgery who led the national search for a trauma director. More than 30 people in the specialized field applied. Rogers' expertise in health care disparities and his passion for violence prevention were impressive, Matthews said. Besides shootings, the South Side has some of the highest rates of diabetes and limb amputations in Chicago compared to more affluent areas on the North Side.
"U of C taps veteran trauma expert to lead new center" originally appeared in Crain's Chicago Business.