Gun violence inspires push for more trauma care

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CHICAGO (AP) - On Chicago’s violence-plagued South Side, a group of college students is pressuring the University of Chicago Medical Center to reopen a trauma department it closed 25 years ago.

The facility was shut down long before most of these activists were even born. But they and others believe restoring it will help save people wounded in the city’s maelstrom of gun violence, many of them poor and black.

Chicago’s experience reflects a nationwide trend: An increasing number of U.S. hospitals have closed trauma departments for financial reasons. Impoverished minority communities are frequently the hardest hit.

But the issue is complex, with no clear evidence that lives have been lost.

The activists’ cause is also personal. One of their friends was shot in 2010 and died in an ambulance.

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