By Associated Press - Monday, December 8, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - University of Chicago Medicine is taking steps to include 16- and 17-year-olds in its pediatric trauma program.

Medical center officials said Monday they’re working with government officials to increase the age limit of the Level 1 pediatric trauma center at Comer Children’s Hospital. Next steps include submitting paperwork to the state.

Medical Center President Sharon O’Keefe says a search for additional doctors and staff will begin “as soon as possible.” She says the children’s hospital will be ready to treat older teenagers within a year.

Young activists have been pressuring the hospital to reopen its trauma department, which closed more than 25 years ago. Organizer Veronica Morris-Moore says their work to restore services to the community “is finally being recognized.” She says: “It’s a clear sign we are moving forward.”

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