First-Of-Its-Kind Trauma Recovery Center Opens In Chicago Area

Bernie Tafoya
October 29, 2018 - 4:25 pm
Advocate Trauma Recovery Center Opening

WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Health care professionals and politicians were on hand Monday morning in Oak Lawn for a symbolic ribbon-cutting for a first-of-its-kind trauma recovery center in the Chicago area.

Guns, knives, sexual assaults and beatings leave more than just physical scars and that's what the new Advocate Trauma Recovery Center is designed to treat, said Dr. Kim Miiller, medical director of the new center. Miiller said that may mean finding shelter or housing for people, or helping with food, educational opportunities and more.

"We know, a lot of times, when you’ve suffered an intentional trauma, your life really gets flipped upside down and so we’re really trying to look at people as a whole person and figure out, ‘What do they need?’" she said. 

The trauma recovery center quietly opened last month away from the Christ Hospital campus and, so far, has served about 36 victims, Miiller said. She said individual and group counseling is available, as is psychiatric services. 

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle believes there's a great need for a trauma recovery center.

"Violence in our society is a public health crisis," she said. "I think that’s the way we should think about it. And we have to deal with trauma victims, not just their physical wounds, but their sort of spiritual and emotional challenges."

Sen. Dick Durbin said dealing with the effects of violence in our society is more than just dealing with guns themselves. 

"Babies aren’t born with a gun in their hands. Infants don’t come into this world with a syringe in the other hand," he said. "Something happens in their lives and the question is whether we can turn it around. I think we can."

Dr. Megan Alderden of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority said research shows that violent crime produces negative effects on individuals, families and communities and that, "unfortunately, those most likely to experience violence often face the greatest barriers to receiving recovery support."

Advocate Christ President Matt Primack offered this morning's shooting on the Dan Ryan Expressway as an example of how pervasive trauma is in the city.  He called it, "one more opportunity we had in this city to be better."