U. of C. Medicine Trauma Center Head Aims To Tackle Chicago Violence

CHICAGO (CBS) — The University of Chicago’s new trauma center is scheduled to be completed early next year, but the surgeon who’s heading it will do much of his work beyond the state-of-the-art building.

Dr. Selwyn Rogers is on a mission to reach people beyond the hospital walls to address the city’s soaring gun violence.

“We wanted to create a hospital that actually breaks down those traditional barriers of what a hospital is,” said Dr. Rogers.

Dr. Rogers has been busy since his arrival in January. He has been gathering ideas on how to curb gun violence.

“I’m going deep into the community — barber shops, churches to try to understand the perspectives of the community and how we can partner with them to advance our mission.”

A mission the Harvard-trained surgeon calls “holistic.”

“Albert Einstein once said, ‘A big problem needs a bigger solution,’ and we clearly in Chicago have a big problem, as we do in many urban settings,” Dr. Rogers said.

The University of Chicago trauma center, at 56th and Cottage Grove, comes years after young activists called for its construction. Dr. Rogers also plans to meet with those individuals, saying, “It was important for me to hear their voices.”

He comes to Chicago from a top job at the University of Texas Medical Center, where he tackled a big challenge in a city reeling from thousands of shootings a year.

“And at this time in the history of our country, and specifically here in the city of Chicago, there’s not a compelling place that you can have greater impact than on the South Side.”

Dr. Rogers will oversee the South Side’s only Level One adult trauma center.

He plans to immerse himself in his new community, saying he wants to get to know people and to be part of their lives.

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