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The University of Chicago Medicine celebrated the completion of what will be the city’s newest and most advanced adult emergency department when the $39 million facility opens to patients in late December.

More than 150 people, including public officials, community representatives and faith leaders, were on hand for the Dec. 5 celebration, which included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and community tours of the new state-of-the-art emergency department.

The bigger facility not only increases access to urgent treatment for acute illnesses and injuries for the community, but it also brings the academic health system one essential step closer toward offering adult trauma care on the South Side of Chicago, pending state regulatory approval.

“The new ED is essential to offering adult trauma care, since it is the primary entry point for trauma patients, who must be stabilized before being moved to other areas of the Medical Center for additional medical care,” said Kenneth Polonsky, dean and executive vice president of medical affairs at the University of Chicago. “This facility is central to UChicago Medicine’s bold plan, which we announced in February 2016, to ensure the community has access to high-quality health care, including adult trauma services.”