County approves $20M hospital relief plan as Atlanta ED closure looms

Three days before Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center's emergency department is set to shutter, the DeKalb County (Ga.) board of commissioners has approved a $20 million relief plan to aid nearby hospitals, Fox affiliate WAGA reported Oct. 11. 

Lithonia, Ga.-based Emory Hillandale Hospital will receive $12 million to expand and renovate its facility, including the addition of a 10-specialist trauma recovery center and 15 emergency room bays. Atlanta-based Grady Memorial Hospital will receive an $8 million subsidy, the news station reported. 

Grady Memorial saw an influx in patients once Atlanta Medical Center began diverting patients from its emergency department Oct. 3. Michael Thurmond, CEO of DeKalb County, said he hopes the upgrades at Emory Hillandale will reduce overflow at Grady Memorial, according to the news station. 

Once Atlanta Medical Center closes, Grady Memorial will be the only level 1 trauma care provider in North Georgia. 

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