Atlanta Medical Center closure: What you need to know

Marietta, Ga.-based Wellstar Health System announced plans to end operations at the downtown Atlanta Medical Center on Nov. 1, which sparked a strong response from state and local officials who raised concerns about the closure's impact on the community and other hospitals.

Key details in the Atlanta Medical Center story: 

  • Wellstar invested more than $350 million in capital improvements and to support sustained losses, including $107 million lost in the last 12 months. 

  • Wellstar CEO Candice Saunders said Aug. 31 that the health system had conducted an exhaustive search for a solution that would support the community's healthcare needs but that the decision was made to close the 460-bed downtown Atlanta facility.

  • Local, state and federal officials in Georgia responded in force to the planned closure. 

  • Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens sent a letter to Ms. Saunders on Aug. 31 expressing "extreme concerns" about the announcement. The letter asserts that the closure will negatively affect Atlanta residents, visitors and commuters.

  • According to WABE, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock sent a letter to Ms. Saunders, asking the company to "reverse course." He also requested a briefing regarding the company’s decision-making process and its plans for mitigating the consequences of the closure.

  • Fulton County (Ga.) Board of Commissioners Chairman Robb Pitts called the announcement "shocking" because he had been in close contact with Wellstar over changes to the system's East Point facility, and the Atlanta Medical Center was not mentioned, according to a Sept. 8 report from 11 Alive.

  • The Fulton County commissioners approved a special one-time infusion of $11 million to Grady Memorial Hospital, according to a Sept. 7 report from CBS46 News. Grady is co-owned by Fulton and DeKalb counties.

  • A spokesperson for DeKalb County said officials there are also in talks with Grady about similar investment actions. 

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