Atlanta officials hold off on plan to turn Wellstar hospital into equity center

The Atlanta City Council has tabled a proposal to turn Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center into an equity center upon its Nov. 1 closure, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Oct. 12.

On Oct. 3, council members Michael Bond and Mary Norwood proposed a "Wellstar Hospital study group" to plan for and provide advice regarding the hospital's revamp as an equity center. However, Mayor Andre Dickens and other council members had expressed a desire to keep the site a medical facility. 

On Oct. 11, Matt Westmoreland, councilman and chair of the community development and human services committee, said Mr. Bond and Ms. Norwood's study group did not include community members from the area surrounding Wellstar's facility — nor did it include the two council members whose districts the medical center occupies, the newspaper reported. 

Additionally, Mr. Westmoreland said, "I have a little hesitation around the scope, narrowing in on a center of equity all by itself as opposed to having a conversation about 20 acres in the heart of the neighborhood. My biggest concern is we don’t own the property. … We actually have no say, at least at the moment, in what will wind up there."

The council tabled the proposal for two weeks, according to the newspaper. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Dickens' temporary ban on redeveloping Atlanta Medical Center has been renewed and is expected to be extended again after Oct. 17's council meeting. 

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