Wellstar Health Systems said it would close Atlanta Medical Center at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31, leaving Grady Memorial Hospital as the only Level 1 trauma center in the area.
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Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston talked with Chief Medical Officer Robert Jensen, M.D., who said Grady is adding staff and will soon add more beds to the hospital to handle all the new patients from Atlanta Medical Center.
“We started seeing the impact immediately,” said Jensen.
He told Huddleston they started seeing more people looking for care as soon as Atlanta Medical Center said they were closing their doors. Jensen says they have also heard from AMC staff looking for jobs.
“We had job fairs for them right after the announcement, and we had about a thousand AMC employees come over to Grady to talk with us about opportunities here,” Jensen said.
Huddleston talked with Grady leadership this afternoon. Leaders said they have made more than 1,300 job offers to AMC staff and 75% of them were accepted. Grady is also making changes to accommodate more Atlanta patients by building a new $230 million outpatient facility across the street from the hospital and an emergency room. Channel 2 got an exclusive look at the new facility that will open in February for routine services like colonoscopies.
“It is the largest investment we’ve had at Grady in 30 years,” said Shannon Sale, Grady’s chief strategy officer.
That investment will allow Grady Hospital to add 184 beds.
“It’s going to increase our capacity within the walls of the hospital because being able to move some of that surgery out of the main operating room will give us the ability to expand access to the operating room for patients who may be delayed because we don’t have as many rooms as we need,” Jensen said.
Jensen also said it would help if people would remember that the urgent care building is where people should go to treat sore throats and urgent care, and that the emergency room is for emergencies, burns, strokes and gunshots.
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