Wellstar announces Nov. 1 closure of Atlanta Medical Center in Old Fourth Ward
Wellstar Health System has announced that it will cease operations at Atlanta Medical Center on Nov. 1 amid “decreasing revenue and increasing costs for staff and supplies due to soaring inflation.”
Wellstar has operated the Level 1 Trauma Center on Boulevard in Old Fourth Ward since 2016 when it purchased the 460-bed hospital from Tenent Healthcare.
With reported losses of $107 million in just the last year, Wellstar said in a press release that the “pandemic and intense financial headwinds straining healthcare organizations right now only made matters worse at AMC.”
“For several years, WellStar has continued to invest in and operate AMC with significant losses to provide more time to partner on a creative, long-term, sustainable solution for the hospital’s future,” said Wellstar CEO Candice L. Saunders. “After an exhaustive search for a solution that would support the healthcare needs of the community, we are disappointed that a sustainable solution at AMC has not emerged.”
Wellstar said it would be working with other healthcare organizations, first responders, and community organizations to transition care for patients.
The hospital – originally known as Georgia Baptist Hospital – has been a fixture in Atlanta for more than a century and has been in Old Fourth Ward since 1921. Wellstar also announced earlier this year that it was closing its hospital in East Point.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said in a statement that Wellstar had “blindsided” the city with its announcement, which was first reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Mayor Dickens sent a letter to Wellstar Health System President & CEO Candice Saunders saying the announcement will have deep consequences for the health and economy in Atlanta.
“This decision will have deep and reverberating consequences for the half a million residents of Atlanta and the hundreds of thousands of visitors and commuters to our city each day,” Mayor Dickens wrote to Saunders. “The City of Atlanta received no advance notice of this decision and had no opportunity to engage with you to understand or help mitigate the factors leading to this closure. I require immediate information about your company’s plans, what you are doing to mitigate the enormous health and economic impacts the closure will have on our community, plans for the multi-building campus once operations cease, and how you will be supporting the impacted personnel.”
This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with Reporter Newspapers & Atlanta Intown.