Atlanta Medical Center closing in downtown Atlanta | What does it mean?

Atlanta Medical Center to close Nov. 1
Atlanta Medical Center to close Nov. 1
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 1:11 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2022 at 4:11 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - The closure of the Atlanta Medical Center in downtown Atlanta has caught many people by surprise.

Wellstar informed their employees on Aug. 31 that the hospital will close Nov. 1. They told employees that it is because of money problems.

RELATED STORY: Patients angry over Atlanta Medical Center closing

This will be the second emergency room that Wellstar has closed in metro Atlanta this year. Atlanta Medical Center South in East Point transitioned to a different model of care in May.

RELATED STORY: Wellstar scaling back services at only hospital in southern Fulton County

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens has expressed “extreme concerns” about the closing, which saw approximately 50,000 low-income residents in its emergency room last year.

RELATED STORY: Atlanta mayor says he was blindsided by Atlanta Medical Center closure

Wellstar AMC hospital will close Nov. 1

Employees of the hospital are also expressing concern, including a trauma surgeon who said the closure is likely to have “dire consequences.”

RELATED: Atlanta Medical Center employees say hospital closure could have dire consequences

After AMC closes, there will be only one Level 1 trauma center in the metro area. Cities of similar size -- Houston and Philadelphia -- have multiple level one trauma centers.

RELATED STORY: Atlanta faced with having only one Level 1 trauma center after AMC closure

A metro Atlanta physician says he is dismayed at the closing of AMC and says there is no doubt in his mind that the closure will impact patient care throughout metro Atlanta.

RELATED STORY: ‘Cannot afford to lose this facility | Metro physician dismayed over Atlanta Medical Center closure

With the Aug. 31 announcement that Wellstar is closing Atlanta Medical Center, the list of Level 1 trauma centers in Georgia is down to four.

RELATED STORY: Here is a list of Georgia’s remaining trauma centers, specialty care facilities

Level 1 trauma centers must provide a full range of treatment to patients, from injury to rehabilitation.

RELATED STORY: What is a Level 1 trauma center?

No matter what city you live in, if there is a mass casualty event or natural disaster, trauma centers like the ones at Atlanta Medical enter and Grady Hospital are ground zero for patient care.

RELATED STORY: Doctors worry of far-reaching impacts when Wellstar AMC Hospital closes

The president and CEO of Grady Health System says the closure of Atlanta Medical Center is going to put a “lot of strain” on the other hospitals in metro Atlanta. Grady saw a significant increase after Wellstar closed the emergency room at the other Atlanta Medical Center facility earlier this year.

RELATED STORY: Grady Hospital preparing to absorb patients with AMC closure

Patients are angry over the closure and feel they’ve been hung out to dry. The closure of Atlanta Medical Center is expected to have a big impact on the health care of low-income residents in the area.

RELATED STORY: Patients angry over Atlanta Medical Center closing

The residents of the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood are among those who will be the most impacted.

RELATED STORY: Old Fourth Ward residents will be impacted by Atlanta Medical Center’s closure

Unfortunately, it’s not just the residents of metro Atlanta who may be impacted. The closure could also impact residents who live near other trauma centers. The Georgia Trauma Commission is warning that if trauma centers in other cities will be taken care of patients from Atlanta, they will have less room to care for residents in their area.

RELATED: State commission warns AMC closure will have ‘dramatic’ ripple effect

The state is just 55 days from WellStar’s Atlanta Medical Center shutting its doors. Georgia lawmakers, like US Sen. Raphael Warnock, are in the forefront, speaking out against the closure. While others have dodged comment.

RELATED: Sen. Warnock: It was a ‘gut punch’ finding out AMC was closing

On Wednesday, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners approved a special one-time payment to Grady Hospital ahead of the closure of the Atlanta Medical Center.

RELATED: Fulton County approves $11M payment to Grady Hospital ahead of AMC closure

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens has sent a follow-up letter to Wellstar CEO Candice Saunders regarding the closure of Atlanta Medical Center in downtown Atlanta.

RELATED: Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens sends another letter about closure of downtown hospital

Some local leaders are now at odds over whether they should be pushing to keep Atlanta Medical Center alive.

RELATED: City, county leaders conflicted over AMC closing; some support ‘business decision’

A rally being organized by the Party for Socialism and Liberation is being held on Sept. 13, 2022, demanding that Atlanta Medical Center remain open.

RELATED: Rally set for Tuesday demanding Atlanta Medical Center remain open

Rally to keep Atlanta medical center open

RELATED: Group rallies to keep Atlanta Medical Center from closing

Grady Memorial Hospital is set to receive a huge one-time special payment later this week, between $100 and 200 million, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the ongoing negotiations.

Grady Hospital bracing for mega investment

RELATED: Grady Hospital bracing for multi-million-dollar investment after AMC closure

Sources told CBS46 the money could also be used for other purposes to help Grady accommodate the thousands of patients who are currently treated at Atlanta Medical Center.

RELATED: Kemp, metro Atlanta leaders to announce $100 million+ to expand Grady

On Sept. 29, Wellstar Atlanta Medical announced that they will close the emergency department on Oct. 14 ahead of the Nov. 1 closure of the medical center. The hospital will begin diverting patients on Oct. 3.

RELATED: Atlanta Medical Center’s emergency department closing Oct. 14

A former Atlanta Medical Center nurse now pushing Georgia lawmakers to lift restrictions on “advanced practice nurses.”

RELATED: Nurse writes open letter to lawmakers ahead of Atlanta Medical Center closure