Atlanta

‘We are ready’: Local clinic seeing increase in patients after closing of Atlanta Medical Center

ATLANTA — With the sudden closing of Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center last month, many people were without a place to get medical care. But a charity clinic not far away offered a refuge for basic health care needs.

Channel 2′s Tom Regan spoke with the clinic about how they’re handling the spike in patients.

Wellstar closed AMC because of mounting financial losses. In the weeks since, more patients that had sought care there have found a backup plan with Mercy Care.

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“Unfortunately because that location has shut down, patients who would normally go to the ER for typical chronic care are seeking out mercy care and other local providers,” Anitra Walker, Vice President of Operations, said.

Donald Hall received some first class dental care for free. Hall was homeless for two years. He told Channel 2 Action News he struggled to find a place for health care since the sudden closing of Atlanta Medical Center last month.

“I have to go further like into midtown or Grady where it’s real packed and everything. So this has been a good option. Yes it has,” Hall said.

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The biggest demand now is for behavioral health and treating mental illness.

The charity clinic is also brainstorming with Grady Memorial Hospital on how to handle what is certain to be a growing number of patients.

“As they are seeing patients in their emergency room, they are referring them to us, if it meets what patients would be seen for primary care,” Walker said.

The clinic treats over a thousand patients each year, and is gearing up to meet the challenge of even more.

“We are ready to take on that charge for the the community,” she told Channel 2 Action News.

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