ATLANTA — The closing of Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center in northeast Atlanta will leave 55,000 patients looking for a new place to get care.
But it could also open up some prime land for developers. Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts says it’s a valuable piece of property worth more than $100 million.
“It is sitting on the Beltline. It’s sitting on 85/75. Spitting distance from Downtown Atlanta. More importantly, it’s less than 10 minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport” Pitts told Channel 2′s Sophia Choi.
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Pitts says Wellstar is likely already in negotiations with developers, while the county scrambles to find enough beds to take on AMC’s patients.
He says Emory University Hospital, Piedmont Hospital and Grady Memorial Hospital will absorb the 200 patients currently in AMC’s beds.
Other Level 2 trauma centers like Wellstar Kennestone, Gwinnett Medical and Wellstar North Fulton will handle patients who depended on AMC’s Level 1 trauma center.
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Pitts said the only difference between a Level 1 and Level 2 trauma center is research.
Channel 2 Action News confirmed with Grady Memorial that Level 1 and Level 2 trauma centers offer the same clinical service.
Pitts say healthcare is the county’s responsibility—not the state and not the city. But he says, Wellstar AMC has yet to reach out to Fulton County leaders about a transition plan.
“Constitutionally, Fulton County is responsible for health and human services,” Pitts said.
Ultimately, Pitts says a new hospital in South Fulton County could replace AMC, which started in Fulton County in 1901. The commission chairman says he’s already talking with other hospitals like Grady about building it.
“The need is there, the patient base is there and the paying customers are there,” Pitts said.
Earlier this year, Wellstar closed its South Fulton hospital.
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