ATLANTA — The closure of Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center in northeast Atlanta will leave 55,000 patients looking for a new place to seek treatment.
But it could also open up prime terrain for developers. Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts said it was valuable property worth more than $100 million.
“He is sitting on the Beltline. It sits on 85/75. Within spitting distance of downtown Atlanta. Most importantly, it’s less than 10 minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport,” Pitts said. 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 accommodate AMC patients.
He says Emory University Hospital, Piedmont Hospital and Grady Memorial Hospital will absorb the 200 patients currently in AMC beds.
Other Level 2 Trauma Centers like Wellstar Kennestone, Gwinnett Medical and Wellstar North Fulton will treat patients who relied on AMC’s Level 1 Trauma Center.
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 provide the same clinical service.
Pitts says health care is the responsibility of the county, not the state or the city. But he says Wellstar AMC has yet to contact 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 to other hospitals like Grady of its construction.
“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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