Grady doctor, Emory professor on preparing for the long-term effects of Atlanta Medical Center closure

WellStar took over Atlanta Medical Center, shown in 2011, in its 2016 acquisition of five Tenet Healthcare hospitals in the area. The Marietta-based health system said it will explore a variety of strategic options for Atlanta Medical Center, which experts say could include a joint venture or even a sale.

Daniel Mayer / wikimedia commons

On this edition of “Closer Look,” Dr. Anwar Osborne, associate professor of internal medicine and emergency medicine at Emory University, talks about the impacts of the Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center closure on the city’s trauma care capacity and the well-being of already stretched-thin medical professionals.

Wellstar is set to close the Old Fourth Ward-based center on Nov. 1 but announced Thursday it will close the emergency room two works earlier than expected. The move surprised many local leaders and even prompted Mayor Andre Dickens to issue a moratorium on redevelopment.

Osborne, who also works in emergency medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital, recently wrote about the city’s need for a hospital “safety net” in an opinion piece for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In his “Closer Look” interview, Osborne said bolstered bed capacity at Grady can only go so far if the hospital is understaffed, and cautioned that some of the long-term effects of the AMC closure will be made clear over time.

“The patients that need the care, they’re just not gonna stop coming to a hospital,” Osborne said. “As a community, we got to look at what are the incentives that allowed all this to happen.”