'A disruption in all areas': Old Fourth Ward community rallies to save Atlanta Medical Center

Protesters rally outside of Atlanta Medical Center in the Old Fourth Ward. (DorMiya Vance/WABE)

At the corner of East Avenue and Boulevard Northeast, about 40 people stood chanting, “don’t close AMC; Healthcare is what we need.”

Atlanta Medical Center has served the community of the Old Fourth Ward for nearly 120 years; now, it’s set to close on November 1st. According to Wellstar Health Systems, millions have been lost operating the hospital.

Community members say closing AMC will limit access to emergency and primary care for minorities and people on low income.

Lavern Wright lives near the area. She supported that rally, hoping for AMC to say open.

“This is the Old Fourth Ward, and this is the only place they come if they get sick. They close this; they will have to go all the way downtown to Grady,” she said.

Some healthcare workers from AMC attended the rally. They were concerned about the loss of healthcare for the local community, but more importantly, their jobs.

Christopher Jackson has been a Doctor at AMC for the past five years. He says it may be rough for employees once the hospital closes.

“Displacement is always tough. I think that’s going to be a hard thing for everyone. It’s not just a disruption in one area. It’s a disruption in all areas, right,” Jackson said.

Another rally against AMC’s closure is set for Friday evening. Protesters say they’ll gather in front of City Hall, calling on Atlanta officials to do more to keep the hospital open.