WellStar Atlanta closes


Byron Small

WellStar Medical Center, a symbol of Atlanta, decided to close its doors as of November 1. This closure will place a heavy burden on the Atlanta medical system that may have multiple adverse effects. The hope of the community remains that the stress coming from aforementioned effects derived from the closing of WellStar, could possibly result in less of an issue than projected.

William Mullinax, Reporter

WellStar Atlanta, a staple medical center, decided to close the doors of the 120-year-old hospital on November 1. Having served the public for so long, the Atlanta Medical Center’s closing on such short notice will leave people powerless to safely transition to another hospital. The hole that the closure of the hospital will leave also became a hot topic for debate recently.

The 120-year-old medical center not only served as a hospital but also as a homage to the history that Atlanta cherishes. The financial pressure from inflation left the hospital losing up to $100 million in the last year. The financial viability of the center as a topic appeared not just recently, but for several years. All of these efforts to keep the hospital did not succeed.

“For several years, WellStar has continued to invest in and operate AMC [Atlanta Medical Center] with significant losses to provide more time to partner on a creative, long-term, sustainable solution for the hospital’s future. We are disappointed that a sustainable solution at AMC has not emerged,” WellStar CEO Candice Saunders said.

The medical system already faced difficulties during the height of the COVID-19 epidemic and the system became overtaxed. This system still needs to recover and the closure of the center will not help and will likely only provide increased stress on said system. The community will adjust and overcome the difficulties posed, however, this may cause stress to the public and the system.

“The closing of AMC is going to place a heavy burden on an already overcrowded system. People are going to continue to need care, that does not change and many hospitals in the area are working at capacity most of the time. I think as a community we will eventually adapt to the changes and find new ways to fulfill healthcare needs. It may create difficulties at first but I am confident that the system will utilize as many resources as possible to satisfy the area’s demands,” ER nurse at WellStar Paulding Samantha Smith said.

The Atlanta population will assuredly face difficulties and take considerable effort not just from the community, but also from the surrounding medical facilities in order to rebound. If the medical facilities and the community all pull their weight, then the transition from WellStar Atlanta might not take as much time or effort to remedy. The heavy burden on the medical system may remain for quite a while.