Grady Health System will open new outpatient centers south of I-20 by the end of 2023 to address concerns around access to health care caused by the closures of Wellstar Health System’s Atlanta Medical Center and Atlanta Medical Center South in 2022.
The two new neighborhood health centers will be located at Lee + White at 1000 Lee Street SW, a mixed-use development in West End, and at 3355 Cascade Road. The locations will provide primary and specialty care services such as cardiology, mammography, HIV services, rehabilitation and more.
Mayor Andre Dickens thanked Grady following the announcement of the new centers in a statement released Thursday afternoon.
“Grady’s new outpatient centers — and the sense of urgency in ensuring they are fully operational by the end of this year — reflects their values and continued commitment to Atlanta’s communities,” said Dickens. “They understand the need for primary, urgent and specialty care below I-20 and have met the moment.”
Grady says that the clinics will remove barriers to accessing quality health care for these areas. Officials said plans for the sites were in motion even before the two AMC closures.
“We have listened to our community and paid close attention to the areas that need more health services,” said John Haupert, president and CEO at Grady, in a press release. “We conducted research and identified these neighborhoods that have seen significant population growth but have historically lacked access to primary and specialty care.”
A newly approved direct payment program by The Georgia Department of Community Health, Georgia’s Advancing Innovation to Deliver Equity (GA-AIDE) gave Grady funds from the federal and state government needed to open the clinics. The program provides Grady with payments for improved quality of care through supporting services focused on chronic disease management, women’s and children’s health, preventative care and health equity.
District 4 Atlanta City Council member Jason Dozier expressed excitement for the plans in a press release issued Thursday morning. “The ongoing health and economic crisis has hit southwest Atlanta communities the hardest, and we’ve learned more than ever how crucial it is to ensure all people have access to quality healthcare. This clinic will help ensure that all people, especially Atlanta’s most vulnerable, have those basic needs met,” Dozier said.
Grady estimates that each of the clinics will provide 30,000 primary care visits and will cost $5 million to $8 million to operate each year, all of which will come from funding provided by the GA-AIDE program. None of the funding for these clinics comes from the $130 million given to Grady from a federal coronavirus relief package in September.
“This is just the beginning,” Shannon Sale, Grady’s chief strategy officer, said. “We would love to continue to expand these access points. We know that it’s the right approach to health care for the community and that we currently don’t have enough.”
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