Grady Hospital (File)

The state of Georgia will give Grady Health System $130 million in federal funds. The money will go towards adding 200 beds to Grady Memorial Hospital, which is soon to be the sole level one trauma center in a city of nearly a half-million residents. 

The $130 million is in addition to a one-time payment of $11 million that was expedited by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners last week.

There is an expectation that millions more in private donations will also be given to Atlanta’s largest hospital before year’s end, officials said.

Gov. Brian Kemp made the announcement Thursday morning from the State Capitol. The funding is largely seen as a response to the impending closure of Atlanta Medical Center.

Wellstar Health System, which owns Atlanta Medical Center, recently announced that it would be closing the 120-year-old, 460-bed hospital located in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood on Nov. 1.

Despite having met with Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and others, Wellstar seems poised to move ahead with plans to close the hospital. 

There have been rumbles from grassroots organizations such as the Party for Socialism and Liberation, who held a rally outside of Atlanta Medical Center on Monday evening, about why those funds could not be donated to save Atlanta Medical Center. Grady Hospital is a teaching hospital and thus gets much more support from private donations and federal funding.

The funds are part of what Georgia was given during the height of the pandemic as part of the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan Act, also known as the Covid-19 stimulus package. The $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill was passed by Congress in March 2021.

Grady Hospital, which has 953 beds, serves hundreds of Atlantans daily. The loss of Atlanta Medical Center will raise those numbers. The hospital has just over 7,200 employees, with just under 3,000 being physicians and nurses, according to the latest Grady data. 

Donnell Suggs is an Atlanta-based journalist.