Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Officials at a Historic Black Hospital in Atlanta Propose a $35M Plan To Build Facility With Pediatric Asthma, Sickle Cell Disease Specialty Centers
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, which recently took over management of Hughes Spalding children's hospital, a historic private hospital known for treating black patients, on Thursday will announce plans to construct a, $35 million facility that will include a major center for pediatric asthma and sickle cell disease care, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Under the plan, Children's Healthcare, which is owned by Grady Health System, will construct a 20-bed facility with an emergency department on the current parking lot of Hughes Spalding, which treats 52,000 patients annually. At the completion of the project, the 55-year-old, 40-bed, "long outdated and poorly equipped" Hughes Spalding will be razed, according to the Journal-Constitution. The new facility will continue to provide primary care and also will include an empty floor for future expansions. Children's officials have raised $31 million of the cost of the new building, James Tally, CEO of Children's Healthcare, said. Barbara Stoll, a neonatologist and chair of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, said Hughes Spalding could set a national standard for sickle cell care, adding that the facility "is intended to provide a medical home for patients, while also providing an alternative to emergency room visits for routine ailments." Eve Higginbotham, dean of Morehouse School of Medicine, said she is concerned that the new facility will have 20 fewer beds than Hughes Spalding did and that it will not have an intensive care unit. The plan must be approved by the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority, which governs Grady. Officials hope to receive approval by summer and to have construction completed by 2009 (White, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/8).
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