Morehouse, Emory Medical Schools Owed Millions by Grady Hospital System, Schools’ Future at Risk, Officials SayMorehouse School of Medicine is in jeopardy of closing if Grady Health System, the school's "financially strapped" teaching hospital, cannot improve its finances, the school's president, John Maupin, said on Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "If Grady closes, potentially Morehouse School of Medicine would close," Maupin said.
The medical school at Morehouse was established more than 30 years ago to address the health needs of minority and poor communities and a shortage of black doctors. Morehouse relies almost exclusively on Grady to train and teach its medical students and physician residents. Emory University School of Medicine also uses Grady as a teaching hospital. Emory will not be as affected by the potential closure of Grady because it works with four other teaching hospitals in the area, Maupin said. Grady is the largest public hospital in Georgia.
The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Greater Grady Task Force -- created at the request of the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority, which governs Grady -- has estimated that the hospital needs about $120 million in short-term cash. Half of the money would go to the medical schools and half for operating losses and immediate capital needs. Without an infusion of funding, the hospital system will be unable to meet payroll by the end of the year, the task force said. Grady has lost money every year since 2000, according to the Journal-Constitution.
The task force has recommended an overhaul of the hospital system's structure and the creation of a private, not-for-profit corporation to run the hospital. The task force also has recommended that Grady seek new funding sources to meet its long- and short-term financial obligations. During a Wednesday task force meeting, Grady officials requested an additional $20 million in funding from DeKalb and Fulton counties.
Maupin said, "We are not in a position to be a bank. ... We're not in a position to go beyond what we've already helped." Thomas Lawley, dean of the Emory medical school, said, "There is significant debt owed to Emory and Morehouse. It is important that it be paid."
Michael Russell, CEO of H.J. Russell & Co. and co-chair of the task force, said the closure of the Morehouse medical school would be "huge," adding that the school "is one of the premiere African-American schools of medicine in the nation" (White, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/26).