by Monte Sahlin
By AT News Team, July 31, 2014
The Emory-Adventist Hospital in the Atlanta, Georgia, suburb of Smyrna will close by the end of October, according to a bulletin distributed by the Associated Press (AP). Hospital CEO Dennis Kiley told the AP the closure will not mean any immediate changes for patients and administrators will make every effort to help employees find new jobs.
The 88-bed hospital northwest of downtown Atlanta, “is no longer sustainable in today’s dramatically changed health care environment,’’ the Augusta Chronicle quoted a news release. The hospital’s board approved the closure decision Monday.
The nonprofit facility was a joint venture between Emory Healthcare and the Adventist Health System. It has nearly 500 employees. They were notified of the impending closure on Wednesday, said a hospital spokeswoman, Tonya Long.
Pete Weber, board chair of the financially troubled not-for-profit hospital, said that although costs have been cut, it still couldn’t attract enough patients to sustain its operations, reported David Markiewicz in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Ultimately … the new market conditions in health care have made it impossible … to continue.” The announcement comes on top of the closure of four rural hospitals in Georgia in the past two years.
Weber said hospital administrators looked at various options to avoid closing it, including partnerships with other health care providers. There was interest, he said, but no deal.
The hospital admitted its first patient in 1974 and was bought in 1976 by Adventist Health System, becoming the first health care institution in Atlanta affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. Adventist Health System has 37 hospitals across the United States. Emory-Adventist Hospital was formed out of a joint venture with Emory Healthcare in 1995.