In run up to the recent vote by the Fulton/DeKalb Hospital Authority to transfer management of Grady to a nonprofit board, the Medical Association of Atlanta (MAA) met with leaders from the Emory and Morehouse Schools of Medicine to discuss how the MAA could work in conjunction with the schools in their efforts to help save Grady.
The MAA is the largest physician’s group in the metro Atlanta area with a history spanning more than 150 years.
The meeting presented a unified voice that Grady had to be saved from closure due to chronic financial problems. “Grady is a critical local and statewide health care resource that must be saved. Nearly one-fourth of all of residency positions in the State of Georgia reside at Grady. If Grady closes, those slots would ultimately be lost from Georgia decreasing Georgia’s physician workforce,” stated Dr. Lawley.
The connection between local area physicians, some who were once residents at Grady, and their potential influence on Grady’s future was not lost. “Grady is vital to the entire Atlanta medical community and we welcome support from the medical community’s physicians in telling their partners and affiliated hospitals about Grady’s role in the education of the future doctors of Georgia,” said Dr. Casarella,.
An immediate result of the meeting was the drafting of a letter from the MAA sent members of the Fulton/Dekalb Hospital Authority Board urging them to vote in favor of establishing an independent nonprofit corporation to run Grady.
On November 26, the Authority unanimously voted in favor of the formation of a nonprofit corporation, however, with a number of pre-conditions including guarantees of increased funding from state government. The state’s reaction to the pre-condition was overwhelmingly negative. Since then, the Authority’s board has toned down it’s demands.
According to Dr. Silver, the MAA’s next step will be to “try to make sure that the limitations set by the Fulton/Dekalb board will not jeopardize the formation of the nonprofit board.” If the nonprofit corporation is established, ” the MAA will help raise private dollars for Grady through the community.”