Grady Memorial Hospital

Grady Memorial Hospital

Infobox Hospital
Name = Grady Memorial Hospital
Org/Group =

Caption =

Location =
Region = Atlanta
State = Georgia
Country = US
HealthCare = Public
Type = General
Speciality =
Standards =
Emergency = I
Affiliation= Emory University
Morehouse School of Medicine
Beds = 953 (700 in operation)
Founded = 1890
Closed =
Website =
Wiki-Links = |

Grady Memorial Hospital, frequently referred to as Grady Hospital or simply Grady, is the largest hospital in the state of Georgia, and is the public hospital for the city of Atlanta. Historical segregation of its hospital units meant that it was also called "The Gradys", a name that still surfaces among elderly Atlanta residents, especially African Americans. It is a Level I trauma center. Located near downtown and the campus of Georgia State University, Grady is considered to be one of the premier public hospitals in the Southern United States. It is named for Henry W. Grady, an "Atlanta Constitution" journalist and later owner who became a major force in Georgia politics, and advocated for a public city hospital. It is now the flagship of the Grady Health System.


It was first founded in 1890 (a decade after Saint Joseph's Infirmary, Atlanta's first) and opened in 1892, as an outgrowth of the Atlanta Benevolent Home. The original building (at 36 Butler Street) is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is known as Georgia Hall, where the hospital's human resources staff now work. The second Grady Hospital at Butler Hall opened in 1912 and was for whites only, with blacks being segregated at the Atlanta Medical College. The third hospital was at Hirsch Hall, and the current location is its fourth. Since 1945 it has been run by the Fulton/DeKalb Hospital Authority.

The current facility was also built as a segregated institution, with one section serving Whites (Wings A & B; facing the city) and another section serving African-Americans (Wings C & D; facing the opposite direction). Even though it is a single building and the two sides are connected by a hallway (Wing E), the facility was referred to in the plural ("The Gradys") during the years of segregation. [cite web | title=Children at Grady Hospital | publisher=The New Georgia Encyclopedia | url= | accessdate=2006-12-23]

CNN's medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who is Associate Chief of Neurosurgery at Grady, filmed a documentary at the hospital called "Grady's Anatomy" (a play on "Gray's Anatomy") that aired in 2007 for "CNN Special Investigations Unit". The documentary focused on four young medical residents and the daily stress of large hospital practice.

Notable Patients

In 2001, actor Whitman Mayo, who played the character Grady on television's Sanford and Son, died of a heart attack at Grady.

Grady Hospital gained some national attention for treating supermodel Niki Taylor after her near-fatal car accident on April 29, 2001. Taylor has spoken many times about the great job the hospital did in treating her after her accident. In particular, the Hospital's effectiveness as a level I trauma center has been highlighted by this incident (Taylor suffered severe trauma in the accident).Fact|date=February 2007

It again gained attention after the Bluffton University bus accident in which seven died. The hospital cleared a whole wing of the hospital for the injured victims and their families.

André 3000, one half of the duo group OutKast, was born in Grady Memorial Hospital.

Current Service

The hospital serves a large proportion of low-income patients. Grady sued the state over lack of Medicaid compensation in 2004.Fact|date=February 2007 Grady relies almost entirely on Emory and Morehouse Schools of Medicine to provide doctor and resident staffing. As an editorial in "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution" said, "When you read the phrase 'Grady doctor,' do a silent translation, because those words really mean either 'Emory doctor' or 'Morehouse doctor.'" [ [ Emory Magazine: Autumn 2007: Critical Condition ] ]

Grady Hospital's ambulance service, Grady emergency medical services, shares 9-1-1 responsibility for Fulton County, Georgia. The Downtown Connector (Interstate 75/85) makes a large bend around the hospital on its otherwise due north-south route, dubbed the "Grady Curve" on traffic reports.Fact|date=January 2008

Problems and Restructuring

The hospital serves a large proportion of low-income patients. The hospital is supported almost entirely by Fulton and DeKalb counties, with little help from the suburbs or state, despite serving all of metro Atlanta's several counties.

Grady has also suffered from corruption and cronyism. In 2005, a state senator was convicted of using his influence to secure overpriced Grady contracts for his temporary services business. It is further plagued by staff shortages and anachronistic technology - notably as one of every five Medicaid reimbursement billings were rejected by the state due to filing mistakes.

The hospital board has long been reluctant to make money-saving changes that might reduce its traditional mission. In late 2006, it rejected the advice of financial consultants and its newly hired chief executive to close an expensive outpatient dialysis clinic for the poor, being concerned that many of the clinic’s uninsured patients, including many illegal immigrants, would have nowhere else to turn to. Others argued that the board of directors are politically clumsy, and prone to micromanagement. In May the board’s own consultants concluded that “Grady does not currently have the depth of leadership” necessary to transform the hospital.

Grady Hospital continues to face possible closure or restructuring as it cannot find funding to repay the over $100 million debt it owes to Emory University and Morehouse School of Medicine for their staffing of Doctors. [ [ With $100 Million Debt, Grady Hospital May Close Doors | The Emory Wheel ] ] []

A current plan is underway to transfer control of the hospital from the public Fulton/DeKalb Hospital Authority to a new nonprofit corporation, keeping with “the Atlanta way” or long-standing tradition of bringing together black political power and white business power, which would enable Grady to attract philanthropic donations, expand into money-making services and remove interference from politics. Black board members who backed the deal, however, were considered “sell-out Uncle Toms” by critics who asserted that the move amounted to the black-run hospital's privatization by whites which would jeopardize Grady’s mission. The board would only agree to yield power to the non-profit organization in return for guarantees of funding from the state and country. [ [ A Safety-Net Hospital Falls Into Financial Crisis - New York Times ] ]

2008 Tornado

On March 14, 2008, the buildings of Grady sustained minor damage when a tornado tore through downtown Atlanta. Historic Georgia Hall was the hardest hit with windows blown out, a chimney that collapsed and water damage. The main hospital had a few cafeteria windows blown out, but never lost power. It was the first tornado to hit the downtown area since weather record keeping began in the 1880s. Nine people were taken to Grady for treatment, one of which had critical injuries. [ Friday tornado pummels downtown; Saturday storm kills 2] by Tim Eberly and Paul Shea for the "Atlanta Journal and Constitution", March 15, 2008. Retrieved March 15, 2008.] [ Atlanta Tornado: The Aftermath: Landmarks Take a Hit] by Rhonda Cook et al. for the "Atlanta Journal and Constitution", March 16, 2008. Retrieved March 16, 2008.]

*"See article: 2008 Atlanta tornado outbreak."


External links

* [ National Parks Service: Georgia Hall]
* [ Atlanta city government: Hirsch Hall]
* [ New Georgia Encyclopedia: Grady Healthcare System]
* [ A Safety-Net Hospital Falls Into Financial Crisis]
* [ Atlanta, Georgia, a National Park Service "Discover Our Shared Heritage" Travel Itinerary]

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