Atlanta Hospital May Close

ATLANTA (AP) _ The governing board of Atlanta's Grady Memorial
Hospital is meeting this afternoon to consider turning operation of
the hospital over to a nonprofit board in hopes the move will
attract big corporate donations and enable Grady to keep its doors
open.

Founded in 1892, Grady has struggled financially for years. But
now it has reached a crisis because of rising health care costs,
dwindling government aid, a lack of paying customers, and years of
neglect. The situation is not uncommon among urban hospitals like
Grady that primarily serve the needy.

In addition to losing money on patient care, Grady needs an
estimated 300 million dollars to repair and modernize its buildings
and acquire new equipment such as CT scanners and an up-to-date
computer system.

The overwhelming majority of the 900,000 patients treated at
Grady each year are poor and black, and the institution is
considered a vital part of Atlanta's black community. Some fear
that a switch to a nonprofit governing board would leave the
hospital less committed to the poor, and that the board would go
from mostly black to mostly white.


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