ATLANTA (December 12, 2023) – After more than a year of collaboration and partnership between Southside Medical Center and Wellstar Health System to expand preventive and primary care services to the East Point community, the partners will complete the transition of urgent care services from Wellstar East Point Health Center (EPHC) to Southside Medical Center’s East Point clinic on Jan. 12, 2024.
As part of the partnership, Wellstar is investing $5 million over five years to help increase services and expand the Southside East Point clinic’s size and capacity. Wellstar is also committed to a thoughtful process to determine the future of the AMC South site, which includes ongoing cooperation with Dr. David Williams, president and CEO of Southside Medical Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).
About the Transition
Since announcing the partnership between Southside Medical Center and Wellstar in October 2022, the organizations have been working together to establish a medical home for patients who have received episodic care through the Wellstar EPHC urgent care facility.
With coordinated ongoing care, including preventive visits and management of chronic conditions, patients have had fewer medical needs that require urgent care visits. As a result, the average urgent care volume at Wellstar EPHC has dropped by almost 65%, from nearly 80 patients per day in October 2022 to 28 patients per day in November 2023.
Beginning the first week of January, Southside, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), will expand its urgent care hours of operation to seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., for all patients regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.
People who previously received urgent care services at Wellstar EPHC will have access to a greater range of services at Southside Medical Center's East Point clinic, which is located next door. In addition to urgent care, patients can receive primary care, pediatric care, dental care, OB/GYN services and immunizations at Southside’s East Point facility and support like mental health care services virtually.
Patients can also access substance abuse support and other specialty care like podiatry, basic optometry and urology at the main Southside Medical Center clinic location, located at 1046 Ridge Avenue, less than 10 minutes away from the East Point clinic.
As an FQHC with a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) designation, Southside’s East Point clinic provides enhanced patient access and other benefits, such as decreased pharmaceutical costs and free transportation to medical appointments.
Team Member and Community Transitions
Wellstar is committed to supporting all EPHC team members through this transition and is offering them positions at other Wellstar locations. Additionally, if any impacted Wellstar team member wants to continue serving the East Point community, Wellstar and Southside’s human resource teams will collaborate to offer them opportunities at Southside Medical Center locations.
Both organizations will also work throughout this final transition phase in close alignment with community leaders and partners.