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Former hospital returning — as research site

The former Southwest Atlanta Hospital, closed for the past five years, is coming back to life, this time as a medical research center.

The historic hospital is being renovated to become the new home of the Atlanta Center for Medical Research next month.

ACMR said it has outgrown its Midtown Atlanta location and expects to more than double its current employment with the move.

The research organization, which conducts clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies and medical device firms, said it found the former hospital site to be the best location for its expansion.

The former Southwest Atlanta Hospital is being converted into a medical research center

The former Southwest Atlanta Hospital is being converted into a medical research center

“Southwest Hospital has really, really good bones,’’ said Eric Riesenberg, director of operations for ACMR. “It checked the most boxes.”

The property is being developed by Arberg Properties for an estimated $25 million. The purchase price of the property has not been disclosed. full story

Marcus Foundation gives big gift to Grady

Grady Health System has received $30 million from the Marcus Foundation to help expand its hospital’s emergency department and its stroke and neuroscience center.

Grady Memorial Hospital

Grady Memorial Hospital

It’s the second huge gift to Grady from the foundation, created by Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus.

Grady said Monday that $20 million of the donation would go toward building its new emergency center, while the remainder would help expand the stroke center.

“This incredibly generous gift brings the Marcus Foundation’s total investment in Grady to $50 million since 2009,” said Grady President and CEO John Haupert in a statement. full story

It’s official: Phoebe settlement is off

The Federal Trade Commission announced Friday that it has rejected a proposed settlement agreement with Phoebe Putney Health System over the latter’s 2011 merger with a rival Albany hospital.

The FTC and Phoebe tentatively reached the agreement last year, appearing to put an end to what was already a long-running, complicated legal dispute. But the federal agency has been signaling for months that it might not take the deal after all.

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital

The agency’s decision to reject the settlement revives the high-profile regulatory fight between Phoebe Putney and the FTC. The matter will now return to an administrative court, where a hearing is expected over the feds’ antitrust allegations against Phoebe.

The federal agency has contended for three years that Phoebe’s acquisition of Palmyra Medical Center violated antitrust laws, reducing competition and potentially raising prices for consumers.

“We’ve argued all along that this merger would create a monopoly in Albany that would harm consumers and employers in the region,” Deborah Feinstein, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, said in a statement Friday. “Meaningful structural relief is needed to restore competition to this marketplace.”

Phoebe Putney officials called the FTC’s rejection of the deal disappointing. full story

Piedmont affiliates with Conyers hospital

Piedmont Healthcare has struck a clinical affiliation agreement with Rockdale Medical Center, the organizations announced Thursday.

Rockdale is a 138-bed hospital in Conyers, an eastern suburb of Atlanta. It is owned by LifePoint Hospitals, a Nashville-based hospital chain, and the agreement with Piedmont does not affect its ownership.

Rockdale Medical Center

Rockdale Medical Center

Piedmont said the deal represents its first such clinical affiliation. “We think this will become more common in our market,’’ said Elisabeth Wang, a spokeswoman for Piedmont Healthcare.

Atlanta-based Piedmont currently operates five hospitals, including Piedmont Atlanta Hospital in the upscale Buckhead district of the city. None of the five, though, is in the eastern suburbs.

The deal with Rockdale was finalized in August, and no money or equity was exchanged.

The agreement is a looser form of the consolidation that is shaking up the hospital industry in Georgia and nationally. full story

A (big) new brand in Georgia health care

Macon’s largest health care system has a new name: Navicent Health.

logoThe rebranding of Central Georgia Health System, announced Wednesday, coincides with other new initiatives launched by the organization.

The main hospital in the organization, a 637-bed facility heretofore known as Medical Center of Central Georgia, is now named Medical Center, Navicent Health.

Ninfa Saunders, president and CEO of Navicent, said the new brand combines two words: “navigate,’’ as in helping patients navigate the health care system; and the patient as the “center’’ of that care.

The new name, she added, can help to dispel the image of a regional system in favor of one that can be a statewide or even national health destination. “Patients are going to start shopping for the right care, at the right place and at the right time,’’ Saunders told GHN. full story

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