According to Laura Turner, the southside community outreach liason for Children’s Healthcare, the three hospitals and 17 neighborhood locations across metro Atlanta that are a part of Children’s Healthcare serve not only Atlanta, but the whole area including Spalding County. When speaking to the Rotary Club of Griffin last week, Turner, a Locust Grove resident and Henry County Rotarian, said she wanted “to let people know what we do.”
Of the 17 neighborhood locations, the closest is Hudson Bridge location in Stockbridge in the Walmart plaza, on the west side of Interstate 75. It is one of five that are also urgent care facilities, Turner said, and is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.
Children’s Healthcare includes the hospitals of Scottish Rite, Egleston and Hughes Spalding, as well as the Marcus Autism Center. The Egleston location is a Level 1 trauma center and is a training hospital for medical students from Emory and Morehouse.
At the Hughes Spalding location in Atlanta, Turner said, “We do a lot of primary care there,” adding there’s also psychiatric care and a sickle cell clinic.
The Marcus Autism Clinic, along with autism, also treats fetal alcohol syndrome and eating disorders. Turner said, “There’s a lot of behavioral health.”
Some of that work has helped develop a mobile treatment device, she said, to help diagnose autism in children as young as 6 months old.
“Our goal is to have one in every pediatrician’s office,” Turner said, which she said was one of the reasons she is talking to civic clubs in the area.
Along with the mobile treatment device and lower radiation, child-specific X-ray machines, Children’s has larger ambulances at the urgent care center with room for parents, which she described as a “rolling ICU.” But a helipad was built by the Hudson Bridge site, since the ambulance are out for two to three hours at a time when they have to transport a child to Atlanta.
“What can y’all do to help us?” she asked.
“It costs $2.5 million a day” to operate Children’s Healthcare, she said, which is the state’s 10th largest employer, the largest children’s medical provider in the country and the largest Medicaid/Medicare provider in the state.
“No child is denied treatment,” she said. “Every child is treated the same, whether they can pay or not. There’s no difference.”