LITHONIA, GA – Today, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) joined U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, DeKalb County Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson and Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary for a site visit of Emory Hillandale Hospital in South DeKalb.
Emory Hospital officials and medical professionals, including Hospital Group President Bryce Gartland and Emory Hillandale CEO Jim Forstner, briefed the delegation on their COVID-19 response and how the hospital system is dealing with the pandemic.
The group held a roundtable discussion with senior Emory leadership on the challenges of operating an academic health center during the pandemic and the importance of partnerships with the federal government to meet those challenges. The delegation also received an update on Emory’s clinical trials and vaccine rollout. Emory has the capacity to administer approximately 1,600 vaccines per day at Northlake Mall and have now vaccinated more than 80,000 Georgians.
The site visit included the inspection of a room similar to where COVID-19 patients are treated and provided an opportunity for the officials to interact and ask questions of Emory healthcare providers about how they care for COVID-19 patients.
“Hearing from health professionals in DeKalb County about the struggles Georgians continue to encounter accessing affordable health care during the pandemic is another important reminder why our state must expand Medicaid,” said Sen. Warnock. “I’m proud we fought to make sure the COVID relief bill includes strong federal investments that will direct nearly $2 billion to Georgia to help nearly 500,000 uninsured Georgians get covered.”
“With the American Rescue Plan now law, we are going to crush the virus, return children safely to the classroom, get vaccines to the people and put people back to work,” said Rep. Johnson. “Emory is an important partner to make that a reality and are critical in helping us get vaccines in arms, get people back to work and kids in school safely. I commend their efforts here in DeKalb County and throughout the metro area.”
“It was an honor to welcome my Senator, Raphael Warnock, and my Congressman, Hank Johnson, to the 5th District (DeKalb) to discuss the much-needed care that Emory Hillandale Hospital provides to South DeKalb and the 5th District,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson.
“We are thankful for our partnership with Congressman Johnson and the federal government over the past year as we have worked to treat over 11,600 hospitalized COVID patients, thousands more on an outpatient basis, and distributed over 80,000 vaccines right here in DeKalb County in support of bringing this pandemic to an end,” said Dr. Bryce Gartland, Hospital Group President & Co-Chief of Clinical Operations, Emory Healthcare. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Congressman as we continue to ramp up vaccine distribution over the coming weeks.”