Who was most excited about Grady’s Walking Dead debut? The staff.

How the campus reacted to the hospital’s moment in the spotlight

Atlanta fans of The Walking Dead got a treat during the first half of season five when a kidnapped Beth found herself trapped in a familiar place: Grady hospital. The return to the ATL brought lots of local eye candy (APD squad cars! The Equitable Building!), but perhaps no one was more excited than Grady employees themselves. “The reaction has just been overwhelming,” says Denise Simpson, media relations manager for Grady Health System. “There’s a lot of excitement here on the campus among staff and physicians and followers of The Walking Dead to see Grady so prominently featured in that storyline. Everybody would come in on Monday, ‘Did you see it?’”

One fan reaction particularly delighted staffers: an “Atlanta Can’t Live Without Grady” ad campaign Photoshopped to feature Beth. “It’s phenomenal,” Simpson says. “We were so flattered.” No scenes were filmed inside Grady, but some pickup shots, such as Beth’s view of downtown, were taken at the hospital.

After November’s fatal finale, it looks as though our heroes’ stay in the city could be coming to an end. But we hope this trip to Atlanta won’t be the last.

On the calendar: Season 5 of The Walking Dead returns February 8 on AMC.

This article originally appeared in our February 2015 issue under the headline “Oh, Grady.”