Ellis, St. Peter's taking steps toward merging
Massarah Mikati is reporting for the Times Union after more than a year of discussion about the possible merger of St. Peter’s Health Partners and Ellis Medicine, the two healthcare organizations have announced plans to join in a management services agreement. Ellis and St. Peter's issued a joint press release November 29, announcing they had received approval from the state Department of Health to combine and collaborate their services for the next two years. Under the agreement, Schenectady-based Ellis Medicine will remain independent from Albany-based St. Peter’s, which is owned by the national company Trinity Health. Ellis’ board of trustees will retain local control, and two St. Peter’s executives will join Ellis’ senior leadership team. The goal is to officially merge the two organizations at the end of the two-year term. “Partnering with Ellis on this agreement is the natural evolution of our already strong relationship and will allow us to expand and enhance the availability of high-quality health care services in the Capital Region,” said James Reed, president and CEO of St. Peter’s. Some of the anticipated changes from merging services have raised concerns in the community. Paul Milton, Ellis CEO and president, said at a Schenectady City Council committee meeting in August that abortions would no longer be performed under the merger. “You need to comply with the ethical and religious directives of a Catholic organization,” he said at the time. In the press release Monday, Milton noted, “We anticipate the community will see more and even better care as a result of this partnership." He said that no reproductive services will be affected by the agreement, but that abortions would no longer be provided by Ellis if the merger takes place in two years. With the management services agreement, the focus will be on improving information technology, patient experience, quality improvement and more. Read more in the Times Union.