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Protest at latest local facility to end birthing services

Jun 21, 2023 12:51 am

News10 in Albany reports that 100 people turned out to protest at Samaritan Hospital in Troy, which is expected to close its maternity unit, Burdett Birth Center, within six months. That eliminates the only birthing facility in Rensselaer County. In 2019 Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson ended birthing services at the only birthing facility in Columbia County. Greene County also does not have a birthing facility. Chelly Hegan, who leads the local Planned Parenthood chapter, said at the protest, “It is shameful that access to high-quality maternal care is being cut off here in Rensselaer County.” Jessica Schaeffer, an emergency room nurse at Samaritan Hospital, complained that inevitably there will be births in the emergency room now, saying, “You know, in the emergency room, we deal with emergency situations. We deal with a lot of different things.... And to put that in the emergency room, and to put that stress on the doctors and the nurses who do so much for the community already is ridiculous.” There have been reproductive and birthing services at the Samaritan Hospital's Burdett Birth Center since 2011, when it was formed out of a merger between the maternity units of Samaritan Hospital and St. Mary's/Seton Health. So the shrinking of birthing services locally has been going on for years. Read the full story at News10 in Albany.

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