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Troy facility the latest locally to end birthing services

Jun 15, 2023 1:03 am

Rachel Silberstein reports in the Times Union that there is going to be one fewer location locally to have a baby as Samaritan Hospital in Troy is expected to close its maternity unit 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. 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. A spokesperson for St. Peter's Health Partners, which now owns Samaritan, said pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the ending of birthing services. Last year 881 babies were born at Samaritan Hospital, and 320 were born this year through May. Birthing facilities remain open in Dutchess and Albany counties. Rensselaer Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas on June 14 said, “This is a major concern in terms of health services if Samaritan’s maternity ward is closed.... So many residents in Troy and even surrounding communities in Albany County rely on bus transport or cabs or ride-sharing to access medical services. Those residents will face real difficulty in accessing services.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.