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James says she is monitoring the closure of Burdett Birth Center

Jul 12, 2023 12:51 am

Rachel Silberstein reports in the Times Union that New York Attorney General Letitia James said July 11 that she is closely monitoring the planned closure of Burdett Birth Center in Troy. The closure would eliminate 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. James said, “I am very concerned about the proposed closure of Burdett Birth Center in Rensselaer County.... This decision would have an adverse effect on residents in this county and throughout the region.” A representative from the attorney general’s office has met with lawmakers, hospital executives, and state health officials about the closure by St. Peter’s Health Partners. Hospital officials say the birthing unit loses $2.3 million annually. A bipartisan group of elected officials from the Capital Region sent James a letter asking her to step in on July 10. The letter said, in part, “While we do understand some of the issues raised by Trinity, we do not believe this is the only option to address those issues and the reasons for closure do not seem entirely consistent with the rationale we have been provided to date.... It does not appear to us that best efforts were made to avoid the closure, but instead that it had been planned.” Troy’s Democratic Mayor Patrick Madden and Rensselaer’s Republican County Executive Steve McLaughlin are among the diverse politicians who signed the letter. Read more about this story in the Times Union.