SCHENECTADY N.Y (NEWS10) — As a potential merger between Ellis Medicine and St. Peter’s Health Partners under Trinity Health gets closer, on Sunday, some community members and activists rallied at Veterans’ Park and held up signs that read “Save Our Services.” They are asking Ellis Medicine administrators to listen to the public, they believe there is a lack of transparency.

Schenectady County Legislator Michelle Ostrelich says she’s not outright opposed of a merger and understands the financial aspect of it. However, she’s not entirely convinced merging the two healthcare systems is in the community’s best interest. “We know that any merger or hospitals is going to cut services and they already started to do that — we’ve lost our dental program, our visiting nurse service,” says Ostrelich.

Discussions between Ellis Medicine and St. Peter’s Health Partners on a joint affiliation agreement are continuing and we look forward to providing our community with an update as soon as we have something meaningful to report. Ellis and St. Peter’s share a common goal of ensuring the long-term availability of high quality health care for the people of Schenectady and the surrounding region, and believe that partnering toward that goal is the best approach for everyone. We also understand the importance of these affiliation discussions to everyone who relies on Ellis Medicine for care and we are committed to keeping everyone updated as we move along.

Philip Schwartz, Ellis Medicine Sr. Director of Marketing & Communications

Others say this merger will be affecting the underserved communities as it may not be a quick car ride to get to the hospital. “You either have to travel to Albany or Saratoga and that’s not a reality. Or you get to a hospital to only find out that the services that you went to seek are no longer made available to you,” says Arthur Butler, Executive Director of the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission.