TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Troy Mayor Patrick Madden issued a call to action after steps were taken to close the city’s only birthing center. He wants the public to participate in a survey that will be reviewed by the New York State Department of Health, the agency that will make the final decision on the closure.
“It’s very important to participate and to demonstrate to the state that we are taking this opportunity for input very seriously so we’d love to see a good response rate from a broad base of individuals throughout the community,” said Madden.
He said the implications of a closure would reach far beyond Troy’s city limits, impacting towns near Massachusetts and Vermont, and wants the public to show support for keeping it open.
“As a country we have a rather embarrassing record when it comes to maternal healthcare and the rate of maternal mortality in this country is abysmal,” said Madden.
The mayor expressed concerns over the ongoing maternal mortality crisis in the country. Specifically, he was alarmed by data on the African-American community’s maternal mortality rates in the U.S.
“This is not the time to be centralizing services in a way that makes it more difficult for disadvantaged populations to get those services. We should be going in the opposite direction,” said Madden. “We have to do better as a country when it comes to maternal healthcare.”
St. Peter’s Health Partners, which operates Burdett Birth Center, submitted an application for a Certificate of Need but has not yet submitted the required closure plan.
However, the certificate is the first step in the closure process. St. Peter’s Health Partners took steps towards closing the unit because of financial losses, totaling more than $2 million dollars in 2022.
A spokesperson for St. Peter’s Health Partners issued a statement that read in part: “We are evaluating supplemental support services like transportation assistance for those who may need it, and are committed to maintaining prenatal and postnatal services at Burdett.”
Madden said when Samaritan Hospital merged with St. Peter’s Health Partners promises were made.
“And we are seeing those promises being broken now and there are promises this time that prenatal and postnatal care will still be available at Samaritan but what guarantee is there? We already know that promises are being broken because of the economics of healthcare,” said Madden.
He and other community members who spoke at the Save Burdett Birth Center Coalition’s public forum last night are concerned the closure could signal deeper issues.
“What’s next?” said Madden. “Are we starting to look down at a situation where services that are no longer profitable to the hospital are cut one by one?”
With four days left, the City of Troy is urging people to take the independent third-party survey, which was commissioned by Samaritan Hospital.