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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Addeo

Save Burdett Birth Center Coalition Denounces St. Peter’sHealth Equity Impact Assessment

Times Union:

TROY, NY – The Save Burdett Birth Center Coalition denounces the official Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) released by St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP) as wholly inadequate in its failure to realistically address the significant challenges cited by the community that depends on Burdett Birth Center. The assessment done for St. Peter’s by consulting firm Chartis reveals that 98% of the 750 people who responded to the survey indicated their opposition to the proposed closure. “The Chartis assessment fails to adequately address the very concerns the community identified. For example, Chartis suggests St. Peter’s provide vouchers for local bus or taxi services to help patients reach other hospitals and states that the community can rely on EMS services for emergency delivery services. Our own assessment reveals that the local EMS is already overwhelmed and cannot take on additional trips to out-of-town hospitals. Moreover, buses and taxis are not available throughout Rensselaer County and do not run 24 hours a day when they are available,” said Ashley Saupp, Save Burdett Birth Center Coalition Spokesperson. The Chartis HEIA tries to address the community concerns about loss of the midwife-led model of care at Burdett by recommending that SPHP “clearly communicate St. Peter’s Hospital’s continued support of the midwifery model of care to support equitable experience and quality.” “Saying that St. Peter’s supports the midwifery model of care will not make it so. Having had the opportunity to utilize midwives all along, St. Peter’s has only 16% of births attended by midwives, compared to 44% percent at Burdett. Why should the community trust that St. Peter’s will now change its model of care?” asks Jessica Hayek, a Community Doula. The Save Burdett Birth Center Coalition will be formally releasing its own community-led Health Equity Impact Assessment on Tuesday, October 24. Results conclude that there is no way to mitigate the harm that closing the Burdett Birth Center would cause for medically underserved people in Rensselaer County and adjacent communities.

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