On June 13th, 2023, St. Peters Health Partners announced their intentions to close the Burdett Birth Center, located at Samaritan Hospital in Troy, NY. Burdett Birth Center is not only the singular Midwife-led birth center in the entire Capital Region, it is the ONLY maternity ward in all of Rensselaer county. This unique collaborative-care model is statistically proven to produce the best outcomes for birthing people and babies. Burdett's cesarean rate is 15% on the whole and 8.9% for Capital Region Midwifery specifically. This is a testament to the dedication of the entire staff of Burdett to uphold a low intervention model of care and maintain the utmost respect for the physiologic birth process. This decision was made behind closed doors, without any input or engagement from the community Burdett serves. The closure of would dramatically impact the already drastically underserved city of Troy. 51% of patients at Burdett receive Medicaid, and this closure will disproportionally affect BIPOC and working class families.
Days after the announcement, local birthworkers banded together to start work on a campaign to fight this unjust closure. Within a week on the announcement, we, along with local community organizations, sponsored a speak out at the Troy YWCA. That initial rally in conjunction with a letter writing campaign and local media attention put this on the radar of elected officials, union leaders, and other local organizers in Rensselaer county and beyond, and thus the Save Burdett Birth Center Coalition was formed.