RENSSELAER COUNTY EXECUTIVE STEVE MCLAUGHLIN AND PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR MARY FRAN WACHUNAS SAY BURDETT BIRTH CENTER CLOSURE SHOULD BE REJECTED NOW
Request from County Leaders Follows Public Hearing on Monday and Other Opportunities for Comment and Input
The proposal to close the Burdett Birth Center in Troy should be rejected by the state immediately, County Executive Steve McLaughlin and Public Health Director Mary Ann Wachunas said today.
The state has the power to cancel the closure request with delay, and McLaughlin and Wachunas said Governor Hochul should request the State Health Commissioner to reject the proposal. If approved, the closure would leave Rensselaer County without a birthing center.
“Based on what we have seen, and the overwhelming reaction from residents, health care professionals and elected representatives, there is no need to drag this out any further. The Burdett closure plan should be rejected without delay,” said McLaughlin.
“The idea would hurt residents of our county and surrounding communities and the Governor and Health Commissioner should junk the proposal now,” continued McLaughlin.
“This plan is about money and profits, not about maintaining or improving public health and access to care. After several months, there simply has not been a case made to justify the closure, and it should be rejected immediately,” added Wachunas.
The closure has received minimal or no public support, including during a forum organized by the State Attorney General on Monday, and other public meetings and other opportunities for comment.
McLaughlin and Wachunas were among the first public representatives to state opposition to the closure, saying the shutdown would create health, safety and quality of life issues. Along with Rensselaer County, the counties of Greene and Columbia would also be left without birth centers.
“The numbers to justify the closure do not make sense and there has been a complete lack of justification or reason as to why the closure is justified. Further discussion only hurts the county, the communities served and the residents in the area served,” said McLaughlin.
“There would be very real issues with access to care for tens of thousands in our county and surrounding areas in Albany and Saratoga counties. The state has the opportunity to erase a bad idea and based on the information and testimony already received, has very clear reason to do so,” said Wachunas.