Bendett AG Letter Re: Samaritan BBC

Hon. Letitia James
NYS Attorney General
NYS Capitol
Albany NY 12224-0341

RE: Samaritan Hospital Burdett Birth Center

Dear Attorney General James:

We previously cced you on a letter that was sent to NYS Department of Health Commissioner Dr. James V. McDonald regarding our significant concerns with the proposed closure of Burdett Birth Center (BBC) at Samaritan Hospital in Troy, NY. After a meeting with the Health Commissioner, we appreciated his and his staff’s assurance that the process is still ongoing and it is not a foregone conclusion; however, we believe that there is more that can be done immediately through the Attorney General’s office. We are writing directly to you to request that you inquire into this proposed closure based on our growing concerns and concerns of the communities that we represent.

As we mentioned in the previous letter, BBC is the only birth center located in Rensselaer County which serves patients not only in Rensselaer County but also Columbia, Washington, and Albany County.Trinity Health, located in Livonia, MI, serves as the corporate headquarters that oversees St Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP) which includes Samaritan Hospital in Troy, St. Peters Hospital in Albany, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, and many other health practices, health facilities and long-term care facilities throughout the state of New York as well as many other entities throughout the country.

The office of the NYS Attorney General has reviewed hospital consolidations in the past and we believe that in this case it is warranted.

While we do understand some of the issues raised by Trinity, we do not believe this is the only option to address those issues and the reasons for closure do not seem entirely consistent with the rationale we have been provided to date. It does not appear to us that best efforts were made to avoid the closure, but instead that it had been planned. This issue deserves a closer look due to the detrimental impact across the Capital Region and most importantly when we consider the maternal mortality rates, especially among Black and Brown birthing people.

Thank you for your consideration of this issue and we look forward to hearing from you.


Hon. John T. McDonald III, RPh
Member of Assembly, 108th District
Hon. Patrick Madden
City of Troy Mayor
Hon. Jake Ashby
NYS Senator, 43rd District
Hon. Steve McLaughlin
Rensselaer County Executive
Hon. Patricia Fahy
NYS Assemblymember, 109th District
Ms. Mary Fran Wachunas
Rensselaer County Public Health Director
Rensselaer County Deputy County Executive
Hon. Scott Bendett
NYS Assemblymember, 107th District
Cc: NYS Governor Kathy Hochul
US Senator Charles Schumer
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Congressman Paul Tonko
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik