Sunday, May 22, 2022


The election fraud movement resurfaces on the campaign trail, Vice President Harris and abortion providers discuss an action plan, and as New Mexico's wildfires rage, nearby states face high fire danger.


Pennsylvania's Republican U.S. Senate Primary still too close to call, a $40 billion Ukraine aid bill is headed to President Biden's desk, and Oklahoma passes the strictest abortion bill in the country.


From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

Upstate NY Hospital Merger Could Impact End-of-Life Care Options


Wednesday, October 20, 2021   

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- A proposed merger between two hospital systems in upstate New York has some residents and health-care advocates concerned about the potential loss of certain types of medical care, including end-of-life options.

Albany's St. Peter's Health Partners and Ellis Medicine in Schenectady first announced their intent to merge a year ago. Ellis Medicine posted a $33 million loss last year.

Because St. Peter's is owned by Catholic system Trinity Health and is governed by certain ethical and religious directives, the merger could affect care options for people facing terminal illnesses.

Kim Callinan, president and CEO of Compassion and Choices, a group which advocates for medical aid in dying, worries about the impact of the merger on patients and their families.

"The fundamental principle is that they should preserve life at all costs," Callinan explained. "For some people, this may not be an issue at all; it may be in line with their values and priorities. But we know a large portion of people do not want to suffer at the end of life, and want to have the full breadth of options that are available."

Callinan pointed out the merger could limit choices for families of people with dementia or on ventilators. In a statement, the St. Peter's Health Partners system said it helps "countless patients and families navigate end-of-life decisions," but did not specifically address medical aid in dying.

Michelle Ostrelich, Schenectady County legislator and founding member of the Schenectady Coalition for Healthcare Access, which was created as a result of the proposed health-system merger, said the coalition has had private conversations about the merger with the health systems, but the groups have not welcomed public talks.

"Our community has supported Ellis for 100 years," Ostrelich emphasized. "Volunteers, taxpayer funds have all gone to support our community hospital. And they are obligated, frankly, to answer the questions from the public directly. They've refused to do that."

St. Peter's Health Partners said the New York State Department of Health is reviewing the Management Services Agreement for the merger, a two-year non-binding pact which allows the two systems to start working together. It said the two companies plan to update the community and share specifics in coming weeks, pending approval of the agreement.

Disclosure: Compassion and Choices contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Health Issues, Senior Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Over the past two years, pro-democracy groups say more than 30 states have proposed nearly 230 laws viewed as an attempt to undermine elections. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Examples of proposed policies and candidates tied to false claims of election fraud have spread to Minnesota, and a new national report found the …


New Mexico continues to battle the largest wildfires in its history, and other states including Nevada, along with parts of Arizona and Colorado…

Social Issues

A new museum exhibition in Baltimore opening to the public today aims to tell the story of Maryland's fight for civil rights, both in the past and …

The Federation of Virginia Food Banks' seven regional food banks distributed approximately 165 million pounds of food in 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Virginia's food banks are facing a perfect storm of issues. High inflation for everyday goods is driving up food costs for lower-income families…

Health and Wellness

Vice President Kamala Harris met with abortion providers from Missouri and other restrictive states Thursday to consider ways the Biden administration…


New York elected officials are calling on the General Assembly to pass legislation to transition new buildings off fossil fuels, saying it would make …


A totem pole from Washington state promoting a free-flowing Snake River has nearly completed its 2,500-mile journey around the Northwest. The Spirit …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021