Coalition for

Healthcare Access

We are a coalition of individuals and organizations with the goal of preserving evidence-based, inclusive, and comprehensive patient-centered care in Schenectady County. Specifically, we seek to maintain access to comprehensive reproductive care, infertility care, LGBTQ+-inclusive care, gender affirming care and end-of-life care within our local community, and we oppose any imposition of religious bias or restriction on our ability to learn about, choose and be provided with medical treatment in hospitals and clinics. Our purpose is not only to protect patient rights, but also -- as a matter of healthcare justice -- ensure that such care is locally accessible, equitably distributed and non-coercive whether it is currently available or may become available in the future.

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SCHA Response to Management Agreement


Here are some individuals and organizations that are concerned about this.

  • Michelle Ostrelich, Schdy County Legislature
  • Rev. Dr. Bill Levering
  • Keith Brown, Schdy County Public Health
  • Sara Mae Pratt, Schdy County Legislature
  • Arthur Butler, Schdy County Human Rights
  • Carri LaCroix Pan, PO
  • Tina Lee, Schdy County Human Rights
  • Lois Uttley
  • Corinne Carey, Compassion & Choices
  • Kimberly Callinan, Compassion & Choices
  • Rabbi Matt Cutler
  • Rosemarie Perez Jaquith, Niskayuna Town Board
  • Donna Lieberman, NY Civil Liberties Union
  • Chad Putnam, Schdy Pride
  • Kim Siciliano, Schdy YWCA
  • Dr. Simone Priano
  • Dr. Emily Campito
  • Dr. Beatrice Tsao
  • Georgana Hanson, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts
  • Robin Chappelle Golston, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts
  • Tony Jasenski, Schdy County Legislature
  • Gary Hughes, Schdy County Legislature
  • Peggy King, Schdy County Legislature
  • Ellen Friedman
  • Katie Chao, Progressive Schenectady
  • Bob Carreau, Schdy Foundation
  • Dean Alicia Ouellette, Albany Law School
  • Rabbi Rafi Spitzer
  • Rev. Lynn Gardner
  • Rev. Wendy Bartel
  • Re. Jeremiah Lennox
  • Rev. Tim Coombs
  • Rev. Donna Elia
  • Rev. Sara Baron
  • Rev. Kathy Groman-Coombs
  • Frank Wind
  • Elaine A Hickey
  • Madelyn Thorne
  • Anders Parker
  • Katherine Wolfram
  • Lizbeth Smith
  • Phil Steck, NYS Assembly
  • Ann Zonderman
  • Allie Bohm, NYCLU
  • Alden (Joe) Doolittle
  • Barbara & Paul Dworkin
  • Carolyn K Callner
  • Sarah Rogerson, Niskayuna Board of Education
  • A. Lindman
  • Chelsea Lemon
  • Susan Steer
  • Nikita Hardy, Schenectady County
  • Sharon Jordan
  • Kathy Ray, PA
  • Allie Bohm, NYCLU
  • Katharine Bodde, NYCLU
  • Gaby Larios, NYCLU
  • Rich Ruzzo, Schdy County Legislature
  • Carmel Patrick, Schdy City Council
  • Rabbi Dennis Ross, Director, Concerned Clergy for Choice
  • Ann McGuiness
  • Brian Frederick
  • Christopher Gardner, Schdy County Attorney
  • Leesa Perazzo, Schdy City Council
  • Katherine Stephens
  • Drew Pearson
  • Tom Carey
  • Debra L. Schimpf, CEO, Schdy Community Action Program
  • Danielle Castaldi-Micca, National Institute for Reproductive Health
  • Marion Porterfield, Schdy City Council
  • Aviva Hallenstein
  • Michelle Hinchey, State Senator Elect
  • Glenn Northern, Catholics for Choice
  • Sarah Hutchinson Ratcliff, Catholics for Choice
  • Paul Brady, Schdy Commissioner of Social Services
  • Kimarie Sheppard, Bethesda House
  • Lori Zampella
  • Frank Zollo
  • Kathryn Mitchell
  • Cathy Gatta, Schdy County Legislature
  • Gary McCarthy, Mayor, Schenectady
  • K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM
  • Kimarie Sheppard, Bethesda House
  • Nancy Goody
  • Jeff Klein
  • Jean Poppei
  • Kelly H. Anderson
  • Rose Mitchell
  • Nancey B Rosensweig
  • Liz Addeo
  • Rena Figures
  • Rachael Gelineau
  • Jessica Tanguay
  • Melinda Kane
  • Sarah Read
  • Bethany Mazura
  • Mary Beranek
  • Emily Marynczak
  • Julia Hendley
  • Melissa Bromley
  • Kendra Farstad
  • Sarah Cornett
  • Ellen Biggers, MD
  • Desiree Myers
  • Samantha Ley
  • Sarah Darby
  • Carolyn Callner
  • Paula Carciu, LMHC
  • Eliana Rowe
  • Samantha Harrold
  • Emma Smith
  • DeAnna Sutherland
  • Emily Wood
  • Karen Stangl
  • DeAnna Sutherland
  • Tisha Graham, Birthnet
  • Christine Primomo
  • MaryAnne Mangano
  • Nicole Margiasso, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York
  • Jacquelyn Marrero, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York
  • Nancy Goody
  • Dr. Jessica Berman, Community Care
  • Christine Walthers, RN
  • George Solotruck, Village of Scotia
  • Bea Hansen
  • Patricia OConnor, NYCLU
  • Chel Miller, NYCLU
  • Corinne McLeod, Albany Medical Center
  • Danielle Rooney, MD, Ellis Medicine
  • Melanie Spaulding
  • Linda G. Spaulding
  • Michael S. Goodman
  • Jennifer Samaniuk
  • Francis Coughlin

Here are some links to help us understand the issue:

Community Forum that Addressed Capital Region Health System Merger , Thursday, March 4

In October 2020, the Albany Times Union reported a planned merger between Ellis Medicine in Schenectady and St. Peter’s Health Partners. Mergers between Catholic Health Systems and secular hospitals have raised concern in communities across the country. According to the national group MergerWatch, Catholic hospitals follow a set of ethical guidelines that prohibit the provision of certain kinds of patient care, most often, reproductive, LGBTQ+-inclusive, and end-of-life care.

Concerns about the financial stability of Ellis Medicine and its importance to the community reportedly drive the need for a partnership between two of the largest health systems in the region, a solution that is the result of years of planning. But religious restrictions and forces of healthcare economics threaten to have a disparate impact on residents who already face barriers in our healthcare system. A knowledgeable panel discussed, answered questions, and heard comments from the community about:

  • How religious restrictions will affect equitable access to healthcare services

  • Solutions to eliminating gaps in services through other local healthcare providers

  • Community benefits resulting from the partnership.

  • Details of St Peter's aggressive medical bill collection

  • Process required for partnership approval by the NYS Department of Health

  • The importance of memorializing the community’s priorities in the application for certificate of need, including an effective enforcement mechanism

  • Opportunities for advocacy and continuing dialogue

National and local presenters were featured.

Sponsored by The Schenectady Coalition for Healthcare Access that was formed to educate everyone about the risks of losses to our community from Ellis’ partnership with SPHP. In addition to education, members of the Coalition seek to advocate equitable access to evidence-based, inclusive, and comprehensive patient-centered care, including comprehensive reproductive care, infertility care, LGBTQ+-inclusive care, gender affirming care and end-of-life care within our local community.

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