TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) -The only birthing center in Rensselaer County has been a concern for everyone involved with its closing postponed, but underway. Saint Peter’s Health Partners looking to close Burdett due to financial losses, while its midwives and doulas hope to keep Troy from becoming a healthcare desert.

“That’s a small victory for us that they have postponed it to June. We are really hoping that they use this time to reconsider and find the funding,” stated one of the lead organizers of the Save Burdett Birth Center Coalition, Jessica Hayek.

As Saint Peter’s is raising money with their annual holiday gala, midwives and families rallying outside. They are asking donors to help elsewhere. “We are asking that people who are in attendance that they are restricting their donation and directing it to Save Burdett Birth Center,” explained Hayek.

Between chants, car honks, and theatrical performances, coalition members urging for action. “It didn’t have enough revenue, right? So, donors like these can help with that. It’s the reason we are here,” described a father of a baby born at Burdett, Rishabh Saha.

Regarding the gathering, a spokesperson with Saint Peter’s Health Partners telling NEWS10 the following:

“St. Peter’s Health Partners’ holiday kickoff gathering is the flagship philanthropic event for our entire system of care. For 24 years, this celebration has helped raise critical funds to sustain and improve our health care system so we can continue to provide the excellent care our local communities deserve. 

We acknowledge there is a great deal of passion and energy surrounding the topic of the proposed Burdett closure. And rightfully so, as it revolves around some of the most precious members of our community — babies and their families. We appreciate the dialogue the community has engaged in with us over the past few months, including recent community forums, our virtual open house, and here tonight.

Unfortunately, the reality is fundraising cannot solve this particular problem that is impacting health systems across the country. While finances are part of the equation, the more significant hurdles to keeping Burdett open are staffing and declining utilization. The decision to close Burdett Birth Center is not one we want to make, it is the responsible thing to do in order to support our Mission and best prepare to serve the needs of the entire Capital Region for the long term.”

The State Department of Health still has to sign off on the closing. That is tentatively planned for June 30, 2024.

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