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Need Help in Your Community?

  1. Has your local hospital announced a merger or affiliation with a religiously-affiliated hospital that uses doctrine to restrict patients’ access to health services?
  2. Has a pharmacist refused to fill your prescription because of personal objections to contraception?
  3. Have you been denied medical care or information by a physician who cited religious or moral objections?

If you’ve been affected by religious restrictions when you tried to obtain health care, please let us know.
We may be able to help. 

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Hospital Mergers: Current Cases

Kingston, NY

A state-mandated merger between Catholic Benedictine and Kingston Hospitals that required the construction of a separately-incorporated outpatient surgery center to save key reproductive health services is falling apart in Kingston, NY.  HealthAlliance officials have proposed closing Kingston Hospital and keeping Benedictine open as “a single, full-service, nonsectarian community hospital in Kingston, without limitations on reproductive services.” Many questions need to be addressed, including what service bans could potentially remain at Benedictine and what is to become of Foxhall Ambulatory Surgery Center, the sole community provider for abortions, sterilizations and vasectomies. MergerWatch has re-engaged with Healthcare STAT, a community-led advocacy group that has monitored this case for the past decade.

Utica, NY

A proposed merger between Utica’s only two hospitals could affect community access to reproductive health care. MergerWatch consulted with the CEO of Faxton St. Luke Hospital repeatedly about potential pitfalls to consider when making a deal with a Catholic hospital. In December 2012, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed that would allow the hospitals to affiliate while maintaining their respective operating philosophies using an active parent corporate model. No word on whether there will be any demands to restrict certain services. We continue to monitor this case as approvals from both the Catholic Church and the NYS Health Department are pending.