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Ellis Medicine, St. Peter's take step toward merger

Schenectady, N.Y.-based Ellis Medicine and Albany, N.Y.-based St. Peter's Health Partners signed a provider transition agreement, which will make 170 Ellis providers employees of St. Peter's Health Partners Medical Associates.

Ellis patients will still be able to see their providers in the same locations through the new deal, according to a Nov. 3 news release from both organizations.

This is a step toward full affiliation, the news release said. Their merger plans were put on hold in July because of Ellis' financial struggles from COVID-19.

"As leaders in health care, we have to look ahead with a focus on what's best for the long-term health of our communities," Ellis Medicine CEO Paul Milton said. "The biggest threat to both Ellis and health care access in Schenectady is the departure of physicians from our community. Today's agreement gives Ellis providers additional incentive to continue practicing in the communities we serve by connecting them to the resources of a national health care network. St. Peter's and Ellis have proven that, together, we can have a meaningful impact on improving access to care."

Some in the community are concerned about a merger between the two organizations, as St. Peter's is part of Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health, a Catholic healthcare system that doesn't perform procedures like abortions, The Daily Gazette reported Nov. 3.

However, those who perform these types of procedures are typically in private practice, not employees of Ellis, and would not be affected by the merger, the article said.

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