The hospital that became known as Ellis Hospital was originally established in 1885 as “The Schenectady Free Dispensary,” a two-story building on Union Street in Schenectady, New York. The five bed ward served as the Schenectady’s first medical facility. In 1893, a new 30-bed hospital opened on Jay Street and the dispensary was renamed Ellis Hospital. In 1906, a new 60-bed Ellis Hospital was established at its current location at the corner of Nott Street and Rosa Road. During November 2007 and June 2008, the services of Ellis Hospital, the former Bellevue Woman's Hospital, and the former St. Clare's Hospital were joined to create Ellis Medicine, a single, unified healthcare organization.
Throughout its over 125 year history, Ellis Hospital has undergone numerous building expansions and renovations. Ellis Hospital is currently one of the most advanced health information technology systems in Northeastern New York. The current facility maintains 438 inpatient beds, and offers an extensive array of inpatient and outpatient services, including cardiac, cancer, emergency, neuroscience, and women’s services.
Numerous trades, such as carpenters, electricians, pipefitters, laborers, insulators and sheet metal workers were involved in construction and renovation projects at Ellis Hospital. Up until the late 1970s, asbestos was incorporated into dozens of building and construction materials, including fireproof insulation, pipe covering, insulating cement and block insulation. Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer or other asbestos-related diseases.
Steam boilers provided heat and hot water for Ellis Hospital. In order for the steam system to operate efficiently, boilers, pipes, valves and pumps within the system were covered with asbestos-containing insulation. When asbestos-containing insulation was handled or disturbed, it released asbestos fibers into the air and into the breathing zone of workers. Due to wear and tear, it was common for asbestos-containing materials to be removed and reapplied. After worn asbestos-containing insulation was removed, reapplication of asbestos insulation was necessary so that the pipes could effectively contain steam. Both, the removal and application of asbestos-containing insulation emitted large amounts of asbestos-containing dust, which workers inhaled.
Many union and non-union laborers who worked on construction projects for Ellis Hospital were employed by various contractors throughout the New York State. Even those who were not in direct contact with asbestos materials remain at risk for the development of asbestos-related diseases. If you or a loved one were once employed in connection with construction or renovation projects at Ellis Hospital and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.