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Allentown Campus Celebrates Milestone in Expansion Project

Allentown Campus Celebrates Milestone in $75 Million Expansion Project

A milestone in the St. Luke's Hospital-Allentown Campus expansion project was celebrated Thursday, July 19 with the completion of the structural steel. Employees, physicians, hospital administrators and public officials attended the “Topping Off” ceremony at 11 am at corner of North 17th and Maple Streets, to commemorate this highlight in the construction project.

“Today is really not about steel and concrete and bricks,” said Richard A. Anderson, President and CEO, St. Luke's Hospital & Health Network. “It is about people—the people of this community and the people who will work in these new facilities. Health care is always first and foremost about people. This amazing new building and the technology inside it will give us some of the tools to fulfill our vision, but it is the people – the patients who trust us to care for them, the physicians, nurses, technicians, caregivers and other staff who each day give of their very best – who will fulfill our vision – a vision rooted in the proud tradition of the past, nurtured by the present, a vision that will blossom in the future.”

The $75 million campus expansion planned for St. Luke's Hospital-Allentown Campus will add 213,000-square feet of space to the campus, more than doubling its size. When complete, hospital beds will increase from 99 to 150; this includes eight new Intensive Care Unit beds and 18 new beds for medical/surgical patients.

“What an incredible day for St. Luke’s Hospital-Allentown Campus,” said Ken Smith, Chairman, Board of Trustees, St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network. “Over the past ten years, this campus has not only been refined, but redefined. It continues to change, grow and improve so that we can care for patients tomorrow and well into the future. At the end of next year when this massive structure is complete, we will open the door to a new era of health care at St. Luke's Hospital-Allentown Campus.”

“It can be said that success demands courage, and if this facility is any indication, we continue to have our fair share of that,” said David Lobach, Chairman, Board of Governors, St. Luke's Hospital–Allentown Campus. “After all, we are standing on the site of one of the largest success stories in Allentown . We wouldn't be able to tell this story if it weren't for the courage, determination and desire to do what's best for the community.”

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski agreed, adding, “We appreciate the concern and confidence that St. Luke's has shown in the City of Allentown . St. Luke's is not just an important health care provider for thousands of people. When this project is completed, St. Luke's will be the largest single investor in the city. The hospital will have a total capital investment of $156 million at the Allentown campus since 1997.”

According to Frank Ford, COO, St. Luke's Hospital-Allentown Campus, this expansion could not come at a better time. “The number of patients seeking medical care at St. Luke's Hospital-Allentown Campus has escalated to an all-time high,” he says. “Our average daily census continues to climb. Admissions in the past 10 years have increased 77 percent, growing from 4,064 in 1997 to 7,200 admissions in 2007. Much of this tremendous growth can be attributed to our people; we have tremendous team of medical professionals, support staff, volunteers and physicians.”

In addition to hospital beds, 20,000 square feet of space will be added to the existing Emergency Department, increasing the hospital's capacity to care for patients with emergent medical needs including heart attack and stroke. Over the past 10 years, Emergency Department visits have increased by 277 percent, from 12,800 visits in Fiscal Year 1997 to 35,400 visits in Fiscal Year 2007. The expanded emergency department will be able to handle 64,000 visits per year.

“The expansion also gives us the room and flexibility to grow other key services, from the addition of new Operating Rooms to sophisticated imaging technologies,” said Ford.”

This is the second significant expansion for the Allentown Campus since the hospital became an affiliate of St. Luke's Hospital & Health Network in 1997. The $50 million expansion, completed in 2003, included a five-story addition, a 10,000-square foot Emergency Department expansion, five state-of-the-art operating room suites, a 10-bed Intensive Care Unit, sophisticated imaging technology from General Electric, advanced laboratory and pathology departments, same-day surgery and endoscopy areas and well-appointed waiting areas.