Graphic Designer’s Mother Credits St. Luke’s for Saving Both of Their Lives

Allyson Hawk and Mom

Graphic designer Allyson Hawk, a creative marketing partner at St. Luke's University Health Network, began her relationship with St. Luke's, while still in her mother's womb. Due to a series of circumstances surrounding her birth, that connection may have saved both of their lives.

Today, in her graphic designer role, Allyson is a member of the team that developed the graphic artwork used in celebrating St. Luke’s 150th Anniversary.

Allyson's mother was planning to have a natural childbirth. However, when her labor began, she was afraid that her obstetrician Emiliana Visperas, MD, whom she trusted, might be unavailable when the baby came. So instead, her mother opted to have a C-section.

"When they performed the surgery, they realized her uterus was as thin as tissue paper and would have ruptured had she gone with another doctor for a natural birth," Allyson said. "Most likely, it would have taken both our lives."

St. Luke's physicians and hospitals were her family's go-to healthcare providers. In second grade, Allyson stood behind her older sister as she swung a golf club. The club hit Allyson in the nose. It was bleeding profusely, so her parents rushed her to the emergency room at St. Luke's Bethlehem Campus. Fortunately, her nose wasn't broken, but she had a tiny cut on her nose.

"I just remember it being such a calming, cool experience for me at that age," she said. "Everybody was super nice. I think I saw a plastic surgeon because my dad insisted on ensuring my face wasn't messed up. I don't even have a scar now. That's how well my face was sutured."

Fast forward to 2021, and Allyson, who had graduated with a fine arts degree from Marywood University in Scranton, joined St. Luke's Marketing Department. Having grown up in Fogelsville, she was familiar with the St. Luke's brand and had always liked the personalities of the physicians she had met over the years.

"I always loved seeing the star," she said. "It was such an established brand throughout my life that I felt attached to it. I always felt I could help bring that message through our branding because I've lived with it my whole life."

Allyson has used her design skills to educate the public about St. Luke's services and build the brand visually. She's designed billboards, print ads, direct mail postcards and social media posts. Pretty much anything visual that comes from St. Luke's, she's either seen or helped produce.

"I love my team," she said. "We are a close-knit group of designers and marketers. We all love what we do, who we work for and what we stand for. And that really shows through the work that they put out."

Allyson was so pleased with St. Luke's culture that she encouraged her husband, then fiancé, to apply for a physical therapist opening. Tyler Shotto, PT, DPT, began working in the Brodheadsville location in March and absolutely loves it. They now live in Wind Gap, about halfway between their work locations.

"He hit the ground running and loves who he works with," she said. "He enjoys interactions with his patients and has nothing but good things to say about his job."

Asked if she envisions any additional St. Luke's family members, she replies, "Yes, but not anytime soon. I absolutely love my St. Luke's OB/GYN Suzanne Basha, MD.

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