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Blue Mountain Health System Joins St. Luke’s University Health Network
January 02, 2018

With final approval of federal and state regulatory bodies received on December 21st, St. Luke’s University Health Network and Blue Mountain Health System have officially completed their previously announced merger.  Blue Mountain’s two Carbon County hospitals and other entities have united with Bethlehem, Pa.-based St. Luke’s, effective December 31st, to enhance the health care and quality of life of Carbon County residents.

With the completion of the merger, SLUHN consists of nine hospitals and nearly 300 outpatient sites, serving 10 counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and treating more Greater Lehigh Valley patients than any other health care network.

“The addition of the Gnaden Huetten and Palmerton campuses and other Blue Mountain entities positions our Network to continue as the greater Lehigh Valley’s leading provider of the highest quality care at the lowest cost,” said St. Luke’s University Health Network President and CEO Rick Anderson.  “Together, we will work closely with our newest partner to expand access to quality health care services for the citizens of Carbon County.”

Terry Purcell has been appointed President of the former Blue Mountain hospitals, which have been renamed St. Luke’s Palmerton Campus and St. Luke’s Gnaden Huetten Campus (in Lehighton).  He is replacing Andrew E. Harris, who has retired from his position as President and CEO of Blue Mountain Health System, effective December 31st.

“I would like to personally thank Drew for his outstanding leadership and service at Blue Mountain Health System over the years, and also for playing a critical leadership role in the Blue Mountain/St. Luke’s merger,” Anderson said.

Purcell has been employed by Blue Mountain Health System for more than two decades, and for the past year he has served as the Senior Vice President of Operations.  He is a graduate of Mahanoy Area High School in Schuylkill County and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Bloomsburg University and an MBA from Wilkes University.

“With his deep ties to the region, we know Terry will serve both St. Luke’s and Carbon and the surrounding counties well,” Anderson said.

The St. Luke’s/Blue Mountain merger was unanimously approved in September by the Boards of Trustees of both organizations.

Anderson said Carbon County and surrounding area residents can expect St. Luke’s to replicate the success and positive impact it has achieved at its other hospital campuses and outpatient centers.

“Over the years, St. Luke’s has established an extremely successful record of working collaboratively and forming successful partnerships with hospitals that have joined our network – in Allentown, Quakertown and Coaldale, Pa., and in Phillipsburg, N.J.,” he said. “We have extended our nationally recognized quality programs to these locations, providing patients with cost-effective care and superior quality second to none as measured regionally and nationally.”

Media Contact:

Sam Kennedy, 484-526-4134, samuel.kennedy@sluhn.org

Lisa E. Johnson, 610-377-7148, ljohnson@blmtn.org

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network providing services at nine hospitals and more than 300 outpatient sites. With annual net revenue of $1.7 billion, the network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Schuylkill, Bucks, Montgomery, Berks and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is a major teaching hospital – the only one in the Greater Lehigh Valley.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the region’s first and only regional medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 23 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 189 residents. Repeatedly, including 2017, St. Luke’s earned Truven’s 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital and 50 Top Cardiovascular Program designations, in addition to other honors for clinical excellence.  St. Luke’s, utilizing the EPIC electronic medical record (EMR) system, is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of St. Luke’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.