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Sacred Heart HealthCare System Joins St Lukes University Health Network
March 01, 2018

With final approval of federal and state regulatory bodies received on February 1st, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) and Sacred Heart HealthCare System have officially completed their merger announced in September.  Sacred Heart – which includes Sacred Heart Hospital in downtown Allentown, Pa., primary care centers at ten sites throughout the Lehigh Valley and senior housing services – has united with Bethlehem, Pa.-based SLUHN, effective today, to enhance the health care and quality of life of Allentown and Lehigh County residents. 

With the completion of the merger, SLUHN now consists of 10 hospitals, 315 outpatient sites and 14,000 employees serving 10 counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and treating more Greater Lehigh Valley patients than any other health care network.

“The addition of Sacred Heart Hospital and other Sacred Heart entities further 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 downtown Allentown and the surrounding community.”

The St. Luke’s/Sacred Heart merger was unanimously approved in September by the Boards of Trustees of both organizations.  The terms allow for Sacred Heart Hospital to maintain its Catholic identity.

John Nespoli has been appointed President of Sacred Heart Hospital, which has been renamed St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Campus.  Nespoli joined Sacred Heart HealthCare System as President and CEO in 2009.  Previously he oversaw operations at Guthrie Health System in Sayre, Pa., after serving in senior executive roles at health care systems through the Northeast.

“I would like to personally thank John for his outstanding leadership and service at Sacred Heart HealthCare System over the years, and also for playing a critical leadership role in the St. Luke’s/Sacred Heart merger,” Anderson said. “Steeped in the Catholic ethos of caring for others, John’s commitment to Sacred Heart’s legacy in Allentown will serve both St. Luke’s and the community well.

Anderson said patients can expect St. Luke’s to replicate the success and positive impact it has achieved at its outpatient centers and other hospitals (St. Luke’s University Hospital–Bethlehem, St. Luke’s Anderson Hospital, St. Luke’s Allentown Hospital, St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital, St. Luke’s Miners Hospital, St. Luke’s Monroe Hospital, St. Luke’s Warren Hospital, St. Luke’s Gnaden Huetten Hospital and St. Luke’s Palmerton Hospital).

“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 west Allentown, Quakertown and Coaldale, Pa., and in Phillipsburg, N.J., as well as the recently added former Blue Mountain Health System campuses in Lehighton and Palmerton in Carbon County, Pa.,” 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.”

St. Luke’s merger with Sacred Heart is the Network’s second in recent months.  On January 1, Blue Mountain Health System – a health network consisting of two community-based hospitals in Lehighton and Palmerton, Carbon County, as well as physician practices and other entities – joined SLUHN.

Media Contact:

Sam Kennedy, Director of Corporate Communications, (484) 526-4134, samuel.kennedy@sluhn.org

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of 14,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and over 315 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue of $1.9 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 190 residents.  St. Luke’s is the only health care network in central-eastern Pennsylvania to earn Medicare’s five-star rating (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  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.