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St. Luke’s Hospitals to Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
April 25, 2018

Six St. Luke’s University Health Network Pennsylvania hospitals will participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28.

Members of the community and employees can bring unused or unwanted prescription drugs to the participating St. Luke’s hospitals from 10 am to 2 pm and place them in the collection bins set up for their safe disposal. The participating campuses are: Allentown, Anderson, Bethlehem, Miners, Monroe and Quakertown.

St. Luke’s Vice President of Operations Kevin J. McGovern says St. Luke’s is eager to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day as prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this event is a great opportunity for the community to help reduce the threat. Studies show that opioids and other medicines left in medicine cabinets are often abused or misused by family members and visitors, including children and teens. “In light of the nation’s growing opioid crisis, proper disposal is critical,” McGovern says. 

A secondary benefit of proper disposal of unwanted prescription medications is that it protects the environment, McGovern says. Medications should never be flushed down toilets or thrown in the trash. “Proper disposal protects our ecosystem,” he says.

Collections anonymous

Administered by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), National Prescription Take Back Drug Day was started in 2005 and has been held at sites across the country every spring and fall since. Over the years, thousands of tons of drugs have been collected and disposed of properly.

St. Luke’s works with local district attorney’s offices and police departments to safely dispose of the drugs it collects. All collections are anonymous. “Participants can bring any medication they want,” McGovern says. “We don’t look at what they’re bringing us or who is bringing it.”

St. Luke’s University Hospital Bethlehem participated in the event last fall and collected more than 55 pounds of drugs. “It was a good start,” McGovern says. “We want to expand it to as many of our campuses as we can and to participate in this event in the future on a regular basis. It’s the right thing to do to get unused or unwanted medicines out of the home where they can fall into the wrong hands.”

Media Contact:

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

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of 14,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and over 300 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue of $1.9 billion, the Network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  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 28 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 226 residents and fellows.  St. Luke’s is the only health care system in central-eastern Pennsylvania to earn Medicare’s five-star rating (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  St. Luke’s has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health (formerly Truven Health Analytics) repeatedly – six times total and four years in a row including 2018.  It has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program.  Utilizing the EPIC electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’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.