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Easton Hospital and St. Luke’s Announce Partnership on Open Heart Surgery
July 10, 2019

Easton Hospital, a member of the Steward Health Care family, and St. Luke’s University Health Network, the region’s leader in cardiovascular care, will extend their partnership to heart care to better serve the Easton community by executing a transfer agreement for patients of Easton Hospital who require open-heart surgery services, beginning in Fall 2019.

Easton Hospital is and will remain an accredited Chest Pain Center with a fully integrated, 24/7 cardiac catheterization lab to provide “first response” care for patients experiencing symptoms of a heart attack. Open-heart surgery for patients who transfer will be performed at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem, which for the fifth year in a row and the seventh time overall in 2019 was named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals in the Major Teaching Hospital category by IBM Watson Health.

“Easton Hospital will also maintain a strong, robust program for general cardiac care, including diagnostic services, pacemaker implants and after-care services, and all other non-surgical services,” said Linda Grass, President of Easton Hospital. “We believe this new affiliation with St. Luke’s will allow Easton Hospital to invest in and focus our excellent cardiac care resources where we can make the biggest impact for patients in our community.” 

St. Luke’s President and CEO Rick Anderson said, “I am pleased with this partnership. Our collaboration emphasizes the respective strengths of St. Luke’s and Easton Hospital, ensuring the best value in health care for Easton area residents.”

Easton Hospital and St. Luke’s University Health Network have established a strong and ongoing partnership to maximize the quality of patient care for the Easton community, including the recent announcement of a clinical affiliation for St. Luke’s to provide tele-stroke services to patients at Easton Hospital who can receive quality stroke care close to home. This partnership also extends to expectant mothers with high-risk pregnancies who require highly specialized treatments, including high-acuity transfers of NICU patients when necessary.

“Easton Hospital and St. Luke’s are once again joining forces for the benefit of their community – as good neighbors should,” said St. Luke’s Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Strategy Officer Hal L. Folander, MD, who also serves as the Network Chairman for Radiology.

“This is another win for both organizations and, most importantly, for Easton-area patients who will be able to receive the entire spectrum of heart care close to home,” added Lisa Esolen, MD, Chief Medical Office at Easton Hospital.

Raymond Durkin, MD, Chairman of Cardiovascular Medicine for St. Luke's, said he and his staff are looking forward to collaborating with their counterparts in Easton Hospital’s cardiology department. “We will be ready to provide Easton Hospital patients with a seamless experience,” he said.



About Easton Hospital

Easton Hospital, a part of Steward Health Care, is a fully-integrated, national health care service organization. Steward’s service delivery model leverages technology, innovation and care coordination to keep patients healthier. Steward Easton Hospital is a 196-bed acute care teaching hospital serving more than 300,000 residents in Northampton County and five surrounding counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The hospital offers an active Emergency Department which sees more than 33,696 annual visits; a cardiac care program recognized as an accredited Chest pain Center and one of over 50 designated Heart Attack Receiving Centers in the country; a Center for Orthopedics, Joint and Spine care; a certified Primary Stroke Center; and the Easton Regional Cancer Center, a member of the Jefferson Sidney Kimmel Cancer Network. In addition, the hospital maintains two freestanding, fully accredited residency training programs with Drexel University.


About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 15,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and over 320 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue greater than $2 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 Lehigh Valley’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 Lehigh Valley-based health care system with Medicare’s five- and four-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital.  In 2019, three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals were St. Luke’s hospitals.  St. Luke’s University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health seven times total and five years in a row. St. Luke’s 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.