During its annual dinner on June 26, the Palmerton Hospital Auxiliary presented a gift of $35,000 to St. Luke’s. The gift is the first installment of a three-year, $100,000 pledge earmarked for the new hospital St. Luke’s is building in Franklin Township, Carbon County.
“The Palmerton Hospital Auxiliary is heavily invested in our future,” says Joseph Guardiani, St. Luke’s Director of Development for the Western Region. “Their support sends a strong, positive message in the community of Palmerton and beyond.
“This group of women who have been dedicated to the campus in Palmerton for more than 100 years stood up and agreed that it’s time for us to build a replacement hospital in the county.”
The auxiliary’s generous pledge comes during a time of tremendous change for the auxiliary and for the Palmerton community. As of June 30, there are no longer emergency services at the Palmerton Hospital. The building now houses a St. Luke’s Care Now walk-in urgent care facility.
“Unfortunately, our hospital had seen its time,” explains Marj Federanich, Palmerton Hospital Auxiliary President. “It could no longer serve the community effectively, but it’s neat to understand what it was and see what it’s evolving into. We want to support whatever is going to happen with the new St. Luke’s hospital because even though it won’t be located in town, it’s still going to be our hospital.”
The Palmerton Hospital was established in 1907 and was the first hospital in Carbon County. The Palmerton Hospital Auxiliary was formed in 1912 to support the hospital’s efforts. Today, the auxiliary remains active with fundraising events and its Nearly New Shop, which sells donated clothing and items year round to raise funds.
“I love the town of Palmerton and I love what it stands for,” Federanich says. “We are a tight-knit community and many of the original families are still living here… As residents, we will benefit by having a Care Now here and a state-of-the-art hospital in our county. As an auxiliary, we are committed to supporting St. Luke’s and our new hospital.”
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 300 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.