News

10-year-old Boy Sells Toys to Support Local Health Care Heroes
July 08, 2020

From L to R are: Michael Re (FranklinCovey); Al Douglass (Merill Lynch); Kenn, Michelle & Skyler Miller; Pat Gubich (SLUHN); Kelly Chando (SLUHN).


Bethlehem, Pa, July 2020 - At the height of the pandemic, while our health care heroes were hard at work caring for patients, a 10-year old boy in Bethlehem was also hard at work thinking of ways in which he could help their efforts. Skyler Miller finally came up with a plan to sell his toys to help raise funds to donate to the hospital. Skyler didn't put a price on any of his toys, simply listing them as free with a request for a donation in the amount of the recipient's choice.  After only two months, he raised a total of $500, and when asked where he’d like the funds to be used, St. Luke’s University Hospital - Bethlehem was his immediate choice.  The generosity of the members of our community allowed him to raise more than he could ever have imagined. 

A decade after Skyler was born at St. Luke’s University Hospital - Bethlehem, he has finished his final year at Asa Packer Elementary, a school known for employing the Leader in Me Program in their curriculum. Leader in Me is an evidence-based school-improvement model that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive. It’s evident Skyler portrays the principles of Leader in Me through his kindness and generosity at such a young age, and during an increasingly challenging environment as a result of COVID-19.

Leader in Me was first introduced to our community at Lincoln and Governor Wolf Elementary Schools in Bethlehem Area School District in 2011. Under the leadership of Al Douglass, Glen Bressner and Bob Gadomski, the program grew to reach 38 schools throughout five school districts.

“There is an enhanced sense of Civic Engagement when you empower students to be leaders in their life. This is why Jill and I and others felt compelled to bring Leader in Me to the Lehigh Valley,” Alfred E. Douglass, III, Senior Consultant, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. “This program has developed and prepared thousands of citizens for the challenges and opportunities of today and tomorrow.”

In 2018, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley entered an agreement with FranklinCovey Education, a division of Franklin Covey Co., to become the formal sponsor of Leader in Me in schools serving Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties. When Douglass heard about Skyler’s incredible act of kindness, he knew he and United Way had to support his efforts. Al and Jill Douglass have ensured Skyler’s initial $500 will be matched to provide $1,000 to the hospital.

 “We are so proud to invest in the next generation of leaders through Leader in Me. We applaud Skyler's generosity and are inspired by the ways he brings Leader in Me to life. We are especially grateful to the leaders such as Al who partner with United Way to bring Leader in Me to students across the Greater Lehigh Valley,” Paul Hurd, Chief Development Officer, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.

Just prior to COVID-19, St. Luke’s University Hospital – Bethlehem unveiled their new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Equipped with the latest technologies and staffed with pediatric critical care intensivists - available 24/7 - this eight-bed unit allows local children to receive advanced, personalized care close to home when they need it most. Funds from Skyler’s efforts will directly support our PICU patients, making their stay more comfortable. 

“It’s so nice to see the work that Skyler has done benefitting children in the community. Over the past few months our Network has been focused on getting through the COVID-19 pandemic. As life returns to a more normal state, it’s important not to forget that kids will continue to get sick from other illnesses. Our PICU is here for them and their families during this difficult time. As our pediatric services continue to expand, we are grateful to individuals like Skyler, his family, and community partners who recognize their importance and contribute to our growth,” Jessika Haynos, Service Line Administrator, Pediatric Services, St. Luke’s University Health Network.

Together, organizations like St. Luke’s University Health Network, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, FranklinCovey Education and Merrill Lynch are helping to foster our next generation of leaders and service to the community.

At St. Luke’s, our health care heroes are always ready to face new challenges in order to support each other and the community.  As schools contemplate reopening and COVID-19 continues to spread around the globe, leadership, resilience, trust, and synergy—the very essence of Leader in Me—are needed more today than ever before.  We thank Skyler for making an impact, serving as an example to others, and look forward to watching his leadership journey. He, too, is a hero.

For more information on Leader in Me, please visit https://www.leaderinme.org/.

To support the new PICU at St. Luke’s University Health Network, please visit: https://www.slhn.org/development/what-you-can-support/building-for-our-future/extraordinary-care-for-extraordinary-kids.
 

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 16,000 employees providing services at 12 hospitals and 300 outpatient sites. With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 11 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe, Schuylkill and Luzerne 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 38 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 347 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 2020, 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 eight times total and six 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.