News

St. Luke’s Experts Recognized for Health Care and Community Efforts with Rural Health Awards
December 09, 2020

Kerri Quick 


Two St. Luke’s rural staff have been recognized with awards from the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health and the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health:

  • Dr. Joanne Calabrese, an internal medicine physician with St. Luke’s Internal Medicine in Tamaqua
  • Kerri Quick, a school and community coordinator with St. Luke’s Community Health Programs at St. Luke’s Miners, Lehighton and Geisinger St. Luke’s Campuses

Joanne Calabrese, MD
Dr. Joanne Calabrese 


Dr. Joanne Calabrese has been a community health leader in rural areas through her commitment and dedication to her patients and community members, improving health impact and outcomes by literally and figuratively walking the walk and talking the talk.

In 2017, Dr. Calabrese began St. Luke’s rural Walk with a Doc (WWAD) and Get Your Tail on the Trail (ToT) Community Walking initiatives. She has used these walks as a platform to improve cancer screenings and prevention and recently, during COVID-19, she led the network in the first virtual WWAD that focused on safety, practicing self-care and mindfulness.

Dr. Calabrese's walks have generated the highest amount of walkers, over 100, consisting of patients, staff and community members. Additionally, she has educated our schools and community on improving substance use prevention, treatment and recovery as well as demonstrated how to transform our community schools through improving literacy during our annual Dr. Seuss Day events. Dr. Calabrese is known to encourage her staff to dress up in costume and read along with her to students. She is consistently stepping up with ideas and action to cultivate health and wellness and lead our community by example to an improved quality of life.

Kerri Quick and the community health and hospital team work closely with the PA Office of Rural Health in advancing, advocating and implementing programs and initiatives to improve access to care including oral health, healthy living, reducing chronic disease and improving the connection to mental health and substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery services.

Kerri works consistently and diligently building trust with the students and families to connect them to insurance, food access, mental health and substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery services. In addition, Kerri staffs the medical van to connect students to primary care and behavioral health. She also accompanies students on our vision shuttle bus to the local optometrist. The vision shuttle program was awarded a 2016 Hospital Association of PA Community Champion Award. Over 250 students have been connected through this program.

St. Luke’s Community Health Needs Assessment identifies our priority needs for which our team then develops national (such as HRSA), state and local partnerships to collectively work to measurably improve outcomes. As a community health worker, Kerri is from the rural community and plays a vital role in connecting families, organizations, patients and community members to care. Kerri has built her skill set to include being a trauma and Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) trainer to understand how to listen and work with the community in breaking through and overcoming barriers while optimizing opportunities to build life skills and quality of life.

National Rural Health Week is celebrated Monday, November 16 – Friday, November 20. National Rural Health Day is November 19.

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 more than 16,000 employees providing services at 12 hospitals sites and 300+ outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue in excess of $2.5 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 established 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 to earn 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.  U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Luke’s #1 in the Lehigh Valley and #6 in the state.  Three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals are 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.