BETHLEHEM – St. Luke’s University Health Network has implemented a universal masking policy for its patient-facing health care workers (HCW) and employees. St. Luke’s made the universal masking decision to protect its patients and staff and to help reduce the community spread of COVID-19.
“We currently have an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to undertake this important safety initiative,” states Kara Mascitti, MD, St. Luke’s Medical Director of Health Care Epidemiology and Infection Prevention “Our ability to socially distance when providing patient care is limited, so we are implementing this policy to protect both our patients and our staff.”
“We remain grateful to the community for its outpouring of donated masks and other supplies – keep it coming.”
Patients at St. Luke’s facilities will not need to mask, unless they are exhibiting symptoms or have known exposure to COVID-19.
“Our community still has health care needs beyond this pandemic,” says Mascitti. “It’s important that if you need to visit one of our facilities, for COVID-19 or otherwise, that you know that you are safe in doing so.”
Virtual telehealth visits are also available for individuals looking to connect with their primary care or specialty doctor from home. To arrange for a telehealth visit, please contact your doctor. To find a doctor, call 1-866-STLUKES, option 4.
For more on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.sluhn.org/covid-19.
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 11 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 34 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 263 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.