News

Allentown Campus Dinner by Starlight Event Honors Healthcare Workers and Community Members
October 11, 2021

Proceeds from 20th Annual Fundraising Event Will Benefit Emergency Department Improvements

The St. Luke’s Allentown staff is “All In For Allentown” and will be celebrated at the 20th annual Dinner by Starlight event on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021 from 5:30 to 6 p.m. This year’s event, which is being held virtually, recognizes individuals and healthcare workers who have made a positive difference during the many months of the pandemic. Proceeds will support improvements to the St. Luke’s Allentown Emergency Department. The event is produced by Countess Communications and will be co-hosted by Lauren Sokolski, director of marketing and public relations for St. Luke’s University Health Network and Ashley Russo, president of ASR Media Productions. 

The 2021 event is made possible through the generous support of Premier Sponsor - BSI Corporate Benefits, Cosmic Sponsor - GOLD Credit Union and Presenting Sponsor - Lexus of Lehigh Valley. Sponsorships are still available, and members of the community are invited to attend and support the event. To register at no cost, please visit https://www.slhn.org/dinnerbystarlight.

Dinner by Starlight is a fundraising event that provides a special opportunity to recognize Allentown community members who make a difference through their gifts of time, talent, and treasure. This year’s Honorary Star is the collective healthcare team that has come together during a year like no other to provide unmatched critical care. These everyday heroes – including members of the Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit and Environmental Services – continue to make a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic, embodying the hospital’s commitment to being “All in for Allentown.”

Allentown Campus President Bill Moyer said that recognizing the frontline team offers an opportunity to reflect on a job well done. “During these especially challenging times it is easy to forget the positive impact we are having on our patients,” Moyer said. “Our Allentown team excels at patient care even during the most busy and stressful times. Honoring them gives us an opportunity to thank them for their hard work and dedication.”

In addition, two community members will receive a Shining Star distinction for their individual contributions:

Wendy Robb, dean of the Cedar Crest College School of Nursing, and a member of the St. Luke’s Allentown Campus Board of Directors, is recognized for her service to the hospital that includes volunteering to assist with its vaccine rollout. She served many hours to help immunize the community and assist with setting up a mobile vaccine clinic at Mayfair Festival at Cedar Crest in May 2021, where nursing students provided vaccines to festival goers.

Sam Miranda, a retired nurse and Center Valley resident, is recognized for coming out of retirement to work at the hospital and assist in delivering hundreds of COVID vaccinations. Miranda, who was formerly the chief clinical officer for Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network, first pitched in at St. Luke’s Allentown Campus in April 2020 during the height of the pandemic, and since then, has administered more than 2,500 immunizations.

Proceeds from the event will fund necessary improvements and reconstruction of the Allentown Campus Emergency Department. The expansion will meet a serious need since it is the busiest Emergency Department in the St. Luke’s University Hospital Health Network, seeing more than 60,000 patients annually. Renovations will improve the waiting room experience and increase the number of treatment rooms, reducing hallway overflow and allowing families to comfortably stay with family members.

Planned improvements include 16 new acute care treatment rooms, adding nine additional rooms. Each of these rooms will be equipped to handle acutely ill patients with state-of-the-art equipment, and nurses’ stations will be strategically placed to ensure staff are readily available to assist, interview and monitor patients. In addition, each room will be HEPA filtered for the best air flow – a feature highly valued during the pandemic. The waiting room will be spacious and feature a children’s area to accommodate our pediatric patients. The Emergency Department will also have a “results waiting area” where stable patients can wait for test results, which will open more treatment rooms and drastically reduce wait times for others awaiting care. 

Dinner by Starlight sponsors recognize the value of supporting this project to ensure St. Luke’s Allentown Campus can continue to provide the highest level of patient care. Tony DaRe, chief executive officer of Premier Sponsor BSI Corporate Benefits, said that his organization shares St. Luke’s commitment to the City of Allentown.

“Our family at BSI is proud of our continued partnership with St. Luke’s. Our respective missions align on all fronts to make the communities we serve better places,” DaRe said. “Nowhere is that more apparent than in Allentown where the work of St. Luke’s is reviving a community each day. We are honored to host Dinner by Starlight to show our full commitment to the City of Allentown and the vital work performed there every day by our true partners, St. Luke’s health network.”

Those sentiments are echoed by Jenn Gora, chief communications officer for Cosmic Sponsor GOLD Credit Union. “GOLD’s partnership with St. Luke’s is one that is very near and dear to our hearts and we are proud to support Dinner by Starlight for the second year in a row. The commitment that St. Luke’s has made to the health and wellness of the public aligns with GOLD’s mission to help make financial freedom an accessible reality for all,” Gora said. “We see the difference that St. Luke’s efforts are making in Allentown and GOLD will continue to help them build a stronger community by helping those in need. Congratulations to the award winners and a special thanks to the St. Luke’s staff for their tireless dedication in keeping Allentown and the Lehigh Valley safe and healthy!”

Peter and Karen Cooper of Presenting Sponsor - Lexus of Lehigh Valley, are also deeply committed to ensuring the best care is available for those in our region. “The recent challenges of the pandemic have shown us there is nothing more important than the health and welfare of our community,” they said. “Dinner by Starlight provides a wonderful opportunity to ensure that everyone continues to receive the highest level of care. Lexus is a brand synonymous with excellence and we are proud to lend our support to St. Luke’s Allentown, a hospital committed to excellence in health care.”

For more information about supporting Dinner by Starlight, please contact Lori Coursen at Lori.Coursen@sluhn.org.