Fitness, fresh air and fun couldn’t come at a more critical time. Two of Carbon County’s largest employers, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) and Blue Mountain Resort, today are announcing a partnership that will offer a blend of healthy-living activities for customers, employees of the two organizations and people of all ages throughout the region.
“The New Year is a perfect time to launch this joint effort, and it is an ideal time to start or increase one’s commitment to health,” said John Nespoli, president of St. Luke’s Lehighton Campus. “Fitness training and health education in the fresh air are a great combination to enhance mind, body and spirit while outdoors.”
The 10-year, “healthy lifestyle” plan will add wellness-focused events and initiatives to the offerings at the Palmerton-based, 1,200-acre Blue Mountain Resort that already provides year-round, outdoor activities—some involving St. Luke’s-- that include skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking and more. St. Luke’s was also named the official health care sponsor of Blue Mountain Resort.
St. Luke’s staff, who have been providing CPR and mountain rescue training, employment physicals and ski conditioning tips to Blue Mountain staff since 2010, will expand their health and fitness programming for individuals of all ages and abilities.
“The most exciting part of this partnership is that both Blue Mountain and St. Luke’s share a vision for a healthier community,” said Barbara Green, Blue Mountain’s owner and CEO. “St. Luke’s is a great company to work with because it has a similar culture to ours.”
A year-round resort, Blue Mountain already offers many activities at various times throughout the year, including On-Mountain Training, Kids Adventure Camp, yoga, and glamping. Fresh-air activities like Get Your Tail on the Trail walking and hiking opportunities, a high school cross-country challenge and other athletic and wellness events--along with meditation and healthy eating/dining opportunities in the Resort’s restaurants--are a few enhancements the partners are adding. Athletes and coaches in the community can also be part of a new training experience in an outdoor setting as sports performance training, guided by St. Luke’s team of athletic trainers and sports performance experts, will be among the new offerings coming to Blue Mountain.
“This collaboration grew out of our long-time efforts to work together for the benefit of our community,” says John Hauth, senior network administrator, sports medicine relations. “Now we are taking our relationship with Blue Mountain to next level, focusing on health-education programs in an outdoor environment.”
Blue Mountain Resort is a four-season destination for outdoor sports, camping and fitness activities, along with a popular spot for wedding, dining and meetings. The Resort serves more than 500,000 guests each year, mostly from the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York region, says Green.
St. Luke’s facilities in Carbon County include: St. Luke’s Lehighton Campus and the under-construction St. Luke’s Carbon Campus, located at the junction of Routes 476 and 209 in Lehighton, as well as several health centers, doctor offices and occupational medicine and rehab facilities.
St. Luke’s hospitals and physicians are preferred providers for the Blue Mountain Resort for services ranging from pre-employment physicals to treatment for major or minor injuries. With the addition of a variety of health and wellness programs, the relationship continues to grow significantly.
Adds Jim Dailey, Blue Mountain’s chief operating officer and general manager, “We know that it’s important to have an excellent health care partner close by. St. Luke’s is a powerful resource, keeping our employees and guests safe and healthy. Our relationship with St. Luke’s has been a big win-win for this community, and we’re just getting started.”
“This partnership fits with St. Luke’s years-long commitment to the Carbon County community to help people be healthy,” says Nespoli.
About St. Luke’s
Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of 14,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and over 300 outpatient sites. With annual net revenue of $1.9 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 region’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 health care system in central-eastern Pennsylvania to earn Medicare’s five-star rating (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction. St. Luke’s has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health (formerly Truven Health Analytics) repeatedly – six times total and four years in a row including 2018. It 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.