Rep. Susan Wild speaking.
As the leading COVID vaccinator in central-eastern Pennsylvania, St. Luke’s University Health Network is proud to announce that it has administered its 100,000th vaccination.
Currently the Network is vaccinating 3,000 people a day at 11 hospital-based sites across the greater Lehigh Valley. This approach makes getting the vaccine safe for anyone who experiences an adverse reaction since each hospital is equipped with a fully-functional emergency department.
St. Luke’s vaccination program, which runs seven days a week, has helped to make Lehigh and Northampton counties among the top four most vaccinated Pennsylvania counties with populations over 100,000. (Northampton County – 19% of the 18+ population; Lehigh County – 18%.)
“The speed of this vaccine getting out is the result of tremendous coordination,” U.S. Representative Susan Wild (D-PA) said Friday afternoon during a news conference at St. Luke’s Anderson Campus in Bethlehem Township.
Video of news conference:
- Rep. Susan Wild - https://vimeo.com/514412714/89a04ae507
- Dr. Kara Mascitti - https://vimeo.com/514411481/fc8c54594d
- Colleen Sprissler - https://vimeo.com/514416900/fd106d4b15
- Q&A + B-Roll - https://vimeo.com/514426171/b79ec7ca64
Wild spoke of the importance of outreach to underserved communities and lauded St. Luke’s special vaccine clinic at Hispanic Center of the Lehigh Valley in South Bethlehem.
Bilingual St. Luke’s nurses and nursing students are administering the vaccine at the Hispanic Center on Feb. 19 & 20.
“We look at this vaccine as our best shot,” St. Luke’s infectious disease specialist Dr. Kara Mascitti said at the news conference. Mascitti noted the that the rates of COVID-19 infection and hospitalization across the region have declined significantly in recent weeks – trends she said she views with “cautious optimism.”
Also speaking at the news conference, Colleen Sprissler, MSN, RN, Senior Director of Network Operations, described St. Luke’s innovative efforts to vaccinate underserved communities, including seniors through St. Luke’s new “Shot-Line.”
The “Shot-Line” is an automated scheduling system that allows individuals to self-schedule their appointments over the phone. Existing St. Luke’s patients who have yet to be vaccinated and are eligible according to Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines will receive a call on the phone number they listed on their St. Luke’s patient records.
During the call from 1-866-785-8537, an automated voice recording will ask if they would like to receive the vaccine. If they answer yes, they will undergo a COVID-19 eligibility check, and, if successful, will be given three appointment dates and times at the vaccine site nearest to the location on their record. They can then select the appointment time that is best for them by pushing that option number and be scheduled within 3 to 4 minutes.
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.