LEHIGHTON, Pennsylvania - When the new St. Luke’s Carbon Campus hospital opens in late fall 2021, it will be the centerpiece of the health system’s technologically advanced, multipurpose, rural medical and wellness complex in Lehighton, Pa. It will redefine healthcare access, convenience and quality for the local population and surrounding areas. This innovative model, though serving a smaller rural population, will have some of the latest technology not even found in major metropolitan hospitals, making it a rural model of healthcare excellence.
This beautiful, 108-acre hospital and wellness complex will give the community easy access to Level IV trauma emergency care, acute, critical and chronic medical care provided by medical experts who are dedicated to serving the people in the Carbon region, many who had to travel far outside the area for advanced treatment in the past. The wellness resources on the new campus will offer safe, tranquil and convenient opportunities for improving one’s health through fitness, health education and nutrition.
The new three-story, 80-patient-room, 160,000 square-feet hospital will be the largest of its kind in the history of Carbon County and the first new hospital built in the county in 65 years. With an emphasis on innovation, safety, comfort and convenience, the facility’s environment and providers’ expertise will combine to create a memorable experience for patients and visitors.
Carbon Campus Overview
All patient rooms will be private and each outfitted with a wall-mounted, 55-inch smart TV to facilitate two-way audio/visual communication between patients and their providers anywhere, as well as patients and their family members worldwide. This beta-site installation--one of the first in the nation by AmHealth—will expand telemedicine capabilities and virtual visitation convenience.
Another high-tech partnership with the company, MediSigns, will replace the typical write-and-wipe white boards in patient rooms with real-time computer system-linked digital whiteboards that will display that names of caregivers, day of the week, scheduled activities and other useful safety information.
During COVID, St. Luke’s forged a pivotal partnership with local Life-Aire air purification system company. Lifeaire’s first-of-its-kind technology kills all air pathogens in a clinical environment, including COVID-19 and anthrax. Six LifeAire air purifiers will be installed in the air ducts throughout the new Carbon hospital, making it one of the few hospitals in the nation with this novel technology.
A home-grown concept for St. Luke’s, the TechConnect help center in the lobby will be staffed by a technically astute attendant who will give free assistance to patients, visitors and community members struggling to learn or use personal digital or medical symptom-monitoring devices or apps.
Within a year of opening the main campus, a three-story, 50,000-square-foot medical office building will also be built connected to the hospital. Cancer, cardiac, orthopedics care, pain management and physical therapy services and physicians’ offices will occupy this facility, along with a full fitness center and more.
A fitness-walking trail that encircles the complex will offer staff, patients and visitors the opportunity to exercise in a bucolic setting bordered by picturesque mountains and an organic farm, or to seek solace in a lavender and sunflower meditation and healing garden.
“This complex underscores St. Luke’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of this community,” says John Nespoli, president of St. Luke’s Lehighton and Carbon campuses. “At St. Luke’s we believe in providing quality services that keep people physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy and help take care of them when they are ill or injured, to ultimately enhance the health status of our neighbors.”
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 flagship University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health nine times total and seven years in a row, including in 2021 when it was identified as THE #1 TEACHING HOSPITAL IN THE COUNTRY. In 2021, IBM Watson Health also named St. Luke’s among the 15 Top Health Systems nationally. 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.