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Only Health Network in Lehigh Valley to Win Prestigious Statewide Achievement Award
February 20, 2024

St. Luke’s University Health Network has received a prestigious Achievement Award from The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP).

The award, in the large division of the Community Champions category, honored St. Luke’s for its project titled Utilizing Strategic Partnerships and Sustainable Initiatives to Improve Food Access and Address Health Equity for Underserved Communities.

St. Luke’s Department of Community Health addressed food access in various ways including hosting new food distribution programs such as on-site pantries, mobile food distribution, emergency food bags, boxes and meals. Additionally, the initiative provides referrals to existing food bank programs, food pantries and connections to SNAP, WIC and other food programs.

Additional details on the project are available on the HAP website.

St. Luke’s was one of 13 health systems and hospitals in Pennsylvania – and the only one in the Lehigh Valley – recognized by HAP through its 2024 Achievement Awards. Started in 1978, the program recognizes health systems and hospitals that are taking innovative approaches to strengthening the safety and quality of care, enhancing operations and patients’ experience and partnering with their communities to address public health needs.

“We are proud to be the only health care network in the Lehigh Valley to earn a HAP Achievement Award,” said St. Luke’s Community Health Vice President Rajika Reed, PhD., MPH, M.Ed. “This recognition reflects St. Luke’s longstanding commitment to go above and beyond to consistently meet the needs of the communities we serve.”

St. Luke’s competed against organizations of a similar size for the Community Champions award, which celebrates hospitals’ and health systems’ efforts to improve community health and access to care, advance health equity, and advocate for the health of our community and patients. In total, there were 93 entries for this year’s Achievement Awards.

“We are proud to announce the winners of HAP’s 2024 Achievement Awards, showcasing innovative, patient-centered projects that are making a difference in Pennsylvania,” HAP President & CEO Nicole Stallings said. “Strong health systems make strong communities and hospitals are central to our shared mission for a healthy Pennsylvania.”

Photo caption: St. Luke’s Community Health Initiatives Coordinator Kelsey Gasper serves a meal during the summer meals program in Allentown.