Bethlehem Partnership for a Healthy Community

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Improving the Health Status and Quality of Life in Our Community

Community Resources

Allentown Health Bureau
6th & Chew Streets
Allentown, PA 18102

Bethlehem Health Bureau
10 E. Church Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018

In May 1996, the Trustees of St. Luke's University Health Network established the Bethlehem Partnership for a Healthy Community. The Partnership has grown to become a national model for a successful collaborative initiative of more than 140 participating agencies comprised of local business, government, educational and community organizations whose mission is to improve the health status and quality of life in our community.

St. Luke's operates mobile health vans to bring medical and dental services to those most in need.

More About the Bethlehem Partnership

Established – May 1, 1996, through a resolution of the St. Luke's Board of Trustees

Mission – To improve the health status and quality of life of our community

Goals – To improve access to care; to promote child and adolescent health; to eliminate health disparities

  • Collaborative, national role model of more than 200 participating partners representing local business, government, educational, social service and community organizations
  • St. Luke's provides significant financial and leadership resources to fulfill the mission and goals of the Partnership. 

Making a Real Difference in our Community

Recent highlights of Partnership activities include:

Mobile Health/Dental

Health Star Van - 2010

Mobile Health/Dental Van Acquisitions

  • Successful fund-raising campaign completed with the Lehigh Valley Coalition for Kids. More than $1.5 million raised to purchase two additional mobile medical and two additional mobile dental vans.

Dental Health Initiative

  • HealthStar III, a new mobile dental van, was acquired in April 2010. This additional van, equipped with three dental chairs, enables the Partnership to provide 30 percent additional children with restorative care. Plans are under way to use HealthStar II to expand dental services in the City of Allentown. The goal is to have two full-time dental vans operating in Allentown and Bethlehem.
  • A grant received from the R. K. Laros Foundation funded the dental suite at the Family Center in the new Broughal Middle School in Bethlehem. Broughal was rated a "high need school" for on-site dental care. Patient chairs, donated by Dr. Joseph Gaudio, were installed at Liberty High School in Bethlehem and Paxinosa Elementary School in Easton.
  • Dental vans visited 31 sites in fiscal year 2010, including schools in the Bethlehem Area School District (BASD), other schools and community agencies across the Lehigh Valley and beyond. Care was provided to 1,100 children (cleanings, X-rays and basic restorative care). Twenty-five percent of those treated had no dental insurance: more than $111,000 in subsidized and free care was provided.
  • In conjunction with Northampton Community College, the annual Sealant Program provided 456 children with 2,013 protective measures against tooth decay.
  • Easton Dental Center opened in July 2009, addressing the community's documented need for pediatric dental care: 2,356 patient visits were recorded during the first year.

Learn more about the Dental Health Initiative.


Vision Health Initiative

  • New mobile health vans made it possible to re-establish the Portable Vision Initiative, providing on-site vision exams and glasses to children/adults in need. The summer program focuses on Allentown and Bangor.
  • BASD referred 2,848 students for further testing; students referred to the Vision Initiative had a 71 percent completion rate. 

 Learn more about the Vision Initiative.


Asthma Initiative

  • 273 families inappropriately utilizing the emergency room for asthma care received education and case management services to improve asthma management and access to care.
  • More than 60 home visits assisted families in reducing environmental factors that may exacerbate asthma symptoms.

Learn more about the Asthma Initiative.

Mobile Youth Health Center

  • Completed 11th year of providing on-site medical services (preventive, well, and sick care), 1,200 visits in four BASD schools, also served youth from Valley Youth House Shelter biweekly.
  • Discussion with Allentown School District under way to expand current medical services at Raub Middle School and to also serve Dieruff High School and Trexler Middle School.

St. Luke's Nurse-Family Partnership Program

  • More than 250 families currently enrolled; more than 1,600 families serviced since program's inception in December 2001. Outcome measures consistently exceed state and national averages:
    • 8.8 percent low birth weight rate, 9 percent pre-term birth weight rate, both rates lower than national program bench marks.
    • 82 percent of mothers completed, or were working toward, a high school diploma when they finished the program.
    • 23 percent of mothers reduced smoking during pregnancy.

Learn more about the Nurse-Family Partnership.