LEHIGHTON, Pa. – Blue Mountain Health System, a health network consisting of two community-based hospitals in Lehighton and Palmerton, Carbon County, and St. Luke’s University Health Network, a regional health network with seven hospitals and more than 270 outpatient sites serving 10 counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, today announced plans for Blue Mountain Health System to join St. Luke’s University Health Network.
The terms of the transaction will allow the combined health network to continue its relentless focus on quality and to enhance the level of health care services, develop new programs and service opportunities and increase access to physician specialists in the Carbon County region, while maintaining its not-for-profit status.
“Choosing the right partner that shared our mission and commitment to quality care was a priority,” said Andrew E. Harris, president and CEO of the Blue Mountain Health System. “We now have an incredible opportunity to raise the level of healthcare in Carbon and neighboring counties and provide residents with even greater access to care.”
The agreement between Blue Mountain Health System and St. Luke’s University Health Network has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Trustees of both organizations after a competitive selection process.
Steven Serfass, chairman of the Blue Mountain Health System's Board of Trustees states, "This affiliation agreement was made with the best interests of our community and our employees in mind. We wanted to ensure that the residents of Carbon and neighboring counties would continue to receive the highest quality, most cost-effective health care now and for years to come. St. Luke's long history of these qualities made it the ideal partner."
St. Luke’s University Health Network CEO and President Richard A. Anderson added, “Health care is a local issue and, as such, health care services should be easily accessible to the community. Over the years, St. Luke’s has achieved a longstanding, highly successful record of working collaboratively and forming successful partnerships with community hospitals that have joined our network. We have extended our nationally recognized quality programs to those locations. Our partnerships with community hospitals in Allentown, Quakertown and Coaldale, Pa.,and in Phillipsburg, NJ, exemplify the benefits that come to a community through the type of relationship we have planned with Blue Mountain.”
The transaction is subject to certain conditions, including review and approval by various federal and Pennsylvania regulatory agencies. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
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ABOUT BLUE MOUNTAIN HEALTH SYSTEM
With a rich history of more than 100 years, Blue Mountain Health System is a non-profit, community health system that provides healthcare services to the people living in Carbon County and parts of Monroe, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill counties. Its two hospital campuses were two of only seven hospitals in the state to be recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Health receiving the “Above and Beyond Award for Excellence in Health Care Compliance” award. The health system also features The Summit at Blue Mountain, a 91-bed skilled nursing facility, the only facility in the county that has achieved a 4-star status in Quality Measures on the CMS Nursing Home Compare website.
Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network providing services at seven hospitals and more than 270 outpatient sites. The network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Schuylkill, Bucks, Montgomery, Berks and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the region’s first and only regional medical school campus. Dedicated to advancing health education, St. Luke’s operates the nation’s oldest School of Nursing and 23 graduate medical educational programs and is considered a major teaching hospital – the only one in its region. Repeatedly, including 2017, St. Luke’s earned Truven’s 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital and 50 Top Cardiovascular Program designations, in addition to other honors for clinical excellence. St. Luke’s is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of St. Luke’s information technology applications such as electronic medical records, telehealth, online scheduling and pricing information. St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.