East Penn Press

Sunday, January 20, 2019
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOScared Heart Hospital, 421 W. Chew St., Allentown CONTRIBUTED PHOTOScared Heart Hospital, 421 W. Chew St., Allentown

Sacred Heart to join St. Luke’s University Health Network

Friday, September 29, 2017 by The Press in Business Showcase

Sacred Heart HealthCare System, a health network that includes Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown, primary care centers at 10 locations in the Lehigh Valley, and senior housing services, 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, have announced plans for Sacred Heart HealthCare System to join St. Luke’s University Health Network.

According to a joint press release following a Sept. 19 press conference at Scared Heart Hospital, 421 W. Chew St., Allentown, “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 Lehigh County region, while maintaining its not-for-profit status.

“The terms also allow for Sacred Heart Hospital to maintain its Catholic identity.”

The agreement between Sacred Heart HealthCare System and St. Luke’s University Health Network has been unanimously approved by the Boards of both organizations after a competitive selection process.

The transaction is subject to certain conditions, including review and approval by various regulatory agencies. The transaction is expected to be completed early next year.

“Sacred Heart is excited to enter into this affiliation with St. Luke’s,” John Nespoli, president and CEO of the Sacred Heart HealthCare System, said at the press conference.

“St. Luke’s has an incredible track record of working successfully with community hospitals. With the partnership of St. Luke’s, Sacred Heart will offer our physicians and employees growth opportunities and, most importantly, continue with our charitable mission in the heart of the city,” Nespoli said.

Paul Huck, chairman of Sacred Heart HealthCare System’s Board of Directors said, “This affiliation agreement was made with the best interests of our patients, our physicians, our employees and our community in mind.

“St. Luke’s long history of enriching the hospitals that join its network make it the ideal partner. This collaboration will ensure that the health care needs of people in the Lehigh Valley and the region will continue to receive the quality, compassionate care that has been the mainstay of Sacred Heart for over 100 years,” said Huck.

St. Luke’s University Health Network CEO and President Richard A. Anderson said, “Over the years, St. Luke’s has established a highly successful record of working collaboratively and forming successful partnerships with hospitals that have joined our network, in western Allentown, Quakertown and Coaldale, and in Phillipsburg, N.J.

“We have extended our nationally-recognized quality programs to these locations, providing patients with cost-effective care and superior quality second to none as measured regionally and nationally.

“St. Luke’s will replicate at Sacred Heart the success it has achieved at its other campuses, resulting in a ‘win-win-win’ for all. The community wins. Sacred Heart wins. Our Network wins,” said Anderson.

Sacred Heart Hospital, a Catholic medical center in central Allentown founded in 1912, offers a range of advanced medical services, including bariatric surgery, vascular surgery, cardiology, endocrinology, rehabilitation and behavioral health services.

A network of physician practices throughout Lehigh and Northampton counties provide complete primary and pediatric medical care to the region’s residents.

Sacred Heart Hospital is ranked among the safest hospitals in the United States, having received an “A” grade from the Leapfrog Group in 2016 and 2017; is a Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery, and is a recipient of the American Stroke Association’s Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

St. Luke’s University Health Network, founded in 1972, 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 received 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.