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Hospital system expands throughout region

Lehigh Valley Health Network continues to grow.

During the 2020 Community Annual Meeting held virtually this year, Dr. Brian A. Nester, president and chief executive officer of LVHN, said the network is building four new hospitals and expanding other sites.

The Hecktown-Oaks campus is currently under construction in Lower Nazareth and will be completed in the summer of 2021. It will have a 24/7 emergency room, surgical rooms and provide cancer and heart care and more.

In September, the purchase of land along Route 443 in Lehighton was approved. LVH-Carbon will be located just past the entrance to Walmart on land on the other side of the street. The project is expected to begin in 2021.

The network is also planning to build a new hospital along Route 715 in Tannersville in 2021. LVH-Pocono West will serve residents in western Monroe County.

And there are also plans for expansion into Lackawanna County. Nester said the new hospital will be located in Dickson City near Scranton.

It will have a surgical focus with seven operating rooms, two procedure rooms, 24 inpatient beds, and an 18-bay emergency room with a helicopter pad for critical care patients.

As for expansions, LVHN has a new medevac site at the Hazleton Regional Airport that serves Luzerne, Schuylkill, Monroe and Carbon counties.

“The aircraft has a larger cabin that contains lifesaving equipment needed to care for newborns, and heart attack and trauma patients,” Nester said.

For cancer patients in the Lehighton area, LVHN now provides free transportation via LANTA from patients’ homes to the Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute at the Cedar Crest campus.

LVH-Hazleton expanded its emergency room this year, and the Cedar Crest campus built a new ER. The unit with 97 adult beds is the largest in the United States, he said. The former ER will be renovated to become an expanded ER for children.

And Coordinated Health with its orthopedic services became a part of LVHN in early 2020.

Artist's rendering shows the plan for the LVH-Carbon site on Route 443. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO