For decades, Pocono Mountains residents have had access to quality health care from nationally and internationally recognized providers. Now that some of the region's leading health systems have either expanded or opened new facilities, residents have even more good options to choose from.
“Patient choice keeps us on our toes,” says St. Luke’s University Health Network President and CEO Richard A. Anderson.
Open since October 2016, St. Luke’s Monroe Campus is the first all-new acute-care hospital the county has seen in more than a century. The $125 million facility provides 108 private rooms, state-of-the-art operating and procedure rooms, a helipad, and an emergency department.
“The hospital is an over-the-top success,” says Anderson. “We’ve seen 20 to 30 percent more admissions than we expected.”
St. Luke’s University Health Network, which includes hospitals in seven Pennsylvania counties, also gave the Pocono Mountains an economic boost. The Monroe campus employs about 350 people. St. Luke’s also used local contractors and hired about 300 workers during construction. In Monroe County, residents can also visit Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono, formerly Pocono Medical Center. At the start of 2017, Pocono Health System became part of Lehigh Valley Health Network. As a result of the merger, Pocono Medical Center earned its new name: Lehigh Valley Hospital–Pocono. Recognized among the top 10 percent of best Pennsylvania hospitals in 2015-2016, Lehigh Valley Hospital–Pocono will continue to offer advanced cardiac and cancer care and women’s and behavioral health. The hospital’s full suite of services also includes the Mattioli Emergency Center, a Level III Trauma Center.
“We will continue to expand on these services,” says Elizabeth Wise, Lehigh Valley Hospital–Pocono president. “Lehigh Valley Health Network is in alignment with Pocono Health System’s vision and mission, which is to provide quality care close to home.”
Benefits of Independence
Wayne Memorial Health System serves Wayne and Pike Counties with services that span from birth to hospice care. Wayne Memorial Hospital, located in Honesdale, provides inpatient and outpatient care in more than 30 specialties, from cardiac and cancer care to emergency services and intensive care. Already a certified Primary Stroke Center, Wayne Memorial Hospital is in the process of becoming a Level IV Trauma Center. As of October 2016, Wayne Memorial has the helipad needed for the designation.
“If patients need to get transferred out, we can do that quickly,” says Wayne Memorial Hospital CEO David Hoff. “For trauma patients, that’s critical.” Wayne Memorial is also moving forward with an expansion that will give the hospital 100 private beds.
“It’s time for an update so we can continue to provide state-of-the-art facilities for the community and our patients,” says Hoff.
Lehighton residents have access to Palmerton Hospital and Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital, both part of the Blue Mountain Health System. The physician-led Geisinger Medical Group includes 12 hospital campuses, including Mt. Pocono. The facility’s many services include a sleep disorders center and cancer treatment. For residents that need specialized care, the Pocono Mountains offer treatment facilities such as the Upper Delaware Valley Cancer Center in Milford. Rehabilitation centers, home care, assisted living facilities, and other providers ensure comprehensive, compassionate care.
While most health care facilities only expand after extensive research into the financial benefits, ultimately these facilities aim to improve quality of life. Wayne Memorial Hospital’s new cardiac catheterization lab, established in June 2016, has already made a huge community impact. Hoff says that in six months, the lab placed about 200 cardiac stents. They’ve also saved the lives of 15 heart attack sufferers.
“This was a program our community could benefit from,” says Hoff. “Residents wanted more heart and cardiology services and we responded. It’s made a difference in people’s lives already.”