Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Health Center at Easton officially opened Friday at a site long known for the large bakery that stood there nearly a century ago.
The new, two-story, 40,000-square foot building at 2401 Northampton St., which is in Palmer Township, is the first of two LVHN health centers that will open within a week of each other in the township. The Health Center at Palmer Township, 3701 Corriere Road, will open Thursday.
The centers are examples of how LVHN is building smaller-scale health care facilities to serve neighborhoods in eastern Northampton County.
“The purpose of our health centers goes beyond our network mission to health, comfort and care for all communities,” said Dr. Brian Nester, president and CEO, LVHN, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday.
“We’re also here to become part of the fabric of this neighborhood. When neighbors need care, it’s our job to have them know instinctively that we are right around the corner to help.”
Terry Capuano, executive vice president and chief operating officer, said residents in the area had been asking LVHN for closer access to its services without having to travel to Lehigh County.
In a nod to the local bakery history at the site, a wall in the health center’s lobby features images and a short description of the bakeries, Schaible’s, Maier’s and Bimbo, that once operated in a plant at the location.
The site became available after its last owner, Bimbo Bakeries USA, the nation’s largest baking company, laid off workers and closed operations at the plant in 2014 and moved to its new $75 million facility in Upper Macungie Township.
The Health Center at Easton leases the space from J.G. Petrucci Co. of Bethlehem and Asbury, N.J., the developer and builder.
Robert Kaplan, project manager for LVHN, said the network worked with MKSD architects in South Whitehall Township and Cerminara Architect in Hillsborough Township, N.J. to design a comfortable, relaxed space that is characteristic of LVHN properties.
“We wanted to create a calming and soothing environment for patients,” Kaplan said.
The building conveys a light and airy feel and uses a lot of natural light. A frosted glass sign in the lobby is illuminated in soft, diffuse turquoise. The pediatric department plays with pops of cheerful, bright colors through textiles on chairs in the waiting rooms. Exam room walls feature playful designs of animals and a map of the world; pairs of feet imprinted on the floors lead visitors through the hallways.
The Health Center at Easton, which opens to patients today, includes the following services:
• ExpressCARE – Walk-in care for minor illnesses and injuries.
• Lehigh Valley Physicians Group Family Medicine-Easton.
• LVPG Obstetrics and Gynecology-Easton.
• LVPG Pediatrics-Easton.
• Adult rehabilitation services – Physical therapy, neurologic therapy and orthopedic therapy.
• Imaging services – Walk-in service for X-ray and ultrasound tests.
• Laboratory testing – Blood testing from Health Network Laboratories.