The lobby of the under-construction Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital will be named for Al Douglass and Jill Raker Hudders Douglass in recognition of a generous gift they made as part of the Hope Starts Here capital campaign to fund the new facility.
The Douglass Lobby will be the first thing new patients see when the hospital opens in early 2023.
Al and Jill Douglass of Allentown have deep roots in the community and noteworthy ancestral connections to Good Shepherd. Jill Douglass is the granddaughter of founders the Rev. John and Estella Raker. Her uncle was the late Rev. Dr. Conrad Raker, son of John and Estella, and served as superintendent and then administrator at Good Shepherd from 1941 to 1980. Jill’s mother, Roberta Raker Hudders, was Conrad’s sister.
Their gift honors this legacy and is made in memory of the three generations of their family that have been part of Good Shepherd – including Jill’s parents, William and Roberta Hudders and her brother John Raker Hudders.
“It is absolutely critical to have this hospital, and we are honored that the lobby will carry the Douglass name forever,” said Al Douglass, who is senior vice president of The Douglass Group at Merrill Lynch. “Good Shepherd changes lives every day, and with this new hospital, we know that our friends, neighbors and greater community will benefit from world-class expertise, innovative treatments and the latest technologies.”
This week, crews started construction work on the new hospital, which is slated to open in early 2023, according to a hospital statement. Located across from The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley, the 76-private-room rehabilitation hospital will focus on providing specialized, complex care and serve as the anchor of a destination campus. With the focus on specialized, complex rehabilitative care, Good Shepherd’s new hospital will provide vital services in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding region.
When the Douglasses were asked to be campaign co-chairs of the Hope Starts Here capital campaign, it felt like a natural fit, they said.
“I heard my mother say, ‘Of course you will,’” said Raker Hudders Douglass. “And, of course my uncle Connie. He would be gung-ho and right out there, thrilled and excited. I thought of them all. It’s my heritage, and Al whole-heartedly agreed.”
The hospital’s first floor features the glass-enclosed Experience Center, a 3D printing, automation technology, wearables, artificial intelligence — that have the potential to advance rehabilitation practices for people with stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury and other disabilities.
The remaining three floors will feature private patient rooms and therapy gyms for inpatient rehabilitation. There will also be Outdoor Therapy and Activity Gardens where clinicians will be able to create real-world experiences for patients.
For more information about the Hope Starts Here campaign or the Center Valley hospital, visit GoodShepherdRehab.org/HopeStartsHere.