The Da Vinci Science Center of Allentown said it recently received a $100,000 sponsorship from Evonik Corp. in support of its Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Initiative.
“We can’t thank Evonik enough for their ongoing support of the WISE initiative,” said Lin Erickson, executive director and CEO of Da Vinci Science Center. “In addition to their generous financial support, it is important to note that many of Evonik’s employees give their time and expertise to WISE, ensuring its continued success and growth.”
Evonik Corp., a leader in specialty chemicals with a significant footprint in the Lehigh Valley, is dedicated to gender equality in the workplace and recognizes the importance of supporting community partners with the same commitment, said Jean Vincent, a senior vice president at Evonik.
“Evonik is committed to supporting programs that help remove barriers for women as well as those that encourage girls to consider STEM careers. Da Vinci Science Center’s WISE Initiative focuses on both of those areas,” Vincent said.
The WISE Initiative is dedicated to creating a supportive community of women employed in STEM fields and encouraging girls who aspire to follow a STEM career path. Through a federally funded research study, the Science Center has worked to identify barriers for girls and women in STEM and redefine how the Science Center offers and markets opportunities to girls.
Allentown-based CrossAmerica Partners LP has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Community Service Stations’ wholesale fuel supply portfolio in the greater Boston area.
That includes the wholesale fuel supply contracts to 39 dealer-owned locations, 34 subjobber accounts and two commission locations (one fee-based and one lease) totaling approximately 75 million gallons of fuel annually through such brands as Exxon Mobil, Shell and Gulf.
With a footprint in 34 states, CrossAmerica Partners LP is a major U.S. wholesale distributor of motor fuels; operator of seven convenience store brands; and and owner and lessee of real estate used in the retail distribution of motor fuels. It distributes branded and unbranded petroleum for motor vehicles to about 1,750 locations and owns or leases approximately 1,150 sites.
CrossAmerica Partners was formed in 2012 and has well-established relationships with several major oil brands.
“We are excited to acquire these attractive assets from one of the leading wholesale distributors in the Boston area,” CrossAmerica’s president and CEO, Charles Nifong, said in a release. “This acquisition expands our fuels business in the New England market with new dealers and strengthens our relationship with several of our major fuel supplier partners.”
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
Housing has become increasingly unaffordable for many in the Lehigh Valley, but now there is an effort to help.
The United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and PPL Corp. have announced an initiative to increase awareness and funding around the region’s growing housing crisis.
During an event at Sixth Street Shelter in Allentown, they officially kicked off Be a Housing Hero as an added initiative to United Way’s 2022 campaign.
In support of PPL’s United Way campaign, the PPL Foundation has committed up to $500,000 this year through a matching program for all new or increased campaign contributions.
The funds will go directly to United Way’s work in the community to aid neighbors and families experiencing housing insecurity.
“PPL Foundation’s pledge of up to $500,000 will provide support for thousands of people who are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity right here in the communities we serve,” said Vince Sorgi, CEO and president of PPL Corporation and co-chair of the 2022 UWGLV campaign. “By partnering with United Way, we know that these funds will be invested into organizations like Sixth Street Shelter and others in the community whose missions align with addressing housing insecurity through prevention and intervention.”
Additionally, PPL Foundation’s gift will apply to all new or increased participation in corporate campaigns or online donations made to unitedwayglv.org/housinghero.
“Many people in the Greater Lehigh Valley are only one paycheck or emergency away from hunger or homelessness,” reported Dawn Godshall, executive director of Community Action Lehigh Valley. “Through the PPL Foundation’s commitment, Community Action’s Sixth Street Shelter, with vital assistance from United Way, can invest in more solutions to help the ever-growing need in our area.”
The housing crisis in our community has increased due to many factors, including the past two years’ health and economic crises, she said.
The Lehigh Valley’s most recent homeless reports depict a 36% increase in people experiencing homelessness in the region since 2020, including 50% more families with children and almost twice as many veterans. About 122,000 families (or 44%) are also currently experiencing serious financial instability and are forced to make difficult decisions daily, such as whether to buy groceries or pay rent.
“There is no doubt that the nationwide housing crisis is being felt right here in our communities,” said Sorgi. “With thousands of people at risk of homelessness or eviction, PPL Foundation is honored to help those impacted by this situation.”
Scott Wolfe, a former president of Reading Hospital, has been named senior vice president of finance and CFO for St. Luke’s University Health Network.
Wolfe has served as the interim SVP of Finance & CFO since January 2022, succeeding Thomas Lichtenwalner. During this time, he continued as president of St. Luke’s Warren Campus based in Philipsburg, New Jersey, the role he has had since April 2012 shortly after the former Warren Hospital joined St. Luke’s a decade ago, SLUHN said.
Wolfe has nearly 40 years of experience in the health care industry and has served in various leadership roles as CEO, COO and CFO for both large and smaller community-based acute care teaching hospitals in the Reading area, most recently as the president & CEO of Reading Hospital.
Over the course of Wolfe’s tenure at the Warren Campus, St. Luke’s invested over $150 million in the New Jersey market of Warren and Hunterdon Counties, improving care and expanding services, the network said.
Under Wolfe’s direction, St. Luke’s Warren Campus has forged key relationships in New Jersey, such as its strategic affiliation with Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health (RWJBH), the largest academic and health network in the state, the network said. This affiliation allows New Jersey residents to receive higher levels of care in New Jersey if that care is not readily available at St. Luke’s Warren Campus.
“A decade ago, it would have been nearly impossible to envision the revitalization of Warren Hospital and the powerful impact of its partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network,” said Karen Kubert, St. Luke’s Warren Campus board chair. “Today, the Warren Campus’s restored reputation is spreading by word of mouth.”
Replacing Wolfe as Warren Campus president on Sept. 1 will be Trevor Micklos.
Micklos joined St. Luke’s in 2017 as the service line administrator for Musculoskeletal Services and was subsequently promoted to vice president of operations in 2019. Prior to joining St. Luke’s, Micklos spent 13 years at Coordinated Health in various leadership roles.
Allentown-based global technology services firm CAI and Marshall University’s West Virginia Autism Training Center, a statewide technical assistance and direct service agency providing specialized training and support to individuals with autism spectrum disorder, announced Tuesday that they’re joining forces.
They signed a memorandum of understanding for CAI Neurodiverse Solutions – CAI’s end-to-end neurodiversity employment program – to provide work experience and employment opportunities to Marshall neurodivergent graduates, and for the Autism Training Center to strengthen neurodiversity training for CAI employees.
Annually, over 111,000 individuals with autism spectrum disorder in the U.S. turn 18 years old and prepare for the workforce, yet unemployment rates for neurodivergent adults are as high as 40%, a release noted. According to the Autism Society, while universities are mandated to provide transition programs to students on the autism spectrum, not all schools are equipped with the resources to help them adapt to the workforce.
The partnership between CAI Neurodiverse Solutions and the Autism Training Center will allow them to conduct research informing business leaders in how best to support their employees with autism spectrum disorder; to provide students more real-work experience prior to entering college; and to develop graduates’ skillsets necessary to succeed in their jobs.
“We are passionate about helping the neurodiverse community find meaningful careers,” Anthony Pacilio, vice president of CAI Neurodiverse Solutions, said in the release. “Partnering with one of the longest-standing autism service providers in higher education means that we will bring more brilliantly talented individuals into the workforce. We are excited about the impact we will make with the West Virginia Autism Training Center.”
Allentown residents who speak languages other than English will now be able to communicate with first responders through a pilot program using interpretation technology.
Allentown Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the Allentown Health Bureau will use interpreter services through a program with Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN).
LVHN is providing the Health Bureau and Allentown EMS with video remote interpreting (VRI) technology so they can quickly and effectively connect with LVHN’s trained medical interpreters or be routed to a contracted vendor that provides translation services in Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, American Sign Language and other world languages.
The technology is available 24-7 every day of the year and is accessible on iPads that were purchased with funding from The Health Care Trust of Anne Constance and Carl Robert Anderson at LVHN.
Allentown EMS received five iPads – one for each of its emergency vehicles. The Health Bureau was given two iPads to travel with staff to community events, such as vaccination clinics, throughout the city.
“Our diversity is our strength,” said Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk, who said nearly half of the residents speak languages other than English. “One of the goals of our administration is to improve access to essential services and amenities for our residents – this program helps us do that for our community where people speak many different languages.”
Allentown EMS relies on approximately 50 full and part time paramedics, who respond to more than 16,000 calls annually. While they are trained in emergency care and advanced life support, very few are fluent in languages other than English, he said.
“This technology will bridge the gap between patient and paramedic. Without VRI, when our paramedics interact with patients who do not speak English, translation is primitive at best. We hope to optimize patient care through clear and accurate translation of any language, and thanks to this program we can,” said Mehmet Barzev, EMS chief of operations.
Public health officials and clinicians at the Health Bureau serve thousands of residents each year by providing health services, education, and most recently, COVID-19 vaccinations. However, most of the staff is not bilingual, he said.
“The donation of these iPads to the Health Bureau will further support efforts to provide culturally appropriate care,” said Vicky Kistler, director of Community and Economic Development. “The donation improves confidentiality and allows for a more natural interaction between the patient and the caregiver. We greatly appreciate this generous gift.”
The pilot program with the City of Allentown was the brainchild of Joumana De Santiago, manager of Interpreter Services at LVHN.
“We all know that in an emergency, every second counts. Communication between patients and emergency responders is fundamental to providing quality care – and this service will ensure language barriers don’t become care barriers and waste precious time,” said De Santiago. “This partnership will not only benefit patients and our partners at the Allentown Health Bureau and Allentown Emergency Medical Services – it will ensure our caregivers have accurate and reliable medical information so they can provide the best care possible.”
LVHN anticipates the program with the City of Allentown will help reduce trauma and anxiety associated with medical emergencies and result in better health outcomes for thousands of patients and their families for whom English is not their preferred language. LVHN provides more than seven million minutes of interpreter services annually.
With so many offices now working in either a remote or hybrid setting, organizing presentations, meetings and conferences can be challenging, but technology has kept up with the needs, said Angela Nolan, CEO of Allentown’s Vistacom.
She said companies have just had to revisit what kinds of technology they need to keep their meetings seamless whether online, in-person or both.
She said her company has been getting a great deal of business from companies looking to adapt their communications to meet the needs of a mixed workforce of onsite and offsite staff and to make sure they are able to best communicate with clients.
“We’re getting a lot of requests from clients who expect that hybrid system to be permanent,” she said. “If they’re going to have a meeting, they’re also going to have remote attendants.”
In the past companies would generally require that everyone come in for a meeting, but that just isn’t practical in today’s climate.
In many cases, she said that means bringing the conference room to all spaces instead of just having one large room with audio-visual equipment.
“We’re getting requests for tech in all meeting spaces instead of just one large one,” Nolan said. That way people can communicate and collaborate with coworkers no matter where they are.
It gets a bit more complicated when clients are involved. Different companies may have different technologies they use for video conferencing. Your company may use Microsoft Teams, while your client may use Zoom or Go To Meeting.
Nolan said it would be cost prohibitive to be on multiple systems, so many are coming to her company looking for them to develop an agnostic system that can be used with different platforms.
“They want it to be simple, just one or two clicks,” she said.
But, companies should be cautious when investing in new technology and make sure what they are installing is actually what they need.
“We’re seeing a lot of frustrations from companies that spend a lot of money on a system and then it’s not doing what they want,” she said. That’s why she recommends working with a technology company to find the best fit.
The good news, she said, is with the increase in demand for such technology, the price point on a lot of the equipment is coming down and systems easier to come by – barring supply chain delays.
“We have some products now that you can wirelessly set up a remote meeting in a few minutes,” she said.
St. Luke’s University Health Network opened its expanded and renovated emergency room to meet growing need for urgent care at its hospital at Hamilton and 17th streets in Allentown this week.
The renovations include the relocated ER entrance to improve patient access and the addition of a new waiting area and treatment areas.
The ER patient entrance was moved from the north side of the hospital, facing Hamilton Street, to the southeast corner, on Maple Street and adjacent to the hospital’s main entrance.
“In keeping with St. Luke’s mission of treating our patients as our first priority, this location will make access easier for those who are coming from the parking deck to find either the ER or main hospital entrance,” said Bill Moyer, president of St. Luke’s Allentown Campus. The ambulance entrance will remain on the hospital’s north side.
The 20,000 square-foot expansion of the ER, costing $6.3 million, adds 14 private treatment areas to support the rapidly growing department.
Advanced LifeAire technology will purify the air and create negative air flow, adding yet another measure of safety from infections for patients, visitors and caregivers, St. Luke’s said.
A special feature of this new facility is the ER kids’ space that includes artwork from many children who were patients including a painting by 8-year-old Vincent Papa.
“Creating artwork is so much fun and I wanted to donate my painting to make other children happy when they are sick,” he said.
Vincent and his brother Giovanni were both born at St. Luke’s Allentown campus.
Moyer says the upsized ER will accommodate as many as 70,000 patients per year.
“By expanding patient treatment space, we will seek to improve the emergency care experience for our patients who come here during some of the worst days of their lives,” says Ryan Kloss, the department’s patient care manager.
Black Wall Street Lehigh Valley has launched in downtown Allentown.
Organizers said the initiative was born in direct response to the increasing needs of the Black business community and seeks to create events that have impact on Black and Brown communities.
Black Wall Street Lehigh Valley will have a business marketplace where owners can vend and promote their services to the greater community called The Legacy Market.
In addition to the marketplace, the initiative will provide targeted opportunities for entrepreneurship education, community development, and building a legacy within the Black community.
Membership will include “The Gold Card,” which is the first membership the initiative is offering; however, it does have plans for expanding options that will include opportunities for exposure across the valley.
The first community activation opportunity for the marketplace will be Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Black Wall Street Lehigh Valley is also hosting an African American Business Leaders Council Mix & Mingle Aug. 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and people can rsvp with [email protected]
Populytics Inc. is reorganizing after the retirement of its president and CEO Gregory Kile.
The Allentown firm, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lehigh Valley Network, said leadership will transition to two executives, one a physician and one a health care executive at LVHN, who will collaborate in maximizing future value-based performance for Populytics and LVHN.
Dr. Robert X. Murphy Jr. is president and CEO of Populytics, an advanced analytics firm specializing in population health management, LVHN said. In this role, he leads LVHN’s movement toward fee-for-value and value-based reimbursement by providing medical leadership and oversight to all LVHN health plan related entities, as well as leads the strategy, construction, and execution of value-based medical elements in all payer contracts.
Tom Marchozzi, LVHN’s executive vice president and CFO will handle oversight of payer relations-related activity at Populytics, including contracting and insurance-related matters. This will provide further alignment in contract negotiations and allow for enhanced coordination for processes related to payment, pre-approvals, denials management, and a host of day-to-day, payer-related matters, LVHN said.
Murphy is also president of the Lehigh Valley Physician Group (LVPG). He also serves as president and board chair of LVHN’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO), drives the development of the Lehigh Valley Health Network Clinically Integrated Network (CIN) and oversees population health, community health, and the Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health, Telehealth and Government Relations.
Murphy has been active in the educational sector, as a professor of surgery at the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida and the Leonard Parker Pool Chair in Community Health & Health Studies at LVHN. He is the program director for the LVHN Residency in Plastic Surgery and has served as a visiting professor in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and South America.
He is a special government employee for the United States FDA, serving on panels related to devices, pharmaceuticals, and patient safety.
Murphy received a Doctor of Medicine degree from New York University. He is board-certified in Plastic Surgery and holds a Certificate of Added Qualification in Surgery of the Hand. He received his Master of Science degree in Health Evaluation Penn State University and his undergraduate degree in biology and psychology from Williams College, Williamstown, Mass. In addition, he has participated in executive education offered by Harvard Business School, the American College of Physician Executives, and Duke University.
Marchozzi joined LVHN as executive vice president and CFO in 2018 from Universal Health Services, Inc., where he served as senior vice president and CFO for the Acute Care division.
Prior to UHS, he worked for Hartford HealthCare, Hartford, Connecticut, as executive vice president and CFO. In his 30-plus years of professional experience, Marchozzi has held senior-level finance positions at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.; MedStar Health in Columbia, Maryland; Jefferson Health System in Radnor; and Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia.
Marchozzi holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Drexel University, and a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from Villanova University, both in Philadelphia. He has taken courses in a doctoral program with a concentration on higher education administration at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a certified health care financial professional and a certified public accountant.
Allen Boxbaum has been named senior vice president of Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute, Allentown, after a national search by Lehigh Valley Health Network.
Boxbaum and Dr. Ronald Freudenberger, physician in chief, will lead Lehigh Valley Health Network’s heart and vascular services.
Allen and Freudenberger will build upon Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute’s success by growing new sites and relationships, driving exceptional clinical quality and providing an exceptional patient experience, the network said.
“After working with Allen over the past couple of years, we have seen his dedication, passion and commitment to quality,” Freudenberger said. “He is the perfect fit for our new leadership model, and we are delighted that he will be joining Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute as its new senior vice president.”
In his previous role with LVHN, Boxbaum served as vice president of operations, Lehigh Valley Physician Group (LVPG). During his tenure, he had oversight of heart and vascular practices, women’s health, surgery and previously primary care service lines.
Prior to joining LVHN, Boxbaum served as vice president of Cardiovascular Services for Barnabas Health and vice president of Cardiovascular Services for the former Catholic Health East system in western New York.
Boxbaum earned his MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology and his master’s degree in audiology from Syracuse University. He began his career as a practicing audiologist before shifting into management roles.
Boxbaum is a member of the American College of Health Care Executives and the American College of Cardiology Administrators Division.
Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital LLC (BWE), a national commercial and multifamily mortgage banking company, said it has closed on a $20 million insurance company loan to finance the renovation and construction of Cityplace North and South, a 204-unit, two-building apartment complex in downtown Allentown.
The project is being developed by City Center Residential.
The North Building is a renovation/conversion of a hotel into apartments, which opened in early 2020. The South Building is a ground-up construction that will be seamlessly integrated into the existing building to form a Class A complex. The South building was 100% pre-leased prior to completion of construction, the company said.
Steve Perricone, senior vice president in the BWE Philadelphia office, originated the loan.
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