Audiology practice opens Saturday

Thoreya Audiology of Lehighton will hold its grand opening Saturday.

Owned by Dr. Leane Koch, the practice offers full hearing related services including hearing evaluations, middle ear evaluations, cerumen removal, hearing instruments, hearing instrument repairs, assistive listening devices, hearing protection, swim plugs, sleep plugs, and more, according to a press release from the Carbon County Chamber & Economic Development Corp.

Koch is from Lehighton and received her Bachelor’s of Science and Doctorate in Audiology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. She has been involved in mission trips to Guatemala and to Navajo Reservations in Utah to provide hearing tests and hearing aids to those in need.

She is the 2019 recipient of the Maroon and Gold Excellence Award from Bloomsburg University for her humanitarian work locally and abroad.

St. Luke’s to open state-of-the-art hospital in rural Lehighton

St. Luke’s Carbon Campus hospital, set to open in late fall, will be the centerpiece of the health system’s technologically advanced, multipurpose, rural medial and wellness complex in Lehighton.

The hospital and surrounding buildings, serving a rural population, will have some of the latest technology not found in major metropolitan areas, according to a St. Luke’s statement.

The 108-acre hospital and wellness complex will give the community easy access to Level IV trauma emergency care, acute, critical and chronic medical care provided by medical experts close to home.

The three-story, 80-patient-room, 160,000-square-foot hospital will be the largest of its kind in Carbon County and the first hospital built in the county in 65 years. The campus will offer fitness facilities, health education and nutrition information.

“This complex underscores St. Luke’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of this community,” says John Nespoli, president of St. Luke’s Lehighton and Carbon campuses. “At St. Luke’s we believe in providing quality services that keep people physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy and help take care of them when they are ill or injured, to ultimately enhance the health status of our neighbors.”

The private patient rooms will be outfitted with a wall-mounted, 55-inch smart TV to facilitate two-way audio/visual communication between patients and their providers anywhere, as well as patients and their family members worldwide. This beta-site installation–one of the first in the nation by AmHealth—will expand telemedicine capabilities and virtual visitation convenience, the statement said.

MedSigns will replace the typical write-and-wipe white boards in patient rooms with real-time computer system-linked digital whiteboards that will display that names of caregivers, day of the week, scheduled activities and other useful safety information.

During COVID, St. Luke’s forged a partnership with Life-Aire, a local air purification system company. Life-aire’s first-of-its-kind technology kills all airborne pathogens in a clinical environment, including COVID-19 and anthrax. Six Life-Aire air purifiers will be installed in the air ducts throughout the new Carbon hospital.

A home-grown concept for St. Luke’s, the TechConnect help center in the lobby, will be staffed by an attendant who will give free assistance to patients, visitors and community members struggling to learn or use personal digital or medical symptom-monitoring devices or apps, according to the statement.

Within a year of opening the main campus, a three-story, 50,000-square-foot medical office building will be built and connected to the hospital. Cancer, cardiac, orthopedics care, pain management and physical therapy services and physicians’ offices will occupy this facility, along with a full fitness center and more. A fitness walking trail will encircle the complex.

A lavender and sunflower meditation and healing garden will also be installed.

Lehighton getting a different kind of tasting room

Wine & More on 1st offers samples and sales of local wine, beer and spirits. PHOTO/SUBMITTED

Lehighton is getting a tasting room, but will be a bit different than what you’re used to.

Most tasting rooms are opened by winemakers, distillers or brewers to promote and sell their own product. This will offer samples and sales of products made by other local producers.  But, Wine & More on 1st owner, Tina Henniger, said it’s an idea that has worked.

Henninger, said when she opened her first tasting room in Palmerton she didn’t even think she had an unusual idea. “I thought it was a niche that needed to be filled,” she said.

She had been working at a winery’s tasting room. She enjoyed her job and saw that people really enjoyed coming to tasting rooms. So when the winery decided to close the tasting room, she decided she’d open one of her own.

She didn’t make wine herself, so she spoke to a number of wineries in the region to find out if they would be interested in a deal where she would operate a tasting room for them. She quickly found out that her idea was not the way it was generally done, but that didn’t mean the wineries weren’t receptive to the idea.

She ended up opening a tasting room in a small back room of another business. Even though it was small it did well. She routinely sold $2,000 to $3,000 worth of product a month.

She had to close the shop during the pandemic, but now that it’s receding, she’s opening a new shop in Lehighton she says will be bigger and better.

Wine & More on 1st plans a May 20 grand opening in a building Henninger and her husband bought on First Street in the borough. It will feature the wine of Stone Mountain Wine Cellars of Pine Grove. Henninger will also carry beer made by Cave Brewing of Bethlehem and spirits from Insurrection Distillery of Lehighton.

Because wine and cheese go well together, she will also sell cheeses from Jubilee Heritage Farms of Middleburg.

She’s also putting a spin on another concept. While many small eateries are BYOB – bring your own booze, her tasting room will be BYOF – bring your own food. She hopes customers will support some of the eateries nearby, bring in lunch or dinner and enjoy a flight of wine or beer or some spirits.

Her business model is simple. The makers of the products she offers front her the stock and then she gets a percentage of the sales.

She isn’t limiting Wine & More to her primary brands. She also plans to have special events where wineries, brewers or distillers can hire her to have one or two day “expos” featuring their products.

Mostly, she said she wants to create a fun comfortable place that her neighbors in Lehighton will enjoy.

“I think the locals will be my bread and butter,” she said. “There will be tables, chairs and sofas. People can buy drinks by the flight or buy a bottle to go.”

She notes that the products she carried are all priced to the Leighton market and aren’t overly expensive.

She plans on having events, like a trivia night and sip-and paint-parties to make the tasting room a fun place to hang out and enjoy a beverage. She also hopes to offer activities like.

But the draw of the tourist trade is not lost on her. Tourists going to events in Jim Thorpe will drive right by her building and she thinks that will make her business an ideal stop for those coming to or from events like the borough’s autumn festivals. She will likely expand her operation to meet any growing business she might get from the tourist trade.

One thing she thinks will help draw in visitors coming to the region for outdoor activity is that her tasting room is pet friendly. People can take their dog for a walk among the fall leaves and then come in and enjoy a drink.

LVHN-ExpressCare-Lehighton to temporarily close

Starting today, Lehigh Valley Health Network is temporarily closing its LVHN ExpressCARE–Lehighton at 363 N. 1st Street, Lehighton, so its staff can support LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test locations.

Patients who would normally go to the location with common illnesses or minor injuries can visit their primary care provider or visit one of LVHN’s other ExpressCARE locations.

Other practices located in the same building will remain open, including LVPG Hematology Oncology and LVPG Family Medicine–Lehighton, it said in a release.

LVHN ExpressCare at Lehighton to open Sept. 3

LVHN’s 20th ExpressCare location, is at 363 N. First St., Lehighton. (Submitted photo) –

Lehigh Valley Health Network’s newest ExpressCare location will open Sept. 3.  The walk-in urgent care center, LVHN’s 20th ExpressCare location, is at 363 N. First St., Lehighton.

Open 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., seven days a week, ExpressCare at Lehighton will provide residents with treatment for minor injuries and illnesses without an appointment, including flu, ear infections, poison ivy, sprains, strains and lacerations.

LVHN plans to open another ExpressCARE in Carbon County in Palmerton at 528 Delaware Ave. later this year.

“ExpressCARE is a great service that allows for immediate access in a convenient location right in the community for every day injuries and occurrences that do not require an emergency room,” said Dr. Grant Greenberg of the Lehigh Valley Physician Group for Family Medicine.

To make room for ExpressCARE on North First Street, Lehigh Valley Physician Group re-located four specialty practices back in July.

LVPG Cardiology-Lehighton, LVPG Neurology-Lehighton, LVPG Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine-Lehighton and LVPG-Vascular Surgery-Lehigton were moved to 1001 Mahoning St., about a mile from the new ExpressCare at Lehighton.



Diagnostic breast imaging experts coming to St. Luke’s Gnaden Huetten campus

Diagnostic breast imaging experts will be now be available at the St. Luke’s University Health Network’s Gnaden Huetten Campus on Fridays, according to a press release.

Women in the Lehighton area who need diagnostic breast imaging can schedule an appointment between 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the campus, located at 211 N. 12th St. in Lehighton.

Diagnostic breast imaging is appropriate for women who have had a screening mammogram and whose results indicate a need for a diagnosis via breast imaging.

“We are proud of our highly qualified breast imagers, three of whom are fellowship-trained,” said Dr. Joseph P. Russo, section chief of women’s imaging for St. Luke’s. “They will rotate and bring their wealth of imaging experience to the Gnaden Huetten campus each week.”

At the breast centers, breast health nurses guide patients through every step of the diagnostic process. In many cases, a same-day or next day biopsy can be performed so that women can get their results as fast as possible.

“St. Luke’s is committed to providing women with great access to the highest quality breast imaging and is focused on getting those results to patients as quickly as possible to reduce a women’s anxiety,” said Michele Giletto, Network Director of Women’s Imaging. “We are excited to be bringing this expertise directly to the Gnaden Huetten campus.”

Patients at Gnaden Huetten can also look forward to a new mammography suite opening in the fall, according to Giletto.


Poconos staffing agency expands into Carbon County

Express Employment Professionals has opened an office in the Grant Professional Plaza in Lehighton. (Photo submited) –

A Monroe County employment firm has opened a second office in Carbon County to meet a growing demand for its services there.

Express Employment Professionals, which has been operating in East Stroudsburg for 17 years, opened an office in Lehighton this week to help better recruit for companies in that region.

“We had many local businesses in Carbon County that were struggling to find staff,” said Terry Lukas, owner of the firm. “There are many industrial businesses and even small offices that were struggling to find the right administrative professionals.”

Lukas said with low unemployment, the recruiting industry is facing a “nationwide crunch” and employment professionals need to work extra hard to find the right staff for clients.

Part of that effort is being closer to where potential employees live.

“We were having a tough time getting people to come into the East Stroudsburg office, which is understandable. It’s a long drive,” Lukas said.

The new office, in the Grant Professional Plaza at 613 Blakeslee Blvd., Lehighton, is about a 10-minute drive for many of her clients, making it more convenient to potential employees.

The office will initially have a staff of three to recruit and conduct interviews with job seekers.

The office also plans to hold a grand opening on Aug. 15 to introduce itself to the local business community.