Lehigh Valley Health Network opened phase one of a new hospital, Hecktown Oaks, in Lower Nazareth Township, Northampton County recently.
Dr. Brian Nester, president and CEO of Lehigh Valley Health Network, said this is the first new hospital for the network in 50 years.
“A third of our patients that live in the region see our providers already so this will give them close proximity to care,” he said.
The aging population that will need care longer as well as the general growing population in the area made it a good place to build. “We wanted care to be available as close to home as possible,” he said, adding, “That’s why you see facilities popping up everywhere.” Those facilities, he said, are outpatient and not full-service hospitals.
The new facility is equipped with a Multi Tom Rex, a robotic x-ray machine that takes images in multiple positions with minor movement of the patient. “This keeps them more comfortable and the table is made of a material that can handle larger patients.”
The hospital also utilizes indigo-clear lighting in place of ultraviolet to help sanitize the rooms. “When no one is in a room, there is a purple glow to it. It goes off when someone enters. It’s an extra layer of cleaning, creating minimal bacteria in the rooms.”
The 296,000 square-foot facility has an emergency room, a cancer institute, rehabilitation services, including physical, occupational and cardiac therapy, he said. Phase Two will start in November.
Dr. Nester said the Cedar Crest site is larger and this facility will be about the same size as Lehigh Valley Muhlenberg. “As beds go, it’s not one of our larger ones, but expansion will allow us to grow beds.”
Though not a trauma center, the new has a trauma bay with a helipad soon to be onsite. Cedar Crest is a Trauma I site, he said.
In addition to Cedar Crest, St. Luke’s has a facility a few miles from the site and Easton Hospital, now St. Luke’s Easton Campus, is also in the area.
Easton Mayor Sal Panto said the new hospital is not only beautiful but has “very good technology. Healthcare is a basic human right, so having two hospitals is great for our community,” he said.
Lehigh Valley Health Network covers the Allentown, Bethlehem, Poconos, Pottsville, and Schuykill areas.