Lehigh Valley Health Network's takeover of the Westfield Hospital in South Whitehall Township for the creation of its Center for Orthopedic Medicine is just one component of the network's efforts to expand and improve its orthopedic offerings, said Dr. Ronald Swinfard, president and CEO of LVHN.
"This acquisition definitely expands our footprint. It gives us greater capacity," he said.
The CEO noted the hospital also is moving forward with plans to offer sports medicine in the PPL Center hockey arena complex in downtown Allentown.
According to Swinfard, the center will offer full orthopedic services, focusing on total joint replacement and spine surgery.
He said it will also be an excellent venue for otherwise healthy patients to receive simple orthopedic procedures, leaving the orthopedic care at Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest and Muhlenberg campuses open for people in need of more complex care or with multiple health concerns.
Swinfard said that while Dr.Yasin Khan, owner of Westfield, "didn't have a for sale sign in front of the hospital," the health network learned from its ongoing relationship with Khan that he was interested in selling the hospital and its facilities.
The timing, he said, was perfect.
"We didn't feel we were offering the public the best [orthopedic] service we could," Swinfard said.
He said the quality of the private patient rooms and surgical suites were on order with what LVHN needed for its orthopedic services, and the network could move in to the hospital with very little changes needed.
"If there would be any tweaking, it would be very minor," Swinfard said.
Paperwork officially signing the hospital over to LVHN is expected to be signed in December. Until then, the facility will continue to operate as a hospital.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.