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Poconos to get another hospital

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Lehigh Valley Health Network plans to break ground in spring 2018 for Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono West in Tannersville. It is about five miles northwest of St. Luke's Monroe campus in Bartonsville and 12 miles from LVH-Pocono in East Stroudsburg. (Contributed).
Lehigh Valley Health Network plans to break ground in spring 2018 for Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono West in Tannersville. It is about five miles northwest of St. Luke's Monroe campus in Bartonsville and 12 miles from LVH-Pocono in East Stroudsburg. (Contributed).

Competition between the region’s two largest health care networks is heating up as Lehigh Valley Health Network announced plans to break ground this spring for a new hospital in Tannersville, five miles northwest of St. Luke’s University Health Network’s $90 million hospital and medical campus in Bartonsville that opened in 2016.

LVHN’s new hospital and medical office building, to be called Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono West, will be on 51 acres on Route 715 near The Crossings Premium Outlets and Interstate 80.

LVH-Pocono West is about 12 miles northwest of LVH-Pocono, the former Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg. LVHN acquired PMC last year.

The new campus is expected to open by summer 2020, officials said.

The size and cost of the buildings are still being planned, according to Brian Downs, an LVHN spokesman. Previously, the network said it planned for a 48-bed hospital at the site.

LVHN officials announced Tuesday that the board of trustees approved the timeline and services for the planned LVH-Poconos West campus, which includes an emergency room, surgical units, advanced imaging, a sleep disorders center, outpatient rehabilitation and a medical office building.

“LVH-Pocono’s history of caring for the community has always focused on bringing care closer to home,” Dr. Brian Nester, president and CEO of LVHN, said in a statement. “The LVH-Pocono West hospital campus will continue that focus by providing care to our patients that live in the western portion of Monroe County.”

St. Luke’s officials have said its 108-bed Monroe hospital has exceeded expectations and projections since it opened. The hospital is projected to receive more than 40,000 emergency room patients and 5,500 inpatients in 2018.

“We congratulate LVHN on its decision to bring a third hospital to the county. We welcome healthy competition,” Bob Martin, St. Luke’s senior vice president of development, said in a statement issued Tuesday after the announcement.

Martin said previously there is no need for a third hospital in the region based on demographics, the kinds of health care services people in a region seek and other factors.

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