With the acquisition of the Weller Health Education Center, Lehigh Valley Health Network said it has expanded capabilities in improving LVHN’s school-based health services and outreach programs, primarily at its Cedar Crest site in Salisbury Township.
There was no acquisition cost, said Brian Downs, spokesman for LVHN. The acquisition was of Weller’s programs and services.
“They haven’t had any kind of physical location for a few years,” Downs said, referring to the Weller Center, which once occupied the Easton Public Market space. “They were at one point in Easton.”
The network will use those same three employees – now LVHN staff – that the Weller Center had been using to operate these programs and could be hiring more people, Downs said.
LVHN implements the programs through its Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital, which includes multiple sites, Downs said. The programs originate from LVHN’s 17th Street location in Allentown.
The hospital network said its acquisition follows a formal request for proposal process started by the Weller Center in 2015 to find a potential partner with the ability to sustain, expand and improve upon the center’s intellectual property. LVHN also acquired the foundation and grants that help support the programs.
LVHN said it would support The Weller Center in its mission through an endowment held by the Weller Trust, which will remain in existence and make distributions from its endowment to LVHN at the same levels it has historically. The hospital network said support includes program development, delivery and evaluation.
LVHN will name the new program Weller Health Education at Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital. With the acquisition, health education will be available for all grade levels from elementary to high school, including parent and teacher programs.
Topics include prevention of drug and alcohol abuse, mental health, growth and development, nutrition and fitness, and personal hygiene.
The center has been providing these education programs for students in grades kindergarten through 12th for more than 32 years.
Now, LVHN staff will be going into local schools to provide these programs, Downs said.