St. Luke’s University Health Network said it appointed John Nespoli as president of the St. Luke’s Gnaden Huetten/Palmerton campuses in Carbon County, and Frank Ford as president of St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Campus in Allentown.
Nespoli is assuming the role of St. Luke’s Gnaden Huetten/Palmerton president from William Moyer, who has been overseeing the campuses on an interim basis. Moyer is St. Luke’s West President.
Nespoli joined St. Luke’s after it merged with Sacred Heart HealthCare System in March. He had served as president and CEO of Sacred Heart since 2009.
Meanwhile, Ford has been responsible for facilitating Sacred Heart’s assimilation into St. Luke’s as the network’s chief integration officer starting earlier this year. Previously, he served as president of St. Luke’s Allentown Campus for 12 years, overseeing a major expansion of services at the hospital.
Ford, who started as president on Dec. 18, said St. Luke’s would invest $31 million into transforming the St. Luke’s Sacred Heart campus in Allentown over a 16-month period, from March 2018 to June 2019.
As part of this investment, St. Luke’s is refurbishing the parking deck at its Sacred Heart campus, spending $4 million on a project it will complete next summer, Ford said.
St. Luke’s will also spend $1 million on new equipment in the operating rooms at its Sacred Heart campus.
“We are basically upgrading every aspect of the hospital,” Ford said. “You need the best equipment…We spent $4 million to increase the wages so we are paying everyone competitively.”
Also at Sacred Heart, the health network installed Epic, an electronic medical record system, said Samuel Kennedy, spokesperson for St. Luke’s.
The network also moved behavioral health beds from its Fountain Hill campus and added them to its Sacred Heart campus, providing 109 beds at the hospital.
“We want to transform the hospital in a number of ways,” Ford said. “We want to upgrade the facility. It’s a wonderful opportunity for this hospital in its mission to provide great care to the inner city.”
Ford grew up in the Sacred Heart neighborhood and has been deeply ingrained not just in Allentown, but in the neighborhood, Kennedy said. Ford went to Allentown Central Catholic High School, a nearby private school.
“I’ve been with St. Luke’s for 21 years,” Ford said. “At this stage in my career, to have this opportunity is a blessing. I was born in this hospital.”
Ford described his new position as the natural progression of a blend of experience and passion for transforming Sacred Heart and serving inner-city residents.