St. Luke’s University Health Network is designing its latest expansion project with moms and babies in mind, using farm-fresh produce grown at the St. Luke’s Rodale Institute Organic Farm, cozy decorating features, special lighting and wellness initiatives.
As earth movers rumbled and construction vehicles beeped, site preparation was the backdrop for a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday afternoon of the Women and Babies Pavilion at St. Luke’s Anderson Campus.
The estimated $80 million expansion project on the 500-acre property in Bethlehem Township is expected to generate about 1,000 permanent jobs when it is complete in January 2020 and provide up to 350 construction jobs the next two years.
“This is the result of planning, mission, talent and money,” said Richard A. Anderson, president and CEO of the Fountain Hill-based network.
In addition to the newest network OB/GYN facility, the new building will include a labor and delivery unit and expanded graduate medical education program to accommodate more than 400 residents and fellows.
“That will make it the largest program in the Lehigh Valley,” said Edward Nawrocki, president, St. Luke’s Anderson Campus.
Nawrocki said additional residencies and specialties planned with the expansion include neurology, psychiatry, dermatology, ear/nose and throat, emergency and internal medicine and family medicine.
St. Luke’s employs about 14,000 people over 10 hospitals and 300 outpatient sites, officials said.
The Women and Babies Pavilion will include a 32-room post-partum unit, 16-bassinet nurseries, 19 semi-private and eight private neonatal intensive care rooms, a Level III NICU unit, labor and delivery unit and a 36-bed medical/surgical unit.
This year, St. Luke’s merged with Blue Mountain Health System and Sacred Heart HealthCare System and broke ground in May on a new Quakertown hospital at Route 663 and Portzer Road in Milford Township. That hospital is expected to be built over the next 18 months.
St. Luke’s also plans a joint venture with Geisinger Health System to break ground this summer on a hospital in Orwigsburg.