St. Luke’s Hospital in Bartonsville, the first new hospital in Monroe County in 100 years, is expected to open in early fall and create 400 jobs, hospital officials said Thursday at a pre-opening celebration.
To mark its progress on the $90 million hospital’s construction, St. Luke’s University Health Network held the event for staff and health care providers in the area at the St. Luke’s Monroe campus on Route 611.
St. Luke’s Monroe President Donald Seiple told the large gathering the hospital is “a symbol of hope and prosperity to members of this community” whose health care options have long been underserved.
When St. Luke’s held a two-day job fair several months ago, officials expected 400 people to attend, but more than 2,000 showed up the first day, Seiple said.
St. Luke’s Monroe, which is modeled on the St. Luke’s Anderson campus, will be a full-service hospital with 72 beds, 33 treatment rooms, an emergency department and the latest equipment. A separate medical office building to be built on the site is expected to open in 2017.
Seiple said SLUHN chose Bartonsville after it studied the demographics, population density in the surrounding area and access to Route 33 and Interstate 80.
Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg is the other hospital in Monroe. Its owner, Pocono Health System, signed an agreement last year to merge with Lehigh Valley Health Network, which is expected to bring additional growth and competition to the area. LVHN said it will build a new hospital called Pocono Medical Center West in Pocono Township.
Dr. Drupad Bhatt, an otolaryngologist in private practice in Stroudsburg who attended the celebration, said he welcomed the competition.
“When there is more than one choice for doctors and patients, the quality of patient care improves,” he said.
Bhatt said the county needed another hospital because he often has to send his patients to St. Luke’s Bethlehem or hospitals in Philadelphia.
Dr. Jose Guzman, a family practitioner at St. Luke’s Brodheadsville Family Practice, said using a hospital with the same medical records system will provide better continuity of patient care.
“It’s easier for us and our patients if we keep them in the St. Luke’s University Health Network,” Guzman said.