Through every new challenge and difficult moment of the last year, our entire team at St. Luke’s University Health Network found inspiration in the power of kindness and the gift of generosity.

Now, we celebrate the many moments in 2020 that brought us hope, joy, and healing—right when we needed it most. Our physicians, nurses, and staff are constantly amazing us with their innovation and dedication to patient care. It’s because of them that we begin 2021 with so much optimism.

Our First COVID-19 Vaccination

St. Luke’s nurse Sonia Iparraguirre, RN had a year filled with firsts. She admitted the first COVID-19 patient at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem and was the first St. Luke's employee to receive the new vaccination in December. “I am so happy to be part of this momentous step to end the pandemic,” Iparraguirre said. “I want people in our community to know that the vaccine is safe. It protects their health and the health of our community.”

Expanding Our Footprint

We embarked on an important mission to keep care close to home for the residents of Carbon County. The new hospital will be equipped with the latest technology so that patients have access to the best treatment options and care.

3D printed masks and face shields

Innovation Meets Education

The COVID-19 crisis challenged all of us at St. Luke’s to explore new and emerging technologies. In March 2020, a team from our Simulation Center partnered with 3D printers to produce custom N95 respirator masks and face shields.

We have four Simulation Centers, one Mobile Truck and a 3D Print Innovation Lab, which provide learners with outstanding opportunities to develop their clinical and procedural skills in a safe environment. Our centers includes both robotic simulators and standardized patients as well as a variety of procedural skills training equipment.

A New Family Member

We welcomed a new member of our St. Luke's family: The Women & Babies Pavilion at our Anderson Campus in January 2020.

This $75 million investment in the community represents the Network's continued commitment to providing high-level maternal and newborn care to the region. The pavilion is a four-floor, 180,000-square-foot facility which includes nine labor and delivery rooms, a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with eight private rooms and 18 semi-private rooms, a 32-room postpartum unit and a 16-bassinet nursery.

Building for a Healthier Tomorrow

We took the care of our Bucks County community to new heights when we opened our St. Luke's Upper Bucks Campus in December 2019. And despite a challenging first year, the expanded specialty services, advanced technology and family-friendly amenities offered at our new campus exceeded expectations. We have cared for more than 95,000 outpatients and treated more than 4,350 surgical and ambulatory patients.

Take a virtual tour of St. Luke's Upper Bucks Campus through the video below!

Serving the Community

St. Luke’s ran its Summer Meals Program for the second year in Allentown and Quakertown to ensure no child went without a nutritious lunch during the summer months—which, because of the pandemic, were especially challenging for many families.

The program was piloted in response to the Network’s 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). The CHNA revealed that these locations are in the catchment area of school districts where more than 50% of students are eligible for free and reduced meals during the academic year.

Fresh produce from our community-supported agriculture shares and backpacks full of non-perishable food were available for children to take home each week, along with items to continue engaging and inspiring creativity among children in the Allentown and Quakertown communities.

Critical Care for Our Youngest Patients

We were thrilled to open a brand new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in February 2020 after receiving more than $2 million in donations to expand pediatric services. See how we designed this space to make our young patients feel at home—from accommodating whole families to video games right in patient rooms!

Investment in the Heart of the City

We continued to make improvements to revitalize and reinvigorate St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Campus in Allentown. These investments address the needs of an increasingly under-served population.

Educating Future Generations of Heroes

Temple/St. Luke's School of Medicine is now the only 4-year medical school regional campus in the Lehigh Valley. Starting in the fall of 2020, incoming students now complete all four years of study in Bethlehem. Previously, students completed their first year at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine and could then transfer to the Bethlehem campus for their remaining years.

Class size has increased as well. The freshman class that started in August 2020 is the largest class yet, at 40 students. The inaugural class of 30 students graduated in May 2015.

Community Support

And when COVID-19 entered our region, our St. Luke's community stepped up to show support in more ways than we could count. Though our health care heroes fought bravely on the front lines, they were never alone.

We received nearly one million items of PPE, including roughly 30,000 masks that were skillfully hand-sown by talented members of the community.

$800,000+ in monetary gifts, 20,000 pounds of sweet treats and 5,000 meals.

Roughly 10,000 hours of donated paid time off from St. Luke's employees.

...and an endless amount of expressions of support, including first responder parades, creative balloon art, flower arrangements, encouraging notes, and so much more.

Our accomplishments would not have been possible without the support of our generous donors and community members.

For more information on how you can make an impact at St. Luke's, email developmentoffice@sluhn.org.