EMPower Hospital Spotlight: St.Luke’s University Hospital Network
St. Luke’s home is the beautiful Lehigh Valley, which edges both the Appalachian Mountains and historic Pennsylvania Dutch Country, making it one of the beautiful, scenic, and prosperous areas of the country. The Lehigh Valley boasts the third largest population center in Pennsylvania after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and is the fastest growing region in the state, with a population totaling more than 650,000. The Valley is comprised of three main cities: Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, forming the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton Metropolitan area, the 64th most populated metropolitan area in the United States. In 2014, the
Leigh Valley was recognized as being the second best performing region of its size for economic development. Additionally the Valley is a center of post-secondary education and is home to Cedar Crest College, DeSales University, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Moravian College, Muhlenberg College, and Penn State Lehigh Valley.
St. Luke’s University Health Network is a non-profit, regional, fully integrated, nationally recognized network providing services at seven hospitals in Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Schuylkill, Bucks, Montgomery, Berks, and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania and in Warren County, New Jersey. Under the leadership of Richard A. Anderson, President and CEO, the network has grown to include a system of more than 1,000 beds and more than 200 outpatient care locations. With more than 10,000 employees, St. Luke’s is the Lehigh Valley’s second largest employer. St. Luke’s was recently awarded the prestigious 2016 100 Top Hospital award from Truven Health Analytics, making it the only regional recipient chosen from more than 5,000 hospitals nationwide. Furthermore, its Allentown and Bethlehem campuses were among only 15 hospitals in the country that were recognized in the Major Teaching Hospital category.
St. Luke’s delivers more than 3,600 babies annually at their New Beginning Family Birth Centers, located on the Allentown and Bethlehem campuses. The New Beginnings Family Birth Centers offer parents the comforts of a safe, family-centered atmosphere to welcome their new babies into the world. Additionally, the Centers offer a variety of educational services for new parents, including breastfeeding classes and a breastfeeding answer line that provides information for women who want to breastfeed.
St. Luke’s commitment to providing evidence-based care and improving maternity care practices continues to flourish, as shown by their active participation in the EMPower Breastfeeding initiative. Since joining the EMPower initiative, St. Luke’s has seen increased collaboration between departments providing maternal and infant care. Additionally, they have gained tools to sustain quality improvement and improve maternity care practices. St. Luke’s has implemented a safe Skin-to-Skin program utilizing the RAPP assessment tool and has begun using professionals outside of their network to provide feedback on their progress towards becoming Baby Friendly designated hospitals. The St. Luke’s team hopes that through joining the EMPower Breastfeeding initiative, they will not only see a sustained increase in their own exclusive breastfeeding rates, but an increase in their region’s exclusive breastfeeding rates at 3 and 6 months.