This is a room in the new Walter J. and June H. Okunski Burn Recovery Center for outpatient treatment, which is now adjacent to the inpatient are of the Lehigh Valley Health Network Regional Burn Center.
Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Regional Burn Center kicked off National Burn Awareness Week with an announcement of a new Burn Recovery Center. The network now offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient burn care in adjacent locations.
On Jan. 22, the outpatient burn unit, known as the Walter J. and June H. Okunski Burn Recovery Center, was moved from 1210 S. Cedar Crest Blvd. to the third floor of the Kasych Family Pavilion, right next to the inpatient burn unit. The move allows Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) caregivers to take a holistic, team-oriented approach to burn care from start to finish. Patients will receive care in the same location for the duration of the healing process.
Judilynn Jukola of Lebanon, Pa., and her son, Keaton, were among the family members and guests treated to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the Hackerman-Patz House, a family lodging facility on the campus of Lehigh Valley Hospital—Cedar Crest.
A team of employees from Lehigh Valley Health Network’s home care department volunteered to bring homemade goodies that included potato filling, cranberry sauce and a table full of baked goods, highlighted by Pennsylvania Dutch molasses cake. The feast yielded days of leftovers for families staying at the house. Jukola’s son, Christian, was receiving treatment in LVHN’s Regional Burn Center. “It was truly an amazing, memorable, holiday,” says Hackerman-Patz House staff assistant Gina Jones. “I was moved to tears to see such kindness from my colleagues and the appreciation on the faces of our guests.”
Residents from northern and northeastern Pennsylvania were recently honored for acts of heroism or commitment to burn education at the seventh annual Valley Preferred Spirit of Courage Awards Celebration held at Lehigh Valley Hospital—Muhlenberg. The program was started locally by Valley Preferred, Lehigh Valley Health Network and the Burn Prevention Network to recognize persons who go “above and beyond” to perform a heroic act to save someone from burn deaths or injury. Allentown fire chief Robert Scheirer presented one of the awards to civilian Kenneth Martin who rescued several people from a burning building.
Kenneth Martin will soon be honored at the seventh Valley Preferred Spirit of Courage Awards. Martin of Allentown, Pa., was working security at an establishment on North Seventh Street of Allentown in the early hours of April 23 when he spotted an orange glow across the street. Seeing a child through a first-floor window spurred him to run into the building to evacuate its occupants. When he learned there was possibly a woman still on the third floor – the fire location – he ran back to retrieve a fire extinguisher and attempted to put out the fire while assisting residents. The home was destroyed, but nine people escaped with their lives thanks in part to Martin’s selfless actions.
Deven Jackson, 8, of Perry County, Pa., recently lost both his legs to a rare form of meningitis. While he was a patient in Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Burn Center, where he received care after his illness, Jackson met his new hero: Jerod Minich. Minich, a prosthetic technician for Hangar Prosthetics, was a standout athlete in high school and enjoys hobbies like rock climbing, ice climbing and swimming. He can also relate to Jackson because he lost his legs due to diabetes when he was just a toddler. Understanding the little boy’s difficulty in dealing with the situation, Minich paid a special visit to Jackson last week. During the visit, he delivered several items provided by Jackson’s favorite NFL team, the New York Giants, arranged through the health network’s amputee support group. Jackson was all smiles after the visit and Minich says the pair plans to keep in touch.