2018 Report to the Community

Dec. 5, 2018

Take time for personal reflection. Think back and pinpoint the defining moments in your life. After you give it some thought, you’ll likely identify precise events in your life that make you who you are today. Your defining moments could include the day you received invaluable advice from a parent or chose a career path. It could be the day you met your soulmate, or purchased your dream home. Maybe it’s the day you accomplished a personal goal or welcomed a child into your life.

For life’s defining moments to be truly defining, you must have one key ingredient: good health. Because without good health, life is defined by the struggle to achieve it.

This report describes how Lehigh Valley Health Network’s (LVHN) 18,000 skilled and compassionate health care professionals further our mission to “heal, comfort and care for the people of our community.” Members of the LVHN team work tirelessly to give you and your loved ones convenient access to the high-quality care you need, expect and deserve. Working together, we help you live your healthiest life.

John D. Stanley, Esq.                                  Brian A. Nester, DO, MBA, FACOEP
Chairman, Board of Trustees                        President and Chief Executive Officer 

Watch LVHN President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Nester, DO, MBA, FACOEP, deliver the President’s Report during LVHN’s 2018 Community Annual Meeting.

Commitment to quality and safety

Throughout life, you will experience defining moments and struggles. During struggles involving your health, you expect to receive quality care. At LVHN, we provide quality and something more: health care value (better health and better care at a better cost). Here is evidence of LVHN’s focus on value.  

Four of our hospitals (LVH–Cedar Crest, LVH–Muhlenberg, LVH–Pocono and LVH–Hazleton) received an ‘A’ safety grade from The Leapfrog Group. The grade tells you we protect patients from accidents, errors, injuries and infections.

Vizient, an organization that ranks the nation’s top 100 academic medical centers on quality and patient safety, ranks Lehigh Valley Hospital seventh in the nation in patient safety, and in the top 20 overall for quality.

Lehigh Valley Hospital is named among the “100 Great Hospitals in America” by Becker’s Healthcare review. We are the only hospital in northeastern Pennsylvania to make the list.

For the second straight year, Lehigh Valley Hospital ranks in the top five among all Pennsylvania hospitals on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals list.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives ranks LVHN No. 3 in the nation for the use of information technology to improve patient care delivery.

We’re proud to be an innovator in reducing care costs. Our partnership with Medtronic, the global leader in medical technology, is creating programs that span more than 70 major conditions with the goal of positively impacting as many as 500,000 patients in our community and reducing their care costs by $100 million.

Giving you access to care

To live your healthiest life, you need convenient access to world-class care. That’s what we provide at Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute, Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute and Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence. We continue to expand the services our institutes provide in all the communities we serve.

This year, Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute’s membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance extended into Monroe County. This gives patients at LVH–Pocono’s Hughes Cancer Center access to all Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute services, providers and technology without leaving Monroe County. Patients also have access to clinical trials at MSK, a world leader in cancer care.

Schuylkill County residents have access to quality cancer care at the new LVHN Cancer Center–Schuylkill. Located at LVH–Schuylkill E. Norwegian Street, the center gives you access to leading-edge technology and cancer treatment options other hospitals can’t provide.

Even with mammography facilities located across our region, access to this important screening isn’t guaranteed for all women. That is why we took 3D mammography on the road. Our new Mobile Mammography Coach is the first dedicated mobile mammography unit in our region and one of very few in Pennsylvania. Made possible by grants, our business community and caring donors in the Poconos, the coach has the same technology and staff you’ll find at all our mammography facilities. We’re scheduling the coach in response to requests from our community, especially in low-income areas where women often lack access to mammography.

Adding years to your life is what we’re doing at Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute. Consider this. In 2013, 74-year old Dolores Schumann was the first patient in the region to receive a new heart pump (left ventricular assist device) to help her failing heart effectively pump blood. Nearly six years later, Schumann is doing great, and the technology used to care for patients like her is even better. Schumann is one of countless people given more time thanks to the state-of-the-art technology Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute brings to this community. Examples include procedures that:

  • Replace the heart’s mitral valve through a catheter, preventing the need for open-heart surgery
  • Repair leaking heart valves using a catheter, resulting in shorter hospital stays and fewer readmissions
  • Implant the world’s smallest heart pump (Impella), which temporarily enables a failing heart to rest by improving blood flow throughout the body

LVHN is the first in the region to participate in a research study being conducted by Henry Ford Medical Center in Detroit. The study aims to find best practices for treating patients who experience cardiogenic shock, a life-threatening condition that occurs when the heart suddenly can’t pump enough blood. Thus far, data shows that the use of Impella improved survival rates to 76 percent. This life-saving technology is available to patients at LVH–Pocono, LVH–Muhlenberg and LVH–Cedar Crest.

Healthgrades, the leading online resource for information about physicians and hospitals, ranks LVH–Cedar Crest in the top 10 percent of U.S. hospital for cardiac care and cardiac interventions, and among America’s 50 best hospitals for cardiac surgery. Becker’s agrees, placing LVHN on its list of the “100 hospitals and health systems with great heart programs.”

 If you or a loved one needs surgery for a serious illness, be assured the clinicians at Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence can deliver the care you need. We perform 70 percent more surgeries than anyone else in the region. The more surgeries you do, the better you are.

At Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence, our emphasis is on minimally invasive technologies such as robotic surgery. Robotic procedures are used to treat gynecologic and urologic conditions, cancer, weight loss surgery and more.

In 2018, we began performing robotic procedures at LVH–Hazleton. It’s just one example of how we’re helping Hazleton area resident live a healthy life. Renovations and upgrades to the hospital’s patient units will allow us to flex patient rooms from semi-private to private depending on patient demand. Investments in the hospital’s ER will nearly double its size and give people access to the emergency care they need when the expanded ER opens at the end of 2019.

Investments in emergency care also are taking place in the Lehigh Valley. Work will soon begin on a 120,000-square-foot addition onto the current ER at LVH–Cedar Crest. The expanded facility will include 97 adult beds, 26 Children’s ER beds, three trauma bays, designated space for behavioral health care, large waiting areas, ample parking and more. For ER patients who need additional care but do not require an inpatient hospital stay, the expansion includes a 62-bed observation unit adjacent to the ER. The expanded ER and observation unit will be complete by the fall of 2020. An expanded Children’s ER will open in 2021.

Care that helps you stay healthy is what our health centers provide. We opened two new health centers in 2018. The Health Center at Richland Township serves residents of Quakertown and upper Bucks Count by providing family, women’s and children’s, imaging, lab and ExpressCARE services.

Monroe County residents have more convenient access to care thanks to the opening of the Health Center at East Stroudsburg. It provides care for the whole family, offering primary care, pediatrics, women’s services and cardiology.

In Carbon County, specialized care is available in one location at LVHN–Lehighton. It gives you close-to-home access to specialists in cardiology, general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedics, vascular surgery and cancer care.

In Schuylkill County, we enhanced access to behavioral health services by opening a new senior behavioral health unit at LVH–Schuylkill S. Jackson Street. Now we’re creating a new Family Birth and Newborn Center at LVH–Schuylkill E. Norwegian Street. The new center will have private rooms and open in February.

Caring for children has long been a priority at LVHN. We’ve been providing specialty services for kids since the 1970s and officially introduced Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital in 2012. Now, a generous gift from J.B. and Kathleen Reilly – one of the largest in our health network’s history – will significantly enhance pediatric services, programs and facilities. In recognition of the Reillys’ generosity, our children’s hospital is now Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital. With this gift, we will construct a dedicated entrance and lobby for our children’s hospital at LVH–Cedar Crest, consolidate all our inpatient children’s services under one roof, increase the number of inpatient beds, grow our pediatric and neonatal intensive care units, expand our children’s surgery program, add Child Life Specialists to help sick kids cope emotionally, and expand community programs that help kids be kids

The experience and convenience you deserve

You want a top-notch experience when you’re accessing and receiving care. This year at LVHN, we’ve taken steps to make care even more convenient and personalized. We provide video visits for adults and children, giving you access to a provider from the comfort of home. You can schedule first available appointments with select providers on our website, giving you more control of your care. For family and friends of patients having surgery, we’re reducing anxiety with EASE, an app that allows medical staff in the OR to send text messages about surgical updates to loved ones in real time. Plus, MyLVHN – the portal that gives you access to your personal health information – is now available in Spanish.

Delivering exceptional health care is hard work. That is why LVHN is committed to creating an exceptional work experience for the people on our team. Why? When our caregivers are at their best, they’re able to help you be at your best.

This year, we conducted a survey to get feedback from our team about how we can make LVHN an even better place to work and grow. We launched the Bright Idea Generator, a website where employees can submit ideas about how we can be more innovative, improve the patient experience, help people access our services and more. We introduced the Colleague Resource Center, a website where employees can get all the HR-related information they need in one location. Recognizing the importance of employee engagement and advocacy, we opened social media on health network computers. Then, we encouraged our team to share LVHN news on their social media accounts using the hashtag “#LVHN Proud.”

We also invited our most passionate employees to start a Colleague Ambassador Program. These Colleague Ambassadors share LVHN news with colleagues and community members, gather feedback and share it with health network leaders, recruit new Ambassadors to join the team, and inspire others by wearing the LVHN badge with pride.

Creating a healthier community.

The single most important thing that makes LVHN great is our people. They are the physicians and nurses who deliver lifesaving care. They are the members of our population health team who contacted nearly 22,000 high-risk patients this year to ensure they have everything they need to avoid a health crisis and live well. They are the colleagues who served daily lunches to kids at LVH–17th Street over the summer to ensure they had access to a healthy meal while school was out. They are the compassionate colleagues at LVH–Schuylkill who donated food, supplies and care to help neighbors hit by devastating floods. They are the 900-plus volunteers who helped vaccinate more than 10,000 people during our 21st annual Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinic. Our team demonstrates the power of people caring for people.

Life is precious. You only get one chance to live it. Know that Lehigh Valley Health Network is with you at every step of the journey. We vow to “heal, comfort and care” for the people of our community so that you can enjoy life’s defining moments that are yet to come. We will help you live your healthiest life.

By the Numbers

Operating income: $35.1 million
Operating margin: 1.3%
Total Community Benefit: $601,667,284
Acute admissions: 74,928
Outpatient registrations: 1,039,864
ER visits: 304,086
ExpressCARE visits: 185,868
LVPG visits: 2,833,114