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St. Luke’s Helps Local Companies Protect Workers–and Global Supply Chain

St. Luke's Occupational Medicince Screening 07

Many Lehigh Valley area businesses are working with St. Luke’s Occupational Medicine to provide COVID-19 screening services to protect the health and well-being of their workers and mitigate the spread of the disease.

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As the global supply chain has come under increasing strain during the COVID-19 pandemic, large, local manufacturers and essential businesses in our region–from grocery packing facilities to bottled water manufacturers–aren’t taking chances when it comes to protecting their employees and their ability to provide essential goods and services.

These businesses are working with St. Luke’s Occupational Medicine to provide COVID-19 screening services to protect the health and well-being of their workers and mitigate the spread of the disease.

Kyra Dodson, St. Luke’s Worksite Injury Prevention Coordinator, is spearheading the effort.

“Currently, we are screening more than 6,000 employees daily from 15 businesses which are based in various counties throughout the region, including Lehigh, Northampton, and Montgomery counties,” she said. “More are coming on line. We expect to be screening over 10,000 employees from more than 25 businesses in coming weeks and expand our reach into Berks and Monroe counties.”

St. Luke’s Occupational Medicine has assembled a small army of health care providers to combat COVID-19 in the workplace.

“Our team is comprised of nurses, medical assistants and athletic trainers,” Dodson said. “These providers are onsite daily, during all shifts, to identify symptomatic employees using guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control. They also conduct temperature screenings on all employees every day. If an employee is identified as symptomatic, they follow their employer’s guidelines which may include self-quarantine, contacting their doctor or testing for the virus.”

St. Luke's Occupational Medicince Screening 07

An employee has his temperature taken with an infrared thermometer as part of an occupational wellness check.

Nestlé Waters and Samuel Adams Pennsylvania Brewery, both located in Breinigsville, and Piramal Critical Care in Bethlehem are just a few of the local companies that have teamed up with St. Luke’s to protect their workforce, helping to ensure their plants can remain open and operations continue in a safe environment.

“At Nestlé Waters, we remain focused on how we can best support our employees and our communities during this public health crisis. We are especially grateful for the extraordinary efforts of our employees on the front lines,” said Bill Trackim, Vice President, Head of Technical & Production, Supply Chain and Procurement. “Partners like St. Luke’s Occupational Medicine, who are conducting a wellness screening process at our Allentown factories, play an important role in keeping our employees safe, as they work tirelessly to produce and deliver to our customers the water they need during this critical time.”

Piramal Critical Care’s Bethlehem Plant produces Sevoflurane, Isoflurane and Desflurane–inhaled anesthesia products–for sale to hospitals and surgical centers all around the world.

“Partnering with St. Luke’s for temperature screening has provided a sound approach for mitigating potential exposure of our employees to the COVID-19 virus,” said Keith Zimpfer, Vice President of Site Operations. “It also provides a high level of reassurance to our employees, which allows them to focus on what they do best, supplying our critical care anesthesia products to patients all over the world.”

“Working alongside our corporate partners and helping our community when it’s needed most is extremely gratifying,” said Dodson.

“We’ve been able to coordinate this effort in partnership with St. Luke’s Sports Medicine as more than 50 athletic trainers have been redeployed to support this effort,” she added. “In normal times, our ATs would be providing essential care to student athletes as they trained and competed in spring sports, but the COVID-19 virus has given them a new playing field.”

The ability to step in and assist our Occupational Medicine Department in safeguarding the workplace has been essential to keeping supply chains moving across the region,” said John Hauth, Senior Network Administrator, Sports Medicine Relationships for St. Luke’s University Health Network. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, certified athletic trainers from St. Luke’s Sports Medicine have been asked to utilize their diverse skill set to support this effort and also a number of other key initiatives.”

St. Luke’s goal is to limit exposure. “If we can identify a symptomatic employee prior to them entering the facility, we’ve mitigated a potential exposure to several hundred people,” noted Dodson. “Our presence allows these essential businesses to operate in a safer manner and instills confidence in the employees.”

“This initiative has kept plants operating and many of their employees working, while having a direct impact on flattening the curve in our region,” said Jeff Kowalski, Senior Network Director, Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine, St. Luke’s University Health Network. “I believe this model is unique to industry and I am proud St. Luke’s is part of the solution.”

Note: This local health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

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