Good neighbors are more important than ever. They get to know their neighbors and community, and often help make it a better place to live.
You likely couldn’t find a better neighbor than St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Campus in the city blocks surrounding the hospital at Fourth and Chew Streets in downtown Allentown.
This led the Allentown Area Chamber of Commerce to choose St. Luke’s to receive its 2020 Good Neighbor Award, which Hospital President Frank Ford accepted during the Chamber’s virtual Annual Awards Reception Aug. 11.
“This award affirms St. Luke’s commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of the residents of inner-city Allentown,” said Ford, who was born and raised near the hospital. “While we have made great progress, there’s much more work to be done. Our focus and passion, along with that of our community partners, is to make this neighborhood a great place to live.”
The Chamber bestows the Good Neighbor Award on an individual or organization that has provided exemplary community service for the betterment of the City of Allentown and its citizenry. Previous honorees have included Charlie Thiel, PPL, Bill Grube, the IronPigs and Rich Mar Florist, among others.
St. Luke’s has gone beyond expectations as a good neighbor to enhance health services in the long-distressed area into which it moved in 2017 when the two hospitals merged.
In just two years, the network invested more than $31 million to improve and expand clinical and educational spaces and made essential infrastructure repairs. Efforts are gaining ground, led by St. Luke’s employees and community leaders, to address the barriers to better health that confront the inner city residents, such as access to primary care, jobs, healthy food, early childhood education and substance use treatment.
“St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Campus is the epitome of a good neighbor with the enhancements made to this once-distressed community hospital,” said Miriam Huertas, senior vice president of the Chamber. “They have revitalized numerous buildings and patient floors and strengthened and expanded vital health care services. Converting the Sigal Center, across from the hospital, into a federally qualified health center and expanding access to critical primary care, pediatrics and women’s services have opened the door to better health for this underserved population.”
Note: This local health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.