On July 1, St. Luke’s Easton Campus celebrated the first anniversary of its acquisition by St. Luke’s University Health Network.
After one year as part of St. Luke’s, Easton’s namesake hospital is no longer losing money, as it had for years under previous owners. Its finances stabilized, the hospital is now focused on adding services for Easton area residents.
“St. Luke’s laid the groundwork for a great turnaround,” Easton Campus President Linda Grass said, noting that in February the hospital posted its first positive operating margin in years.
“Admissions are up 23 percent since the acquisition, and ER visits were 30 percent higher than planned in the first year,” Grass reported. Also helpful was the reopening of diagnostic services.
This fall, an adolescent behavior health unit will open there. Patient waiting areas and other public spaces are getting facelifts, many displaying the St. Luke’s logo. Between now and the end of 2022, the emergency department is targeted for additional growth.
“It is exciting to be part of developing programs that are so essential and aligned with both the community needs and Network needs,” said Joseph Faccio, DO, Easton’s medical staff president and director of emergency medicine. “Easton is rapidly overcoming the challenges it had faced for many years and, since the acquisition, patients, physicians and staff express optimism about the future direction of the Easton Campus.”
Since January of this year, several operating rooms and gastrointestinal (GI) procedural rooms were modernized and reopened, while vascular surgery, interventional radiology and pulmonary testing programs were returned. A physician group that specializes in GI medicine joined St. Luke’s and now is busy performing colonoscopies and other interventions in the new procedure rooms.
“As soon as the community saw the St. Luke’s star on the hospital, they started to return for their care,” said Grass. “They have confidence in St. Luke’s to provide high-quality care and are excited at the prospects of St. Luke’s investing in the future of the hospital.”
In response to the critical needs during the pandemic, St. Luke’s launched a monoclonal antibody clinic at Easton to treat COVID patients and has infused more than 1,500 patients with this remarkable solution. Additionally, a new molecular laboratory that provides rapid COVID test results in as little as 24 hours was opened this year.
Doctors, nurses and other employees are sharing an enthusiasm that hasn’t been seen at Easton in years, said Grass.
“They are thrilled to be part of the early success of the hospital. And they want to be here to help lead the hospital into a bright new future,” she added.
Faccio, a former paramedic in New York and a firefighter in Easton before going to medical school, said, “The patient and staff loyalty are key drivers of the hospital’s growth.”
“The purchase of Easton Hospital by St. Luke’s University Health Network has proven to be a real positive for our community,” said Easton Mayor Sal Panto. “St. Luke’s has a real vision for this facility and the entire community will benefit from the healthcare services they provide.”
Note: This local health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.