The Lehigh Valley’s newest hospital will be located in Center Valley, with construction to commence following a groundbreaking ceremony that was held Wednesday afternoon.
The four-story hospital is being built by Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network, and will be located on Center Valley Parkway opposite the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley.
The 123,000-square-foot, 76-private-bed hospital will occupy a 45-acre site and will be “the only freestanding rehabilitation hospital in the region” when it opens in early 2023, according to a news release from Good Shepherd.
Good Shepherd, which is based in Allentown, specializes in treatment of debilitating illnesses such as stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury and other serious conditions.
“Today marks the start of a transformational event for Good Shepherd and a special moment for the greater Lehigh Valley,” said Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network President & CEO Michael Spigel. “As the only hospital in the region focused solely on rehabilitation, Good Shepherd will have the space to develop and accelerate ideas, create new therapeutic interventions, develop innovative rehabilitative and assistive devices and introduce new independence solutions to our patients and community members, making people’s lives better.”
One way in which the network is promising to innovate is via an Experience Center that will be located at the new hospital.
“The Experience Center (will be) a game-changing hub that offers people with disabilities and other mobility challenges an environment to explore the latest advancements, such as 3D printing, robotics, wearables, artificial intelligence and smart home and personal assistance devices,” the news release said. “The Experience Center is designed to promote healing and independence, noting that it is being developed in partnership with Moravian University in Bethlehem.
Another unique design feature will be Therapy and Activity Gardens, which Good Shepherd officials said will provide ways for patients to undergo therapy and participate in activities such as gardening and walking while staying at the rehabilitation hospital.
“Patients turn to Good Shepherd for healing, hope and solutions to very real problems that limit their independence and hinder their ability to accomplish their dreams,” said Dr. Sandeep Singh, Chief Medical Officer and Program Director of Good Shepherd’s Spinal Cord Injury Program. “Whether a patient wants to dance at his daughter’s wedding, walk across a graduation stage or play with her grandchild, we find solutions that help each patient go further and achieve more.”
In the new hospital, “those that are vent-dependent will take their first breaths without a ventilator,” Singh told guests at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Achieving such tremendous outcomes requires tremendous professional talent, and Singh expressed confidence that the new facility will “attract the talent that we need here.”
The hospital is expected to employ approximately 300 people when it opens, and Upper Saucon Township supervisor John Inglis highlighted the benefit it will have to the local economy.
“I’m hopeful that this state-of-the-art facility will draw attention to the area,” he said, noting that the township “places our full support behind the project.”