Gunderson Rehabilitation Center Reunion Allows Health Care Providers and Former Patients to Say Thanks

Lynn Kocher and Harry Sauers

Lynn Kocher, with Gunderson Rehabilitation Center, smiles with former patient Harry Sauers of Drums, Pa., during the center’s reunion.

About 80 former patients of the Gunderson Rehabilitation Center filled the Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)-Hazleton Hilltop Café last Wednesday (Sept. 17) to renew acquaintances.

The rehabilitation center’s annual reunion allows health care providers and former patients to express their gratitude to one another. “It gives us a chance to recognize our patients and their tremendous accomplishments through their recovery process, and to say a big thank you for allowing us to be a part of their journey,” says physical therapist Jennifer Kaminsky, who also serves as the center’s program director.

Returning patients shared their personal experiences with the center and its staff. “The care at Gunderson is fabulous,” says Monica Barletta of Hazleton. In fact, Barletta was so pleased, she says she soon will return to Gunderson for post-surgery therapy after an upcoming procedure.

Harry Sauers of Drums received care at Gunderson in 2011, after a complication from a procedure at another hospital left him unable to walk. “One physician told me I would never walk again,” he says. “But after 14 days at Gunderson, I was able to walk out on my own with a cane. It’s wonderful to see all the nurses and therapists who took such great care of me.”

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Double Amputee Plays Youth Football With Prostheses

Deven Jackson plays football

See a photo gallery with more pictures of Deven Jackson on the football field. Photo by MARK PYNES|

Two years ago, when then-8-year-old Deven Jackson of Perry County, Pa., received care at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN)’s Regional Burn Center after losing both of his legs to a rare form of meningitis, he met another double amputee. Jarod Minich lost his legs due to diabetes when he was just a toddler, but with prosthetics, he went on to become a standout athlete. When Minich visited Jackson at Lehigh Valley Hospital, he was like a hero to the little boy.

Now Jackson is following in Minich’s footsteps — on a pair of carbon fiber running blades. The fifth-grader is playing football. He had to learn how to run again, but he is committed to working hard this season, with hopes to move into an offensive position.

“He still wants to get out and do everything he can. He’s not looking at it as a hindrance. He knows he has to work harder than others, but he wants to do it,” Justin Henne, a former coach of Jackson’s, told for a story that published earlier this month.

Read why football league leaders are calling him an inspiration.



‘Miles of Smiles’ Mobile Dental Unit Gets Fueled by Grant Funding to Continue Free Care for Allentown School Children

Miles of Smiles van with children

Washington Elementary School fifth-graders Joshua Bocio, Alyssa Williams and Abigail Figueroa celebrate the announcement of grant funding for the “Miles of Smiles” van that provides free dental care for children. All three students have received care in the van since it first hit the road in April 2009.

It was smiles all around at Allentown’s Washington Elementary School as Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and the Allentown School District (ASD) announced funding support for LVHN’s Miles of Smiles mobile dental unit. The Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, through its “Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children,” initiative awarded LVHN a multi-year $375,000 grant to fund operations of the van, including all dental and office supplies, fuel and maintenance.

Miles of Smiles provides dental services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured children in the ASD throughout the academic year and during the summer. It is considered a “dental home,” an environment in which patients receive ongoing dental care and where they enjoy a trusting relationship with their dental providers. Staffing includes a dentist, dental hygienist and dental assistant, and a driver who doubles as a clerk.

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Category: Services

Joseph Laureti, DO, Wants to Help You Manage Your Fear – VIDEO

Joseph Laureti, DO, grew up loving science, but spending time at a hospital while in college gave him a love for working with people.

“I want my patients to be able to express to me exactly what their problems and fears are,” he says. “I want patients to know that I will treat them as my own family members, such as my wife, my mother or my father.”

He is a board-certified cardiologist with Lehigh Valley Health Network. He sees patients at the Health & Wellness Center at Hazleton in Hazleton and Hometown.

Get to know him with this video.

Listen to What Your Body is Saying

Tune Into Your BodyWho is the one person you can trust the most with your health and well-being? For Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) gynecologist Karen Sciascia, DO, the answer is a no-brainer.

That person is you.

“Listen to your body,” says Sciascia, who practices with Bethlehem Gynecology Associates. “You’d be amazed how many people don’t.” Read More »