Hospitalized Expectant Mom Can’t Make Son’s High School Graduation – VIDEO

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Emily Merworth is in Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest’s perinatal unit awaiting a joyous event – the birth of her third child. But she was heartbroken last Sunday because some physical complications made it impossible for her to attend the high school graduation of her first child, who has had some physical challenges if his own.

Read the story and see video at WFMZ-TV Channel 69.

LVHN Respiratory Therapist Jean Upton Wins United Way Car Drawing


Jean Upton (fifth from the left) with her winning check.
Photo courtesy of Brown – Daub Alfa Romeo FIAT

Jean Upton was tempted. The Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) respiratory therapist with the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation department won the grand prize in the United Way of the Lehigh Valley drawing for outstanding contributors – a 2014 Fiat or $10,000 in cash.

Upton opted for the money. But for a moment …

“It was such an adorable little red car,” says Upton, of Coplay, who has worked at LVHN for five years and has been donating to United Way annually even prior to joining the health network. “I thought about what it would be like to be driving it around. But in the end, it’s not really the right car for me.” Read More »

Pocono Health System, LVHN Sign Letter of Intent to Merge

PoconoSmallerIn a news release this afternoon, Pocono Health System (PHS) and Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) announced they have signed a letter of intent to merge. Learn more in the news release below and check back for links to media coverage of this announcement.

Pocono Health System (PHS) and Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) announced today they have signed a letter of intent to merge, subject to due diligence, the negotiation of definitive transaction documents, and appropriate regulatory approvals. The Boards of Directors of both organizations, in separate meetings, authorized the letter of intent. Read More »

Stroke Survivor Reunites With Responders, Care Team Who Saved Her Life

Stroke survivor Margaret Kalfas and first responders

Margaret Kalfas laughs with the first responders who helped save her life three months ago by getting her to the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest.

A 911 call by a stranger and quick action by the Whitehall Township police officers who responded saved Margaret Kalfas, 83, from likely disability or death when she suffered a life-threatening stroke in February. On Friday, she thanked them.

Another motorist called 911 when Kalfas stopped her car amid traffic on MacArthur Road that Saturday afternoon three months ago. Police officers Paul Barnes, Quadir Carter and Jeffrey Coleman responded and suspected a stroke when they observed her disorientation, so they took her car keys and called for an ambulance. The Cetronia Ambulance crew notified Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest – the region’s only Comprehensive Stroke Center – that a stroke patient was on her way and rushed her to the ER.

Within 90 minutes of the incident on the road, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) neurointerventional radiologist Darryn Shaff, MD, removed a clot from Kalfas’ carotid artery to end the near-fatal brain attack. After five days recovering at LVH–Cedar Crest, then several weeks in a rehab facility, her life has nearly returned to normal.

On Friday, the wife and mother of three met the first responders and ER and stroke teams who treated her. “I wanted to thank everyone for what they did to save my life,” says Kalfas, who hopes to be driving again soon. Read More »

Gear Up Academy at LVHN-One City Center Will Put Allentown Kids on Bikes

Marty Nothstein

Marty Nothstein, who won an Olympic gold medal in sprint cycling at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia, was born and raised in Allentown.

What do you get when you combine Allentown youth; a community partnership; an indoor, conveniently located fitness facility; state-of-the-art equipment; and passionate, experienced coaches? It’s called Gear Up Academy, and one of its founders calls it a game-changer.

The goal of the free developmental program is to use cycling to encourage city youth ages 8 to 18 to want to set and reach goals and live a healthy lifestyle. Valley Preferred Cycling Center (VPCC) and Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) will launch Gear Up Academy in July at LVHN-One City Center.

Marty Nothstein, VPCC executive director, is a professional Olympic cyclist who got his start in a developmental program at Air Products. He’s one of the coaches who will mentor the children, who will ride the same stationary Wattbikes that national cycling teams use for indoor training.

Learn more in this column by The Morning Call’s Gary Blockus.