Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
09:27 AM

Construction of Larger Emergency Department, New Observation Unit at LVH–Cedar Crest Reaches Milestone

Last steel beam is placed on what will be Pennsylvania’s largest emergency department

A topping-off ceremony was held today at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest as the last steel beam was placed on a state-of-the-art acute care facility. The project includes an expanded adult emergency department (ER) and a new observation unit that is estimated to be completed late in 2020, and an expanded children’s ER and observation unit that will open in mid-2021.

About 90,000 people receive care in the adult ER and Children’s ER every year. They both remain fully open and functional during this construction project. The expansion project is a direct response to community needs.

“You and your family deserve access to the highest quality emergency care with an excellent experience. You also deserve the same quality care and experience if you remain in the hospital.,” said David Burmeister, DO, Chair, Department of Emergency and Hospital Medicine, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). “This new facility will give you what you deserve.”

The facility will increase the number of adult ER beds from 42 to 97, and Children’s ER beds from 12 to 27. It also will include three trauma bays, bringing the total number of beds to 127. For patients who need additional care but do not require an inpatient hospital stay, this facility includes a 59-bed observation unit for adults and a 12-bed observation unit for kids adjacent to the ED.

The adult ER and observation units are built as modules. Each module has 12 beds. As patient volumes fluctuate, modules can be opened and closed to ensure patients receive care as efficiently as possible. “This model gives us the flexibility to have up to 151 ED beds for adults and children, making this the largest ER in Pennsylvania,” Burmeister said.

LVHN employees signed the beam before it was placed. About 700 tons of steel were used to frame the building, which is 650 feet long. It will include 4.5 miles of medical gas piping. About 18,000 sheets of drywall will be hung inside in the coming months.