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.

About LVHN

Lehigh Valley Health Network includes eight hospital campuses - three in Allentown including the region's only facility dedicated to orthopedic surgery, one in Bethlehem, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton and two in Pottsville, Pa.; 26 health centers caring for communities in seven counties; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices and 21 ExpressCARE locations throughout the region including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE at the Health Center at Palmer Township; pharmacy, imaging, home health services and lab services; extensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes trauma care at the region’s busiest, most-experienced trauma center treating adults and children, burn care at the regional Burn Center, kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer care, orthopedics, and neurology and complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute, the Lehigh Valley Heart Institute, and the Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence give clinicians of the highest caliber the necessary infrastructure, programs and partnerships to help community members stay healthy and provide the most advanced treatment when needed. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute is a formal member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance, a transformative initiative to improve the quality of care and outcomes for people with cancer in community health care settings, including access to key MSK clinical trials. Robotic surgery is offered in ten specialties across the health network with more than 14,000 procedures performed since 2008. Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital and Level 4 NICU in the region, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest is the only hospital in the region nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for orthopedics and has been recognized among the top five hospitals in Pennsylvania for six consecutive years. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, Lehigh Valley Hospital–17th Street and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg are national Magnet® hospitals for excellence in nursing. Additional information is available by visiting LVHN.org, or following us on Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.