Bethlehem, Pa.,
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Groundbreaking Marks Start of Specialty Care Pavilion Construction at LVH–Muhlenberg

Everybody loves to celebrate a new arrival.

So it was on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 24) at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Muhlenberg, where Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) leaders and local officials donned blue hard hats and pink shovels. Together they broke ground on the four-story, 161,00-square-foot Specialty Care Pavilion that will bring numerous “new arrivals” – about 2,000 births a year – to LVH–Muhlenberg for the first time in the Bethlehem hospital’s 54-year history.

In addition to the official ceremony, the event featured 11 Lehigh Valley-area children and their families. The children conducted their own “groundbreaking,” using miniature shovels in a tiny sandbox. “These children represent the type of strong families that will start right here at LVH–Muhlenberg,” said hospital president Jim Geiger.

LVHN leaders also released new information about the Specialty Care Pavilion, which was initially announced in May and is scheduled for completion in summer 2017. “This project will extend our commitment to growing strong families closer to home for people in and around Northampton County,” said LVHN president and chief executive officer Brian Nester, DO, MBA, FACOEP.

The total project cost of $93.6 million will be paid for through a combination of LVHN capital funding and philanthropic gifts, including a $600,000 pledge courtesy of the LVH–Muhlenberg Summer Festival and a $300,000 pledge courtesy of the Auxiliary of LVH–Muhlenberg. The Specialty Care Pavilion will create 225 new construction jobs and 185 new patient care jobs.

Plans call for the Specialty Care Pavilion to include:

  • Obstetrics and newborn services on the second and third floors, including:
    • A mother-baby unit with 20 private patient rooms
    • An admitting-holding nursery for use during the admission process or for procedures
    • A Level II NICU with 10 private rooms
    • Eight labor, delivery and recovery rooms
    • Two operating rooms
    • Five obstetrics triage beds
    • A three-bay post-anesthesia care unit area
    • And a four-bed antepartum unit
  • A Center for Inpatient Rehabilitation on the first floor, providing patients a short period of intensive, hospital-based therapy following a serious illness, injury or procedure. It will include:
    • 28 beds
    • A therapy gym
    • A suite where patients can perform activities of daily living
    • Specialized rehab equipment, including a harness patients can use as they learn to stand and walk again during recovery
  • Lobby space on the first floor, including a new gift shop, café, a children’s play center, private lactation rooms for breastfeeding mothers, additional rest rooms and an outdoor courtyard.
  • Shell space on the fourth floor for future growth.

The Specialty Care Pavilion also will offer people in Northampton County tight connections to additional services available throughout LVHN. “Moms at LVH–Muhlenberg will have access to maternal fetal medicine for high risk pregnancy, assistive reproductive technology, and to all the services available through our Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital,” said Mary Bianchi, vice president, women and children’s service line.

Erdman Healthcare Real Estate Solutions of Madison, Wis., will provide the design/build services for the Specialty Care Pavilion, while the Pidcock Company of Allentown will assist in civil engineering.

See media coverage of the groundbreaking event: