Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
15:00 PM

Larger ER, New Observation Unit Planned for LVH–Cedar Crest

Project also includes significant expansion of the region’s only Children’s ER

Lehigh Valley, Pa. (July 11, 2018) – Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) today announced plans for a major expansion project at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest to create a state-of-the-art acute care facility. The plans were presented to the Salisbury Township Planning Commission last evening. The project includes an expanded adult ER and new observation unit that is estimated to be complete by the fall of 2020, and an expanded Children’s ER and observation unit that will open in 2021.

“Patients and families expect and deserve access to emergency care, an excellent experience when they’re in the ER and efficiency if they need to remain in the hospital for additional care following their visit,” said LVHN President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Nester, DO, MBA, FACOEP. “To meet our community’s needs, we are making a significant investment to expand the ER and create an innovative acute care facility at LVH–Cedar Crest.”

The LVHN Board of Trustees approved a plan to construct a 120,000-square-foot addition to the hospital’s current ER, bringing the total size to 157,000 square feet. About 90,000 adult and pediatric patients receive care in the LVH–Cedar Crest ER annually. The $111 million investment will bring the number of beds available to almost 200. It will include 97 adult ER beds (there are currently 42 beds) and 26 beds in the Children’s ER (there are currently 12 beds). The adult and Children’s ERs will have their own entrances and waiting areas. The expanded facility also will feature three trauma bays, designated diagnostic testing, laboratory and pharmacy space, designated space for behavioral health care, large waiting areas, ample parking and more amenities for patients and families.

For patients who need additional care but do not require an inpatient hospital stay, the expansion includes a 62-bed observation unit adjacent to the ER. Keeping these patients in the new observation unit will create efficiencies and eliminate confusion by helping patients understand they’re not being admitted to the hospital. The observation unit will be staffed by clinicians from the hospital unit where observation patients currently receive care. As an added convenience to families, the Children’s ER will also have 12 observation beds that will allow caregivers to evaluate patients’ needs more efficiently.

Pending all necessary approvals, construction is expected to begin between late 2018 and early 2019. Construction will not affect how patients, visitors and EMS crews access the ER by car or ambulance. Upon completion, however, new traffic patterns will have ambulances enter the hospital campus off Fish Hatchery Road.

In addition, during construction the LVHN–MedEvac helipad will be relocated to an area off Fish Hatchery Road near an employee parking lot. Upon completion, the helipad will be located on an elevated space above the new ambulance entrance.

Work will be done in phases with the adult ER and observation unit estimated to open by the fall of 2020. When the adult ER opens, the existing ER will be renovated to become the expanded Children’s ER. The Children’s ER is expected to open in the first half of 2021.

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 18 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 Special Surgery 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 10,000 procedures performed since 2007. Lehigh Valley 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 has been recognized among the top five hospitals in Pennsylvania by U.S. News & World Report for for five 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.