Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
15:16 PM

Lehigh Valley Health Network Cuts ‘Virtual’ Ribbon Officially Opening

New Air Products Center for Connected Care and Innovation at LVHN

Officials from Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and Air Products today ‘virtually’ cut the ribbon to officially open the new Air Products Center for Connected Care and Innovation at LVHN at the health network’s One City Center location in downtown Allentown. The Air Products Foundation announced a major donation in November 2015 to launch the center.

“This space has special meaning,” said Brian Nester, DO, MBA, FACOEP, LVHN’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “It is intended to be a place to create, innovate, transform and reimagine how we provide care to our community.”

Nester said the vision for LVHN is to become an innovative leader in population health. He said with the support of Air Products—via a donation of $5 million made through the Air Products Foundation—the dedicated space is now available for collaboration with the community, leading industries, educational organizations, and other health care systems in the world to develop and implement innovative ideas that help to lower costs and provide better care and better health services to the communities LVHN serves.

Nester gave the example of LVHN’s Street Medicine program as an imaginative, innovative way to deliver better care at less cost instead of the homeless requiring more expensive emergency care in a hospital ER when an illness or condition becomes more serious. Using the Center’s 16.3 feet by 4.6 feet interactive technology wall, Nester displayed maps identifying the homeless camps around the Lehigh Valley and said a geocoding system will be used to track the camps going forward. This will allow the Street Medicine team to continue to deliver primary and urgent care, including medications, lab tests and diagnostic studies to the homeless in their daily environment.

“We’re looking to get ahead of their health problems,” Nester said. “The earlier we can address their needs, the more success stories we will have. In this center, we will find ways for our community to stay healthier and happier longer than ever before.”

Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Products, said, “As human beings, we are all connected. This Center for Connected Care and Innovation is a tangible reminder of our shared humanity – our unique ability as people to help each other make progress and keep advancing and moving forward.”

“On behalf of Air Products employees and the Air Products Foundation, we are very proud to be able to support LVHN’s important objectives and innovative advances through this Center and be part of making connections happen, right here and right now, in our own headquarters community,” Ghasemi added.

The Air Products Center for Connected Care and Innovation at LVHN features customizable, open-space rooms that will allow for the testing of concepts, technologies or pilot ideas in a controlled setting.

According to Joe Tracy, LVHN’s Vice President for Connected Care and Innovation, one of the co-developed connected-care innovations is LVHN’s BabyCam. BabyCam uses high-end webcams in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) so that parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family and friends can connect securely to the cameras to see the new baby in the bassinet 24/7. These are LVHN’s youngest, smallest and most acute babies who may be in the NICU for days, weeks or months.

“This program provides a level of comfort and peace-of-mind to family members and friends who may not be able to visit in person and regardless of where they live,” Tracey said. So far, individuals from more than 100 countries outside of the United States have logged into BabyCam to view a newborn.

Other innovative programs on the drawing board at the Center include, but are not limited to post-operative follow-up visits from a patient’s residence; expansion of LVHN’s remote patient monitoring program for high-risk patients living at home with chronic diseases; and virtual travel medicine visits for patients wanting to travel outside the United States.