LVHN Acquires Weller Health Education Center
Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) has acquired the Weller Health Education Center (Weller Center). LVHN’s acquisition follows a formal RFP process initiated by the Center in 2015 to locate a potential partner with the depth and breadth of resources to sustain, expand and improve upon Weller’s intellectual property.
Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital was the unanimous choice of the Weller Center’s Board of Directors, Foundation and staff. The new program will be known as Weller Health Education at Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital.
The new acquisition will enhance Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital’s existing school-based health services and outreach programs by providing more resources and accessibility to additional schools, parents and educators. Health education will be available for all grade levels (elementary, middle and high school) including parent/teacher programs.
"Partnering with the Weller Center will allow the Lehigh Valley Children's Hospital to expand its ability to help communities make the children of this region as healthy as they can be,” says Nathan Hagstrom, MD, MHCM, Chair, Department of Pediatrics at LVHN. “It's a perfect fit with our current pediatric population health and primary care programs and services."
Subject matter is centered on prevention in the areas of drug and alcohol abuse, mental health (including stress, depression and suicide), healthy relationships character education, growth and development, nutrition and fitness, and personal hygiene.
The Weller Center has been providing preventive, science-based health education programs for students in grades K-12 for more than 32 years. Weller takes pride in staying ahead of emerging health trends to create new programs that target the most pertinent health risks facing kids today including depression, prescription drug and heroin use, healthy relationships and building resilience and stress management skills. All programs are presented by professional health educators who are experts at connecting with young people and translating even the most complex information into easy to understand concepts. Faculty and parent programs are also available.
The Weller Center’s programs are rigorously evaluated and outcomes based. Students take part in pre- and post-program tests measuring knowledge gain and positive shifts in attitude using an Audience Response System. Following program delivery, participating schools and funders receive impact reports detailing program outcomes.
The Weller Center partners with hundreds of schools each year to change the behaviors of young people and help them develop life-long healthy habits which will prevent chronic disease, reduce violence and improve the overall health, safety and well-being of children and families in our communities.
The Center is supported in its mission through an endowment held by a separate trust, known as the Weller Trust. The Weller Trust will remain in existence and make distributions from its endowment to LVHN at the same levels it has historically. Endowment distributions will be used to support the Weller Center operations including program development, delivery and evaluation.
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.