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LVHN Honors Cetronia Ambulance Corps with Founders Way Garden


A tear came to the eye of Wilmer McNabb, the last surviving founder of Cetronia Ambulance Corps, as he spoke Tuesday morning (May 24) at the dedication of the Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) Founders Way, a special garden area created by LVHN to recognize Cetronia’s history.

“I’m amazed to see what Cetronia has become,” says McNabb, who joined 19 other volunteer residents in 1955 answering emergency calls with a single Buick station wagon. Today, Cetronia has 140 full- and part-time career associates and 25 active volunteers answering calls every day using a fleet of 41 vehicles. “It’s very moving to know I was part of its creation,” McNabb says.

Cetronia Ambulance Corps and LVHN joined in dedicating the landscaped area located outside the main entrance to Cetronia’s headquarters at 4300 Broadway in Allentown. The garden recognizes a gift made by LVHN toward the Cetronia Ambulance and Lehigh County Joint Operations facility’s construction capital campaign. The facility officially opened in October 2014.

“We at LVHN are honored to have supported the creation of Founders Way,” says Jim Geiger, president of Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg, who formally represented LVHN at the dedication. “It speaks to our partnership with Cetronia, which focuses on delivering the finest emergency medical services throughout the Lehigh Valley area.”

That partnership was very much in evidence Tuesday. Keith Weinhold, LVHN’s senior vice president of service lines who currently serves as chairman of Cetronia’s board of directors, acted as master of ceremonies at the dedication. Greg Kile, LVHN’s senior vice president of insurance services and payer strategies who is a former board chairman, was on hand as well.

So too was LVHN emergency and hospital medicine physician William Zajdel, DO, who acts as medical director for Cetronia Ambulance Corps. LVHN displays its logo on the side of Cetronia’s emergency vehicles as an indication of that medical directorship, including a new Ford Transit ambulance that was unveiled at the ceremony.

“We are proud of our partnership and the collaborative relationship that we share with LVHN, and we look forward to working together with our partners in the community to continuously improve upon the health and well-being of our residents,” says Larry Wiersch, chief executive officer of Cetronia Ambulance Corps.

“Our firm commitment to the community in the form of high-quality and reliable emergency medical services, out-of-hospital care and medical transportation continues today, not unlike the vision of our founders in 1955 when the Corps was formed.”

Cetronia Ambulance Corps is a non-profit, community-based emergency medical services provider located in the Lehigh Valley. It’s one of the largest providers of ambulance and medical transportation services in Eastern Pennsylvania. Cetronia is the only accredited ambulance service nationally recognized since 2008 by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services in Eastern Pennsylvania, a coveted accreditation achieved by less than 1 percent of all ambulance providers in the nation.